Sunday, October 4, 2009

Loaves and Fishes

When Dutch calls to ask how my day is going I tell him I feel like a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown… After we get off the phone I stop. I take a breath. I look around my living room as if for the first time. What I notice – apart from the smattering of toys and blankets and newspapers and books and cotton balls – yes, cotton balls (from playing 'beauty parlor') – strewn over every square inch of carpet – is the 2-and-a-half-year-old and her stream-of-consciousness narrative:

“May I try this on, Mom?” She is holding one of Evie’s onesies.


"I not like it! You - you take it off please!"

We change clothes.

“May I sit on your lap, Mom?”


“You build a house for me, Mom? Out of leggos. Out of leggos.

We build a leggo house.

“You build a house for daddy, Mom?”

“Now you build him a green one?”

We build a green one. Audrey destroys it like she has destroyed houses 1 and 2.

“Okay, now I make him a birthday party!”

Audrey gets busy arranging cups and saucers at her child-size table while muttering to herself, "I making a birthday party for Daddy and then I making a birthday party for Katy-Kat and then I making a birthday party for Uncle Everett..."

Five minutes later she approaches me with her toy camera: “I want to take a picture, Mom.”

She tries the button but it fails to make its usual sound. "Oh, it's not working. You fix it a-me?"

I do not answer immediately because I am taking a drink of water.

“May I have some water too please, Mom – in a cup, in a cup!

After taking several large gulps from her cup, she looks up at me, water dripping from her chin. “You read me a book please, Mom?”

"Sure." We read the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes.

“Oh, you read it again please?”

We read it two, three, four more times. I tear up every time.

“I want to watch my movie, Mom. Where’s my peter?” (She means her c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r which we have temporarily shelved, along with our televisions. I don’t know where she gets her neurotic tendencies (me) but Audrey is obsessed, obsessed I tell you, with movies. Detox was our only solution).

“We put it away, remember?”

“Oh, you – you take it away from me?”

“Yes. And you know what? It's time for your nap now Audrey.”

“O-kay, Mom. I go nap now. I tired."

Me too.

**Leggo structure courtesy of Everett Baker; built on the evening of his 25th birthday.**


The Who said...

that picture of audrey is absolutely hilarious. Unbelievable. And you are such a wonderful Mama. You had me in tears of all kinds. Love you.

Mom said...

I am exhausted just reading the story. And the picture is hysterical. Still laughing....and I think I will go take a nap:)

Kathy said...

I absolutely love this picture. Yes, its cute of Aud, but more than that, I love what an incredibly REAL moment of parenting it shows. The joy of parenting is in these imperfect and tumultuous moments right? Thanks for telling the story how it really is, and not how we like to pretend it will be. I love you and am so proud of you.