Do you ever wonder which of your children's personality quirks are already permanently packed into the suitcase they'll carry with them into adulthood?
For example, Eliza loves to make pancakes. She'll stand at the griddle, flipping 'til the cows come home. She's a feeder, that one. If given the chance to watch cable, she chooses the Food Network. She soaks up whatever wisdom Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee or Lidia Bastianich has to share. I'm totally in favor of this interest flowering for years to come. Or would that be "flour-ing?"
Then there is her four-year-old sister.
I know, with a pang of regret, that the days of things being "ri-dick-lee-ous" are numbered. One day, I'll realize with a jolt that it's now "ridiculous" and have no idea when that started, and I will be tempted to weep, as I was when her baby feet thickened into toddler feet or her breath stopped smelling like milk.
But it's hard to fathom that she'll ever stop being the person who asked for, and received, a set of real tools and a workbench for her fourth birthday. Or the girl who jealously guards her low-temperature glue gun. Or the child who, yesterday at the chiropractor's office, seized upon the February issue of Martha Stewart Living and ended up asking the receptionist to photocopy two pages' worth of projects for her to take home.
I've learned, conventional bedtime wisdom aside, that when it's eight fifty five and the girl asks for a piece of paper and her scissors, it's the better part of valor to JUST BRING HER THE DARNED SCISSORS and her snip herself into somnolent oblivion, rather than waste ten minutes on tears and high drama.
I've also learned that we cannot read If You Give a Pig a Pancake at that magic hour. For one thing, meltdowns ensue over her longings to own a Polaroid camera YESTERDAY. For another thing ...
Well, here's the story with which the shell-shocked Professor greeted me when I arrived home from tonight's tutoring session:
In a flurry of prebedtime activity at the craft table, Martha Junior could not open the bottle of tacky glue on her own. Rather than employ a minion for the task (remember, the Chief Minion was out), she thought "What would The Pig do?" (cue lightbulb to left of head), remembered the line, "feeling sticky will remind her of her favorite maple syrup," and headed for the fridge. One entire squeeze bottle of real maple syrup later, she had her adhesive surface ready for glitter. Why not just liquefy a wad of cash and use that?
So if you find us slathering a batch of Eliza's pancakes with tacky glue by the end of the month, you'll know why. Blame it on her little sister, that little sister whose soft, warm cheeks I need to go kiss right now, as if kisses could keep them just so for a little longer, beyond this too-brief breath of time.