Thursday, January 12, 2006

Future prom dates, beware

Last night RW kissed me goodnight and drove off for the airport to take a redeye to New England, where her best friend just had a baby. She’ll be back Monday night.

Which means that me! I! elswhere! Second-string parent to the stars! will be single-momming it for the next five days.

To put this in proper perspective: generally I am…how to say this?…Well, usually my status among the under-six set around here is roughly equivalent to chopped liver. And that’s going by MG’s opinion of chopped liver, not mine. Mama is who she wants when she suffers a grevious injury like, say, a bumped toe. Mama is the preferred bedtime tucker-in. Mama gets the most prized drawings, the biggest hugs, the sweetest endearments. I am often chided for being “too strict, too mean, not like Mama.” You get the picture.

We were both worried that MG would freak out when she heard about the trip. But instead, she’s been kissing up to me like crazy for the past few days. She cuddles up to me, telling me how wonderful I am, all in this endearingly hoarse voice that’s come on in the last week or so, that probably just means she has a cold but somehow makes her sound very old and solemn, sort of like Yoda. Or E.T.

“I love you so much, Mommy,” she croaked the other night as we headed into the bathroom to brush her teeth. “ You’re my very favorite. I can’t wait till she’s gone. Then I’ll have you all to myself!”

This stance lasted until roughly an hour after MG pushed Mama out the door last night. Then the chopped liver hit the fan.

It wasn’t so much worse than other nights—the sassing, stalling, threatening, and ignoring were actually not quite as bad as I’d expect on a more-hectic-than-usual evening, when bedtime went late enough to collide with short-fused exhaustion. It was just the contrast that took me by surprise. I'd been lulled into a false sense of security, and the backlash just about did me in.

Finally, when I’d all but dragged her by her hair into bed and turned out the light, she worked up to full-on hysterics, ostensibly about some reading form that I’d filled out wrong for school. “I want Maaammmaaaaa!” she sobbed. “Mama is the best in the world!”

“Huh,” I couldn’t resist commenting, after some comforting and back-patting and tear-drying, “How come yesterday I was the best in the world, then?”

She gave a little sniff and looked me straight in the eye.

Things change,” she croaked portentiously.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

That MG of yours is a smart one. She's a force of nature, that one is. What can you do but hold tight and keep your ground. Looks like you're doing a pretty good job of it.

btw...I've been such a slacker about this but wanted to say thanks for nominating me on the Best of Blogs site. Very nice of you.

Also, I nearly bust a gut when you 'outed' me as Anon on Mel's blog. Then Gina chimed in. Mwaaahahahaha. Ay yi yi people are so serious.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Mimi said...

Hi Elswhere! According to Moxie, it's De-lurking week. So, it's your librarian, new-mom pal from Athena's Web finally popping out to say hello.

For the record, it was your post about the cool upperclasswomen at the college anti-apartheid protest that made me think "hmm, this sounds familiar." By the time you mentioned the Greek flash-cards, your thin veil of anonymity was shot.

I'm loving getting to know you and your family through your blog. Thanks for writing!

1:57 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

Aha! That's who Mimi is! I wondered, and also wondered when you were going to show yourself. Finally I am able to put 2 & 2 together. Welcome; nice to see you!

And Elizabeth, that is SO FUNNY. I couldn't figure out why no one else got it. Except Gina. And Mel, probably.

3:53 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

It's the croaking portentiousness I love--that, and the fact that MG stalls and shimmys her way to bed, which reminds me my guys aren't the only ones DRIVING PARENTS CRAZY at bedtime.

My oldest son has lately taken to pushing me out the door at bedtime and saying, "Daddy read," in most definitely tones. I confess to illicit joy when I hear this: I'm done for the night!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

Things change? LOL

8:48 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Can I say that it just kills me that I can't meet MG in person?? I love her; she is fabulous. I'm still giggling about "Things change." HA!

12:50 PM  

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