I’m grateful for her, you know. TRULY grateful. Last night, as I knelt by my bedside and said my evening prayers, they went something like this:
Thursday night, I started feeling not-so-good. I sipped a little Sprite and tried to shrug it off. A few hours later, I was well beyond sipping Sprite… I was guzzling Pepto. I spent a fitful night wandering between the bathroom and my bed, willing sleep to come.
That said: I did not get out of bed on Thursday until 3 pm. That means that from 7 am to 3 pm, my children took care of themselves while I slipped in and out of a sleep that felt heavily medicated (sadly, I didn’t have any medicine strong enough to produce the sleep I slept; consequently, the sleep I received MUST have come directly from angels… probably the same ones who watched over my flock while I slept).
I can sort of remember my children singing to me.
I remember them coming in my room to raid their stockings.
I remember the girl instructing the boy on just how much egg nog was appropriate to drink at once.
And that’s about it.
I hunched over and made my way around the house around noon, handed the girl 4 slices of whole wheat bread (healthy!), a butter knife, and a full container of Nutella (thereby nullifying the whole “healthy” theme I was going for).
“Look,” I drawled out, “See? Put the chocolate on the bread. Fold it. Sandwich.”
“Sandwich!” My daughter cried out and proceeded to make ninety of them.
She also took out my trash (so well as a little girl can, anyway).
She also did my laundry.
Upon further inspection (which I finally got around to today), I found that she had emptied not only half of that Sam’s Club size box of Ozy-clean into the washer… but that she had emptied the bowl I had near the washer that was FULL of our homemade laundry detergent. Best of all? She put some in the dryer.
Thorough she is.
My husband discovered the detergent in the dryer, and when he did he let out a sentence the likes of which went something like this, “WHAT THE? OH MAN! IT’S IN THE DRYER!”
The girl, who happened to be sitting next to me at the time, muttered, “I just said I was sorry about it. I didn’t know you only need ONE scoop…”
And so we can’t be mad.
We can’t be mad about the plate she shattered as she reached for peanut butter because Nutella only lasts for so long.
I wasn’t mad. I really wasn’t.
As I was curled up in a ball on the floor Thursday night (when most of the “laundry” got done), my daughter asked me to follow her into my bedroom where I had put the bird for the day while I babysat my niece and nephew.
I went into my room to find the boy cutting a paper into small pieces and FEEDING them to the small bird who -no less guilty -had a wedge of paper in his little bitty beak.
I hollered out something like, “DANNY! DANNY! DANNY!” because I know that paper isn’t good for birds, and my daughter BURST into tears.
The thing is: I was so wrapped up in the paper/bird situation that I didn’t even notice that my daughter had MADE decorations for her bird’s cage.
Well she had.
And she thought I was MAD about it.
“I just did the decorations and you are mad and IT’S ALL MY FAULT!!!!”
I wasn’t mad! I wasn’t! It took me thirty minutes to try and explain myself which was nearly impossible given that I was crying myself on account of
1) making my daughter cry and
2) feeling like I wanted to die.
I’ve recovered almost completely. So far, no one else has gotten sick. The house? That’s a horse of a different color. I’ve spent today cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, stopping only to sit on the couch and read Ben Franklin’s Autobiography (a gem among books).
But my trash-taking out, sandwich-making, laundry-doing, decoration-making daughter?
I’ve watched her during the last two days as she’s used up half the bird seen in a successful attempt to train her little bird to EAT OUT OF HER HAND.
She did this without any help from us. No one told my daughter how to train her bird to eat out of her hand, but come to think of it… she doesn’t need any instruction in that area.
She’s had me eating out of her hand for ages.