Friday, August 10, 2012

Raindrops (don't) keep falling on my head

Here's an honest truth about motherhood: you, the mother, are a brute dictator. No, you can't finish that show. Yes, it's time for bed. You'll have to read that chapter tomorrow. I'm sorry there's only ten pages left but you were supposed to brush your teeth first. No, you can't have candy. You don't need that toy. I'm not buying that. Or that. Or that, either, didyouevenlookatthatthing? Stop being so loud. Eat your carrots.

It was drizzling this morning, the kind so fine it might be better described as mist or fairy's breath or something equally ethereal. Later in the day the sky did crazy real-rain things, but at this moment nobody was in danger of drowning on the short walk from the car to the daycare doors.

Howevs, the moment I had turned on the windshield wipers on our drive (at speeds higher than walking, incurring a precipitation accumulation that needed to be dispersed), that opportunistic minx also known as my four-year-old (I'M FOUR-AND-A-HALF! she protests loudly in interruption of my inner monologue), started plotting to wield her umbrella. Well, doesn't that just get her brother's interests all piqued. ME WANT UMBWELLA TOO! he yells in the unmodulated volume level known as two-year-old. ME ALSO WANT UMBWELLA OVER MY HEAD AND ME OPEN IT! He's falling in love with the compound sentences, my boy, and they amuse me more than is fair to his earnest efforts.

"You guys. It's barely raining. Let's just get to school and see if we really need them. I think we're okay to walk in without them."

She looked at me balefully via the rear-view mirror. But, Mama. You have your windshield wipers on. Aren't you cute, you and your age-normative black-and-white view of the world? Curses on your imperturbable logic.

I parked at the curb and eyed the distance to the protective overhang in front of the daycare doors. It's maybe 75 feet.** And the rate of precipitation? Imagine a cloud swooping down and high-fiving us, saying "go on, get inside, it's the last day of the week!" We may have been brushed by dampness, is all.

**Okay, maybe it's 50 feet or 100 feet. I have no idea, I'm terrible at estimating, but it's close enough that nothing rain-tragic will happen to you, child, honestly.

Now, while I measured the hazards with my eyes, my sweet daydreamer girl, the one who usually needs to be reminded three times to get out of the car and then gets stuck because she never remember to unlatch that last section of her straps, somehow lightning-speed climbed down, undid her brother's straps, and begun opening an UMBWELLA on his behalf and to his utter delight.

At this point I had two choices: bluntly enforce my adult point-of-view, which was that nobody needed umbrellas and let's just go, okay, but would have suffered in the inter-generational translation and been heard as another heartless mom-the-dictator decree; or I could indulge in a minute five minutes nine minutes of childhood delight and help open those UMBWELLAS. I looked at my watch*** and consented with either a smile or a sigh. (Or, fine, maybe both.)

***I don't own a watch. Do you still own a watch? I took my phone out of my purse to check the time on it, saw that I wasn't yet in danger of being late, and snapped a few photos (for your benefit, of course) while it was out.

Now, although I could have walked back home in the time it took my two UMBWELLA-twirlers to reach the doors this was all manageable with the minx my sweet girl. But that boy? Is it possible he's never been afforded the right to his own UMBWELLA before? Have I always carried him or pulled up his hood and called it good enough? Because we experienced a serious breach of UMBWELLA etiquette UMBWettiquette.

He didn't know about closing the umbrella upon entering an interior space. His sister reasonably closed hers up, hung it in her cubby, and unpacked her food in the fridge like any other morning.  But not my boy-monster. He was drunk with power.

"Hey, G, ready to close that up? Let's hang it in your cubby."

NO! NO ME CLOSE IT. ME HOLDING IT! NO ME FINISHED! ME HOLDING IT 'CAUSE NO ME HEAD GET WET!! And in defiance of the roof over our heads, he just kept strolling through the classroom under a shiny green umbrella. He had a little sway in his step, dare I say Gene Kelly-ish, bouncing side to side and twirling his green umbrella with absolute self-satisfaction and complete disregard for the Butterflies Classroom's atmospheric conditions. He looked more than a little strange so damn happy.

This is what happens when dictators go soft why I'm never early to work.

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