Saturday, November 6, 2010

amusing vs easy

a decade ago (damn, that makes me feel ridiculously old) i worked at a retail store that sold kids clothes. one of my co-workers was a woman who thought that having a kid who was amusing was more valuable than having a kid who was well behaved or easy. at the time, i was struggling angrily with infertility (i wrote about that here) and i would have been thrilled to have even the most boring of babies. as a matter of fact, it almost seemed to me that boring might just be better because that kid would be less likely to do things like projectile vomit across rooms, cram food items up their nose, start fires or mouth off to authority figures.

we spent a lot of time at the store talking to little kids, trying to engage them in conversation while we helped their parents to purchase clothing. and i have to admit, the amusing ones were way more interesting to have around. there were little girls who would monkey climb up onto the sales counter, chattering to us all the while. "my sistoo tooked my bawbee, but dats okay cuz dat was duh bawbee wif duh fingoors dat my dog chews on. ben said dat i can pway wif duh twain twack when we get home cuz den it's gonna be my tun cuz it was his tun befowe. and i wants to be a tow twuck dwivoo when i gwow up cuz them's weawy coow."
that's the same little girl who's likely to, while still standing on the counter, whip her pants down & show you her new little mermaid panties and then sing a couple verses of  "a whole new world" complete with arm motions & hair tosses. she wants to kiss you on the lips before her mom can snatch her down off the counter stage where she was performing for her many new fans.

over time i did learn to appreciate that those kids were definitely preferable to the ones who sat there like lumps no matter what we said or did. you know the ones, you say hello & they stare blankly at you. you smile & cross your eyes & still the blank stare. you offer them a sticker & they can't even bother to reach toward you or acknowledge that you're speaking to them. maybe they suck their sippy cup before turning away disdainfully, but they don't engage at all. even the cutest kid in the world loses its charm if it has no personality.

my own child, as it turns out, is one of those amusing types who, as a toddler was often found standing on a counter telling some unsuspecting cashier way too much about her day and toys & food preferences.

she's developed quite a vocabulary & she uses it perfectly in casual conversation. a few days ago she wrote a number backwards & when i asked her why, she shrugged & said, "i guess i had a glitch." she calls her stuffed cat the "duplicate" of her kitten & yesterday she put on a blue leopard print jacket & some wacky leggings & pronounced herself to be the "elusive blue snow leopard." she told me that someone milked the magic from her leopard fangs -actually, she said from her canine teeth- like she was a venomous reptile and it was causing her to lose her fabulous blue coloring & she'd have to go back & drink from the magical fountain so that she could regain her blue. she said she was excessively thirsty for some magical water.

she tells me often that my style is "understated & tacky". she has declared the cats to be "frenemies." she roars at strangers & draws bizarre pictures to express her feelings. she rarely wears normal clothes & spends her days living in her imagination, where she can be anything she wants to be with no regard for reality.

 during prayers at bedtime tonight she told God, "uno momento, por favor" and then she rapidly climbed down from her bed to rush into the bathroom & wash her hands twice because when she'd reached to pet her kitten, she's accidentally touched her butt instead. i'd never thought to put God on hold while praying before, let alone in spanish!

here's a video from today when we were making banana bread for "culinary" class (brooke doesn't really like cooking, but it beats doing history when it's school time). please note the fork i provided that she was NOT using to mash those bananas. gosh, i love this kid.

in conclusion, maybe i would prefer that amusing kid after all. it certainly keeps things interesting.


  1. love kids esp. the interesting ones w/ imaginations. Perhaps it's smply because I relate :)

  2. You have an Amazing Daughter and an Awesome Relationship!
    Love the Stingray remark!


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