Saturday, December 26, 2009
So here's the Mermaid Girl, at our post-Jul lunch of leftover turkey and rice pudding yesterday:
MG: *surveying our present-strewn, candy-heavy, tree-and-light-ridden surroundings and lighting on the one missing element* We need a gingerbread house.
RW and me: We...need a gingerbread house?
MG: We NEED a gingerbread house!
Me: *Contemplating the much-discussed difference between "need" and "want"* What will happen if we don't get one?
MG: I'll cry! [NB: She is nine. NINE.]
Me: What will it look like when you cry?
MG: *with suspicious glare*: Why do you want to know?
Me: So I can prepare myself for the trauma.
MG: *extravagant eyeroll*
Our Lovely Houseguest: It is difficult to have a snarky parent, isn't it?
This was one of those exchanges that could have tipped in either direction, with MG either storming off in a huff or producing a magnificent pretend-crying session and laughing it up. She has a great sense of humor and is actually pretty good at laughing at herself, when the stars are aligned correctly. I could see from her face that she couldn't decide which way to go with it.
The thing is, my question, and my response, were mostly serious. I totally hate when she cries, and she recently confided to me, in an exceptionally cheerful moment, that she's been fake-crying on occasion for "the last few years;" it really seemed possible that she might come up with a pretend cry right then and there. Is it twisted to ask your kid to fake-cry on demand? Could be.
On the bright side: For the first time in years, she didn't whine and beg not to be Jewish this holiday season. Maybe it's the rousing Hanukkah song her choir sang in their performance. Maybe it's that RW finally let her hang up a stocking (stockings and Santa are not part of Danish Jul, but somehow she connected the lack of them with Jewishness rather than Danishness). Maybe it's the magnificent (if I do say so myself) haul of my old dollhouse furniture that she got for Hanukkah, which gift she pronounced "better than a hundred million Webkinz!"
Aw, heck. Maybe I'll buy the kid a gingerbread house.