Saturday, December 15, 2012


I spent most of today with Odessa, which made me started thinking about what it must be like to be a little kid.   Of course I used to be a kid, and I remember some things about it--mostly the feelings I had, which were all waaaay more acute than any feeling I ever have these days.  Embarrassment, boredom, surprise, ET cetera--little kid feelings are essentially adult feelings on bath salts.  Those feelings will chew the paint off a cop car right in front of a cop.

Surprise was a big one for me.  I remember childhood as a long series of totally unexpected events:

  • Woah, that lady's crying
  • Why the hell is that old man wearing a tube in his nose? 
  • Huh, we're all going down to the basement of the school and there's a siren thing going off. Huh.
Being a little kid is pretty much one decontextualized event followed by another.  Surprising things happen over and over until they become less surprising, at which point, you grow up.

But this morning Odessa surprised me. I felt just about as surprised as a 34-year-old woman talking to her 3 year old could be.

The scene:

We are seated across the table from one another at a restaurant, Odessa with a scrambled egg and two pieces of bacon in front of her.  I'm reading the paper, looking up at her every two-ish minutes to say, "Dessa, eat a bite of your eggs."  She's rolling around in the booth, distractedly mumbling something: "Mommy I don't want eggs eggs are yucky I want a treat a snowflake cookie and a candycane I want a gingerbread man baby...."  And then I look up and say, "you have to finish everything on your plate before I even think about getting you a cookie."

And then she makes this weird face I've never seen her make, and whines, "Mommy, I can't eat this breakfast because it will make me get a fat belly."


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