Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Making Room For My Trophy

Monday--after seven nights at the theater--I felt like I'd barely survived Drama Boot Camp and needed to focus on regaining the full use of my limbs and shaky intellectual faculties. Tuesday wasn't much different, despite a full complement of sleep the previous two nights. But I was still fascinated--albeit from a great, fuzzy distance--by my behavior after school on Tuesday, which might put me in the running for Best Mom Ever.

Now, Readers, you know I wouldn't make that claim lightly, so I want to clarify that I'm not speaking from my perspective, nor that of other moms whose opinion I highly esteem. Perhaps if I had spent three hours on the floor riveted to a 1000-piece puzzle, or coached my young chef through a session of from-scratch mac and cheese with a delectable and nutritive "hidden" cauliflower puree, or even pushed her on the swing with nary a complaint nor cell phone conversation, all while feeling that I'd been heavily sedated, then I might be worthy of that label from my peers.

But I am speaking of Jarrah's perspective, Dear Readers. And, while sharing certain core values with other five-year-olds, that perspective is also uniquely hers. By which I mean, focused on sugary goodness with the steely concentration of a pole vaulter. And I know my audience.

The first awesome thing I did was say "I don't suppose you'd like to stop at 7-11 for a snack on the way to the park?" Which--to Jarrah--is a little like saying "I don't suppose you want to fly with fairies and then be serenaded by sunflowers in an ice cream castle?" So I hardly need to tell you that she promptly set me straight.

At 7-11, I protested not a whit when she chose Pina Colada as her slurpee flavor ("Look, Mama. I speak Spanish.") But then I did something truly loving/obscene. I guided her over to the "snack" section and gestured magnanimously to the acres of cookies/chips/candy bars with the words "See anything you want?" She zeroed in on an "individual serving" tub of Lucky Charms, and did I scrunch up my face and shake my head? Readers, I did not. I grabbed the Lucky Charms and a companion tub of Frosted Flakes ("Hey! I saw those on TV! They said they were good!") for myself, and said "Anything else?"

The ride to the park was quiet except for our chewing, and the occasional shuffle of tubs between us so we could sample both kinds. As I sucked up the sugary freeze of my slurpee and the frosty crunch of my flakes, a peaceful haze settled over me, and I began to feel that all was right with the world. I could tell Jarrah agreed.

On the way home, she made that more explicit. She had freed every dessicated marshmallow from its bed of cardboard-flavored cereal pellets ("Ooooh, the rainbows are the best. No, the stars. No, the clovers.") and wanted nothing further to do with the cereal. And did I go all high and mighty on her, shrieking about not wasting and choosing things you actually want and throwing money away and all that grownup crapcake? I did not. I instantly understood that I would have done the exact same thing with the tub of Lucky Charms (after all, they don't call it that for nothing) and said mildly, "Pass it here. I'll put it in the trash." How awesome am I? You don't even need to answer that, Readers. I KNOW.

I gave her the rest of my tub, fully expecting it to return empty in due course. Instead, she passed it back and said:

"Here, Mommy. Your cereal."

"Thanks, sweetie."

"I really wanted to eat it all."

"Why didn't you?"

"Because I thought you might want some more."

The concept of her considering my desires genuinely took me off guard. " sweet are you!"

"Also it's almost Mother's Day, so you deserve to be special."

"That's nice, love. But shouldn't every day be Mother's Day?"

"That's what my teachers said."

"Hmmmm, good for them."

"They also said, 'On Mother's Day, let your mommy have five minutes of peace and quiet!'"

I laughed crazily, for a long time. "Oh, sweetheart. I'm sure you have no clue what five minutes is, do you?"

"No, I guess not."

But that's okay. Because we're in total agreement about what the cereal part of the Lucky Charms is for. Packing peanuts for the charms.


Stephanie said...

Do you suppose Mother's Day will be reinstated if I take Nathan for a 7/11 run?

erin said...

Pina Colada slushies? In our house you wouldn't just be the best mom ever, you would be the holy lord and saviour.

The Wades said...

I can't believe I'm so in awe over a post about cereal. :) You are a great mom. I should take a page and lighten up a tad.

Happy Mother's Day. I say you set the timer.

Mary said...

I *heart* 7-11!

I *heart* you, too!