Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Copernicus, HELP!

We all woke up late yesterday.

Or so I thought. The Four-Year-Old had been up for a while, having turned on her bedside lamp.

(Imagine that frenzied panic when you look at the clock and it slowly sinks in that it is not, in fact, Saturday or Sunday and that you are, in fact, quite late. BioMom and I race around the room, jumping on one foot while trying to comb our hair and put on a sock while running into each other and the doorways. It was Lucile Ball all the way.)

This is unusual as we regularly hear May I please wake up now? or May I please turn on my lamp? from her room in the morning. Before she got her Big Girl Bed, she never even considered climbing out of the crib. We'd hear Mama? Can you please get me out now?

The politeness is a ruse.

At her parent-teacher-conference on Sunday the teachers oozed with delight over her politeness. I wanted to say You've been had!!

She's simply learned that politeness gets her stuff.

Politeness as manipulation. May I please have another cookie? (Imagine Oliver Twist looking up pathetically: Please, Sir, may I have some more?).

Anyway, of course, the rush turned into a battle:

Maggie. PUHLEASE go to the bathroom.
PUHLEASE get dressed.
PUHLEASE put on your shoes!

By the time I got her into the car, frozen waffle in hand dripping honey onto her gloves, I was sweaty and exhausted, the whole time lecturing her about not talking to your parents that way, mu moi mu moi moi moi. (Imagine the adult voice in all of the Peanuts specials).

Going around to my side of the car, I stopped by BioMom's window to write "I heart U" in the snow (yes, the snow).

When I got into the car I told Maggie to turn around and look at the 'present' I gave BioMom.

And we were off.

Or so I thought.

I soon heard sniffles from the back seat and turned around to find The Four-Year-Old sobbing.

What's the matter?

I wanted you to put that on MY window.

Needless to say, pulling over again to trace 'I heart U' on to the passenger's backseat made us even more late.

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