Take a little. Let your poor heart break a little...
Ok, sorry, had a Bette Midler Beaches lapse of judgement there. Hey, happens to the best of us.
So, anyhow, back to business. I recently re-learned a really important lesson when it comes to keeping the peace with a 4-year-old.
We've been listening to nonstop Moldy Peaches lately a la Juno (yes, the movie about the pregnant teenager who finds parents for her unborn child in the local Penny Saver.) If you happen to wander into our house these days, you'd have a 99.9 percent chance of hearing Marley singing, "Scrunched up your face and did a dance. Shook a little turtle out the bottom of your pants." (The line actually goes, "Shook a little turd out the bottom of your pants." We had to switch up the lyrics for fear that by singing "turd" over and over again at her Christian preschool, she'd expose us for the parenting sham we know ourselves to be.)
So, we've been enjoying Marley's foray into quirky indie "anti-folk" music. Fun for mommy, daddy, and kiddie. With each listen, she requests that we bring down the ipod, which has a picture of the soundtrack cover with Pauly Bleeker touching Juno's hugely pregnant belly. Just imagine the questions...Who's that? Is the baby coming soon? Why is he touching her tummy? Who's he? Why does he wear a headband? Is she the mommy? Is he the daddy? I could go on, but I'm already feeling uncomfortable again remembering the questions and my lame, "Um, um, um..." responses.
Then, my husband -- always game to jump right in with Marley's obsession-du-jour -- decides to show her an innocent clip from the movie...that ends with Juno flipping the bird. "Why is she pointing at her like that?" Ugh. GREAT idea.
Mommy -- the voice of adult reason (or the closest you're going to get to it in this house) -- nixes anymore viewings on You Tube of the Juno trailer. Tears, protests, and why, why, whys ensue. I roll my eyes and get ready to strap on my "I'm the boss around here" hat on when I have a moment of...understanding.
God, it's so disappointing to have something you are SO into, so passionate about snatched away from you. Not only do you not understand, but the person who did the snatching? Well, I might as well have a mugshot with "Public Enemy #1" stamped across my forehead.
So, I relax my arms and my neck (they always get a little tense when the whining starts), breathe deeply, and squat. I look at my daughter's tears, her quivering lip, and I open my arms to hug her. Not sure if she's going to go for it, but I just want her to know that I get it. Not getting your way does suck, and I've been there.
She runs into my arms and we have about 10 seconds of quiet sweetness where I actually feel on the same page with my 4-year-old. Aaaaaah...Crash, boom, bam! Back to reality. "Why mommy? Why mommy? Why? Why?!?!" I tell her I know it doesn't feel fair and my mommy used to have to be in charge of what music I could listen to and what T.V. I could watch and that it used to also make me mad, mad, mad. No dice. Oh well, it was worth a shot. How about we compromise, I say. I will print pictures of Juno from the computer and we can color them together.
She pauses. Thinks. Looks at me. "Can I come with you when you print them out?" Yes! We have a deal.
Print out something like 15 pictures of Juno and get to work on coloring. We now have orange, pink, and blue pictures of Juno hung around Marley's room and she is happy.
My lesson in all this can, yet again, be summed up by the Divine Ms. M...That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
P.S. When I just read that last line, it made my husband gag. I'm leaving it in anyways. And, the picture above -- that is how we found Marley one night after she'd fallen asleep. She'd stuffed Mr. Cow under her shirt in what we believe to be an attempt to Juno-fy herself.