Wednesday, August 22, 2007

wherein I crush my daughter's spirit

Lilah and I were hanging out in the kitchen this evening while the boys were having their brains sucked dry watching cartoons. I was cleaning up after dinner; she was sitting on the counter, watching me and sucking her thumb.

Suddenly she whipped her thumb out of her mouth, pointed to a fly at the other end of the counter, and then held out her arms. "Fly. Hold. Lap," she said.

"Oh," I said, laughing. "You want to hold the fly in your lap!"

"Yup," she said. Her arms were still outstretched and her eyebrows were slightly raised--a look of anticipation, and also of faith. When it became clear I wasn't doing what needed to be done to fulfill her request, she started her "inh-inh-inh" sounds. Translation: Goddammit! I mean what I say!

I tried explaining to that stupid bitch sweet, innocent, delicious baby girl that you really can't hold flies in your lap, no matter how much you want to. But in her reality, the scenario was entirely plausible. There was the fly, here were her arms and her lap, what was the problem? What I was saying made no sense; it was unfair, even cruel.

She lost it, in that histrionic toddler way, throwing herself back against the cabinets and wailing. With incredible focus. And persistence. And volume.

I was eventually able to distract her by promising that she could wear one of her brothers' shirts to bed tonight over her pajamas, and come on, little lady, let's climb the stairs together and pick one out.

I so hated to disappoint her.

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