11 April 2008

Gimme 10 Mommy kisses and 50 CCs of fairy dust, stat!

I've always known that kids have an imaginary world all their own, ever since I said goodbye to mine around 3 or so and began observing my peers much like scientific subjects, but I had no idea how far it really extended until now.

The other day, while desperately trying to finish doing our taxes once and for all (which is as difficult as you might imagine to do during the afternoon), my attention was called away to M- as she tried to insert a sticker into the Wii, possibly in an attempt to fish out the Cheerio she thought was still in there from a few days earlier. (I know, I know-- it's obvious now we're going to have to give up on the honeymoon and move the Wii somewhere out of her reach.)

Half a second after turning my attention back to the taxes, I heard M- say, "Uh-oh!" in a whimpering voice, holding her hand out with her fingers pointed awkwardly. Not as in bent or broken, mind you, just in a deliberately exaggerated position, trying to show me the back of her hand without turning her hand over.

I looked at her and asked what the problem was, and she held her hand out and said, "Uh-ohhh!" more insistently, starting to cry a bit more. It was clear she just kind of scraped or bashed her hand imperceptibly on something. But since she looked so cute and so dependent on me for rescue (this must be what mothers inherently recognize and respond to, I guess), I picked her up, kissed her hand randomly (not having any point of reference on where this injury was supposed to be), and then said, "All better!"

She stopped crying and laughed a little, reaffirming my dismissive theory, but she wasn't truly all better until D- got down from the couch (a.k.a. Toyland) and asked to see her hand for himself. She held her hand out in much the same position once again, and D- loudly drew in a deep, dramatic breath (I can't think of a way to spell it out, but we've all heard it). He then said, in a genuinely shocked and concerned voice, "Oh. My. Gosh!!!" as if she had fingers dangling off, flicking blood in every direction. M- looked very satisfied with this, though she retained the look of concern appropriate for someone who might presently die of gangrene.

I double-checked her hand as D- turned it over a couple times with a shocked look on his face, just in case I was insane, but it was 100% pure baby hand, with no sign of anything but cuteness. I felt like I was missing some kind of special gift to be able to see this horrible injury, like with those magic death horses in Harry Potter 5 (as my sister reads this I know she is stating plainly whatever they are called).

As you might imagine, all this lavish attention and validation of her concerns worked wonders, and I set M- back down for much more sympathetic hugs and kisses than I could ever manage with my bitter-old-grownup, reality-based worldview. Those two were made for each other.

5 comments:

Mary said...

Awwwwwww Maybe you need new glasses.

SherE1 said...

That's awesome! My 12 YO seems to have loss that magic of make believe, as she seems to have the hardest time playing with her younger siblings these days. It's kind of sad (and frustrating) to watch as the 12 YO stands there holding a plastic apple asking "what am I supposed to do with this?" and the younger kids have to tell her "you eat it! duh! it's a picnic! hello!" Treasure it while you can.

LiteralDan said...

I can already see the change happening-- for a 4-year-old, D- is very practical and grounded. Moments like these stand out because the rest of the time he seems so much like me, just more naive.

The other day at the park, a few girls several years older than him were playing a very intricate imagination game, and he just stood there staring at them in disbelief, much the same way I might if I weren't wearing my "Wow, that is so cool!" parent look.

I feel like your 12-year-old, trying to participate but unable to view the world with that veil. C'est la vie

Katie said...

thestrals, dan, thestrals

LiteralDan said...

Ahhhh! That's it. I racked my brain for seconds and couldn't think of it, so I gave up.