Sunday, May 09, 2010

A few thoughts on Mother's Day

Three and a half is a fun age - partly because it's the age when random and really interesting questions start to become your full-time companions. It's a fascinating peek into what's going on in their little heads. Sofie asks me things all the time, just out of the blue, that makes it clear how much time she's spending really trying to understand the world.

"Where do the stars go during the day?"
"Are they (the stars) far away?"
"Why do balloons pop?"
"What color is air?"
"Why does blood come out when you cut yourself?"

I especially like how, at bedtime, I'll be sitting with her as she gives all appearances of drifting off -- post-song, post-story, eyes closed, clutching her toys to her chest. Just as I think she's really out, she'll open her eyes and nail me with some kind of strange question. What do hedgehogs say? What is 's daddy's name? What is a week?

Interesting the things that keep her ruminating into the night.

***

I've been slowly planting this year's tomatoes over the last week, and intend to get the rest of them into the ground in the next couple days. I've only got ten this year, which is really small for me! Time to downscale a little. I want more of them in the ground and fewer in pots, and I want to leave more room for a few other vegetables this year - I'm keeping a couple of the big pots open for squash and eggplants.

Every year, I plant them and carefully insert the little plastic label stick that came with them into the ground so that I'll know what variety is in each spot. And inevitably, in a month or so, all the plant labels are GONE. G-o-n-e, gone. Where do they go? Do the birds take them for nests? Do squirrels eat them? Does Sofie sneak around and collect them?

Either way, it's frustrating. So this year I've drawn a map in my gardening book and am meticulously labelling each pot with its contents as soon as it's been planted. Take that, birds. I'm onto you this year.

If the crows start moving pots around, I'm calling it quits. 

***

Having a nice mother's day this year, even with Brett gone - definitely better than last year, when Mom had just died a few weeks before. I think my standards for mother's day have been lowered a bit by that experience - just being not completely prostrate with grief is a major improvement.

Sofie celebrated by getting up almost an hour early, and laying in her bed bellowing for me at the top of her lungs because she couldn't walk upstairs all by herself that early in the morning! Arg. So I had to drag myself down there a little before six a.m. and carry her up to my bed where I made her sit and rest for a while before she got to watch a cartoon.

After about fifteen minutes of pseudo-rest, she turned to me and said, "What day is it?"

"Sunday," I mumbled.

A pregnant pause. "Is it... MOTHER'S DAY?" she whispered.

Why yes, yes it is. And so she hopped over to the bedside table to get the present she and Daddy put together for me and we opened it together and it was a really nice moment, especially since she initiated it herself.

***

Sofie keeps telling me that she's a mommy too, then reeling off an incredibly long list of her responsibilities as Little Soft Phoenix's mommy. She's very funny about how seriously she takes her job as his mama - she spends all day feeding him, wrapping him in blankets, laying him down for naps in the stroller, giving him rides on various toys, and, often, celebrating his birthday once or twice a day. Every now and then he grows up and is a big cat for a day, but the next day he's almost inevitably a baby again.

One day I made the mistake of moving him from the couch pillow he was sleeping on, in the process of sweeping up a big pile of her other stuffed cats at the end of the day. She noticed and snatched him up, held him to her chest, and turned to me and Brett, bright red with fury, and shouted at the top of her lungs:

"HE'S NOT A TOY! HE'S MY BABY!"

She was dead serious, but it was so freaking adorable that all we could do was laugh. So now I don't move him when I clean up the others. Which is sometimes a problem as he likes to sleep right in the middle of the furniture. But I've been clearly put in my place on this issue and am attempting to stick to the rules.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my mama friends, and hope everyone has a great day!

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