I have this daughter who doesn’t yet pronounce the letter “r” and who loves to say “show-a” (sure) as a response to nearly everything I ask her.
Like today for example:
“Maddi, it’s time for your nap. Do you want to sleep in your room or the guest room?”
“Show-a,” she says.
“Sure you want to take a nap or sure you want to choose the location?”
“Show-a,” she clarifies, “the guest room…in the crib.”
“Okay, well let’s go,” I prod as she takes another five minutes to bundle her baby dolls.
We have a portacrib set up in the guest room for no real reason at all, except that it makes a fun option for my four year old to use when deciding where to lie down for the afternoon.
She scrunches up in the crib, shifts from one side to the other, gets all comfy–then becomes alarmed.
“Mommy! Mommy! Where’s my something?”
“What something?” I ask.
“My blanket something!” she tells me.
I hold up her blanket and she smiles…relieved, then asks me to cover the top of the crib with it.
“Mama, let’s pretend my bed is a fote.”
“Okay,” I say, complying to make her a fort while thinking about everything I need to get done in the next hour and a half of this precious quiet time.
“And if the blanket break-ed I will call you. I will say, ‘Mom! Mom! Come he-ah! Come he-ah!’”
“Sounds good,” I nod. The nod means I’m listening..well, half-listening.
“And if you don’t come white away I will say, ‘Mom! Mom! Come white away! Come white away!’
“Got it…I will come right away, Maddi,” I promise.
"White away, Mom!"
"Yes," I'm grinning at her detailed directions–does she really pick this up from me?
“And then if you don’t come white away I will put you on a time out!” she finishes.
Ahh, the threat of a time out. I almost think I would enjoy some time out for a while….maybe twenty-four hours would be good. But, I know that isn’t her point and so I nod again.
“Sure,” I say, really wanting to say “show-a” just because it’s much more fun. “I will come right away….if you need anything I will be there.”
And even though my list is long today and my anxiety rises and falls with what I can or cannot check off that list, I am soothed by her. Little girl, you are the reason I have a list to begin at all I think to myself. You are the reason I keep trying. I keep working and I keep going and I keeping discovering what is most important…time with you. Yes, time with you.
Time to tell you I will be there. Whatever you need, I will come right away.