I made a terrible suggestion the other day. A suggestion that caused immediate tears. Shrieking. The sounds of someone’s eyeball being slowly gouged out by a dull pencil. I suggested that Miss I consider being a clown for Halloween. How could I? A clown?!
At 6 years old and the master of First Grade, Miss I has firmly established herself as the confident CEO of the lunchroom/classroom/bus seat/backpack/recess yard areas of her life. Yesterday she tried out the nurse’s office for a “sick tummy and head ache” and found the beds adequate and restful. In her small, curated universe, she is at home. She is enough in charge that we find ourselves bowing to what we call “whims,” and she calls “rules.”
Rules such as:
1. No jeans. Or pants that bunch at the waist. Like jeans. Skirts likewise suspect.
2. Little sisters are sometimes allowed in rooms for sleepovers. Please consult Miss I’s personal calendar before scheduling.
3. Clowns are absolutely off-limits as suggestions for Halloween costumes.
The “whims” extend to food as well. While our kids have historically tended toward easy-going when it comes to the kid-spectrum of food preferences, we have recently hit a wall with Miss I. She is scribbling new food rules as quickly as she can learn to spell “no brussel sprouts”:
1. Spaghetti, pizza, tacos, and hot dogs are encouraged.
2. Green beans are an acceptable vegetable choice.
3. Pancakes, eggs, muffins, cheese, chicken nuggets, and peanut butter and jelly are as unsavory as a clown costume.
4. That cereal with “the elf on it with rainbows” is a rapturous dream.
This has led to a bunch of head-scratching and empty-spoon tapping on my part. It has also led to a hot dog on a plate for breakfast. When you reject all foods that reside in the food group of sunshine-unicorns-and-happiness, you end up eating hot dogs for breakfast.
For now, we’re respecting her whims as whimsical and watching as our little girl emerges more fully into the entrancing, intriguing, and self-possessed woman we think we glimpse in the raw material of childhood.
But can I just say for my own record of frustration, at breakfast the other morning, the girl rejected bacon. Bacon, for the love! I’ve got nothing left.
Day 30 of 31 days. For the month of October, I’m joining in on 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. Following the rules to write an unedited response to a prompt in 5 minutes, I’m grateful for the challenge of Write 31 Days.