My two year-old daughter is in the backseat and we’re driving to the pediatrician. She’s fine, but she just had a birthday so it’s time for a well visit. The morning is foggy; not a magical, mystical fog that dances with random beams of penetrating sunlight, but a depressing, heavy, bland sort of fog that makes everything seem the same color and makes it onerous to even sing along to the radio. We have to drive over this little mountain to get to the doctor’s office, and the road winds as it rises. As we get higher, the fog gets thicker and we keep passing cars that don’t have their headlights on. Each one makes me just a little more crazy. How could anyone forget to turn on their headlights in a fog like this? Do they WANT to die?! The fog’s dreariness has made me grumpy and I complain in a sing-songy voice to my daughter. “Oh, these silly people who don’t have their headlights on!” The cars that most vex me are the gray ones. “Hi there, you are the same color as the fog! Turn on your lights!” We crest the mountain and descent the other side, and as the fog loses some of its density so does my mood.
We get to the doctor’s in one piece and the visit lacks any real surprises; my daughter is still tall, and she still cries at any poke and prod by a nurse or the doctor. A cute addition, however, is how she hides her face in her stuffed tiger when the pediatrician enters the room and that she refuses to even look at him.
Going home, the fog is no less heavy, and the mountain road is no less undulating. I continue giving the stink-eye to every car without its headlights on. Then right about when we reach the highest point on the road, I realize that I, noble crusader for proper headlight use, have failed to turn on my own. I correct the situation and promptly die of embarrassment.
Lane’s been bugging me to get her a Barbie.
In an ideal world, she’d have no idea what a Barbie was at this point. But, she spends a fair amount of time at our neighbor’s house, where her best friend Eli lives, and he has an older sister, Jenny, who has oodles of dolls. She’s 12, which would normally be well past doll age, but she’s autistic and had outgrown the dolls but now is really into them again for reasons her mom cannot quite figure out.
We went to Target yesterday, as I was diagnosed with a raging urinary tract infection and I like to get my prescriptions filled there because their prescription packaging is way super cool. (Their bottles for oral suspension liquids are really neat, too.) We puttered around waiting for the prescriptions and Lane asked, yet again, for a Barbie doll. I finally acquiesced under a bit of duress and feeling like my bladder got sucker-punched and she got her first Barbie.
I remember hearing about this when it happened, but Barbie’s got a bit of a different body than she did when I was little. She’s gone from a DD to a C cup, in my estimations. Her waist isn’t quite so teeny-tiny. And dare I say, she’s downright bootylicious now. Her hips may be a little narrower when looking from the front, but Barbie’s got back!
I could wax philosophical about whether I felt Barbie was a detriment to a girl’s body image or self-esteem, but I won’t. Mostly because I don’t buy that line very much. I loved my Barbies when I was little, played with them a heck of a lot, and was ecstatic when I got a hand-me-down Ken from my babysitter because then I could act out all manner of crazy soap opera-esque plots with them. I fondly remember having Western Barbie, who came with a tasseled white jumpsuit and had a button on her back that when you pushed it, she winked. I’m not quite sure what was so ‘western’ about winking, but I still thought it was cool.
So Lane brought home her first Barbie, and the doll has already been loved a great deal and slept with last night. Jake’s also taken a keen interest in Barbie: he keeps stealing her when Lane’s not looking and dancing with her. It’s really quite cute.
Have you heard of it? It’s where a person automatically knee-jerks a “no” answer.
Lane is a classic example of this. We’re in the process of painting our dining room, through the requisite spackling and taping and tarping and whatnot. My job has mostly been to help in my free moments, keep the kids out of the way, and to not throw things at my mother in-law when she starts telling me I’m taping & tarping a sliding glass door before I’ve even started doing it. (Luckily I didn’t have to throw anything, since my father in-law yelled at her to shut up and just let me do it. Ha ha!)
Anyway, in an attempt to keep the wee ones occupied so I could do something to help, I tried plugging them into the boob tube. Lane wanted to watch a movie, and I had just gotten in the mail a DVD of Disney Princess Sing-Along songs, which I knew she would LOVE. Only when I tried to get her to watch it, she started screaming “NO” and crying hysterically because it was new and unknown. Mean mommy I am, I made her watch the horrifying DVD anyway, and she claimed through the whole thing not to like it.
Now that I’m somewhat incapacitated from the effort it took to regurgitate my body’s weight in bologna this morning (sorry, I said I’d keep that to myself, didn’t I?), and Jake’s equally suffering from this latest affliction, I figured a movie or two this afternoon would be a reasonable way to keep the household subdued so he and I could veg. (Actually first I tried to pawn her off on the neighbors but they had a soccer game to attend.) And what movie did Lane pick? The abhorrent princess sing-along movie.
Lane’s fourth birthday was today. I told her she could have whatever she wanted for dinner and she asked for chicken, corn, and rice. The chicken and rice parts were supplied by our favorite Chinese restaurant, and the corn was supplied by Green Giant. If she’d told me her dinner wishes before 7:00 p.m. and a day of swimming and spending Grandpa’s money in Toys R Us then maybe we could have managed homemade.
Birthdays always make me introspective, and my kids’ birthdays are no different.
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the last four years with Lane, and how they have completely upended my life. Don’t read that as a complaint – it’s not! She’s completely awesome. Oh sure, she has times – and they are frequent – where I feel like my head could explode because she can be so…. sensitive, contrary, irritable, overbearing…. sometimes all at once. But as much as she can make you wish you could run away from home sometimes, she is just as equally intense in her joie de vivre, her enthusiasm, her simple happiness. She is overwhelming, she is exhausting, and she is incredible. She is perfect. I love her like crazy.