So today, I woke up this morning and said to myself, "Self, wouldn't you like to spend a fun filled day listening to an eight year old yammer in your ear about nothing all morning?" Oh I wish I'd had that conversation as I lay in the comfort of my memory foam because let me tell you, the answer would have been a resounding no.
Look, I love my daughter. She's absolutely adorable with her flair for the dramatic but dear lord in heaven, that child does not know when to quit. And yet, without fail, I forget this little detail when I take it upon myself to ask the girlchild if she might like to accompany me and her little brother on a milk and soda run.
It was cute in the beginning. We started off in the car, music turned up, with the windows rolled down and all the interstate blowing in our faces. Ahh, Georgia. There's nothing like the smell of marsh in the morning. Oh, you've never smelled marsh? Imagine the mingling scent of dead animal and rotting vegetation. But I digress.
"Mom, pudding thinks my hair is funny because he's laughing at me."
Pudding is not yet three months old. He's probably laughing at the surge of warmth that just filled his diaper. But whatever makes pinky happy and doesn't involve an indepth conversation interrupting my favorite Queen song gets the hot mess heifer seal of approval. Plus, this is my not-so quiet time, the calm before the storm as it were. Or rather the 80's Arena Rock before the jibba jabba.
We pull into the parking lot and right away I can see where I've gone wrong. Before I even open the car door, pinky is looking for ways to be helpful. If you don't have children, you're probably tilting your head at the screen and narrowing your mouth into an awwwww. But if you have children, you just let out a heavy sigh in anticipation of how much work an eight year old's help can be.
"Can I unbuckle the baby?"
The child proceeds to grunt like a lumbering ox at the front of a cart full of manure.
"The buckle is too hard, Mommy. Can you do it?"
I knew we would end up here but had I denied her the chance to unharness her baby brother, she would have looked at me like I was silly to doubt the raging power in her linguini arms. I get the baby out and snuggled into the Moby and we're off to the races, you know, if the races were interrupted by questions I'm sure she knows the answer to.
"What kind of flower is that?"
"It's a petunia, the same kind I planted in the backyard. Remember?"
"Oh yeaaaah! It's preeeeeetttttyyyyy! Will you geeeetttt a piiiinnnkkkk one? Pink is my faaaaavvvorite!"
"I already have petunias, remember?"
"But you don't have a piiiiiiiiinnnnnnnk petunia!"
"I don't want a pink petunia. I have pink dianthus."
"How 'bout a fuschia petunia?"
Yes, she knows fuschia is a shade of pink. She also knows it's illegal to leave your children in walmart. I think she's testing me. I decide it's time to turn the tables on her lest I be tempted to ditch the child right in the middle of the gardening section.
"Pinky, you wanna fight?"
"Not in walmart, mom."
"But you have to be prepared."
"Prepared for what?" she says, watching me with a mixture of doubt and curiosity.
"For bad guys, lurking around every corner. You are a superhero, are you not?"
She stops for just a moment, wondering if I'm playing some kind of trick on her.
"Sometimes I am. What kind of bad guy?"
Pinky's favorite superhero at the moment is Thor. She nearly peed herself waiting for it to come out and I'm surprised she don't go through more underwear such is her anticipation over the new Avengers movie.
"I dunno, maybe Loki."
"Alright, but I'm gonna need my superhero suit and you're gonna have to remember to use my superhero name if you see him before I do."
"I don't know your super hero name."
"I'll tell you but you can't tell anyone else or they'll know it's me and we'll all be in trouble."
Do you know how hard is to lean over to a little girl's mouth level with a twelve pound baby strapped to your chest? Turns out, I really didn't have to. Girlfriend's whisper is louder than a jackhammer.
And this, my friends is how I got roped into making a superhero costume for one antsy little girl. And guess what color it's going to be?
I changed my mind. Perhaps listening to little girl gum flapping is a rather fine way to spend the morning after all.