Monday, February 8, 2010

Underwear on the outside and other forms of fun

We had one of those All-About-the-Kids weekends where I basically functioned as a chauffeur, ushering the children from one diverting event to the next. Except that since we live in New York, I’m a chauffeur without a car, so it is my body that does the labor -- pushing the stroller, carrying the child on piggyback or dragging them forward by the hand, since their natural rate of walking is about twenty feet an hour. Add onto that the snow, 20 degree weather and the fact that all of us have been hit with a whopper of a late-winter cold and you get one cranky mommy on Monday morning.

Saturday was back-to-back- birthday parties, culminating in a dinner party where Primo had the time of his life playing with the daughters of my high school best friend. Apparently, the time of his life hinges on him wearing his underwear on the OUTSIDE of his pants so that he looks like a superhero. The upside of having a five year-old is when you go to dinner parties of friends with kids, they can all vanish into the basement and play together happily without your direction. The downside is that sometimes this playing involves the brief removal of all of their clothes.

Seconda, meanwhile, had the time of her life with the best playmate she’s ever had – herself. Her favorite pastime now is to carry on long and involved conversations with herself. Other people talk to her but she shuns them in favor of this internal repartee. It is as though she is so woefully disappointed by the conversational skill other people display that she’s resorted to just picking up their slack and playing their part too. Usually these conversations involve her berating and belittling characters like the evil stepmother from Snow White, or when she’s in a more magnanimous mood, reciting a list of all the things they cannot do.

“I’m sorry but you CAN’T have any mac n’ cheese stepmudder because you are TOO evil. No no no, you just can’t . . . if you say that one more time, I’m gonna give you a TIME OUT. No! Stepmudder you are driving me NUTS!”

Am I concerned about the fact that my daughter
A. Is fixated on the evil characters from every story?
B. Has well-developed conversations with them?

No, I am not. Because at least she’s not eating my lipstick or painting her face with nail polish..

I have noticed that her imaginary conversations have become more hostile, almost bordering on abusive lately. This corresponds to the fact that she’s been experimenting with telling me and others that she “hates” them and though I’m not one for censorship I consider hate more or less a curse word when it comes to leveling it against real people. The same goes for “shut up.” Is there anything more of a horror show that your 2 year-old telling you to “Shut up!” It’s worse than the f-bomb. So we shut that down right away.
But now she’s figured out a loophole, and that is to use all this nasty language with her imaginary friends, and I can’t really object to that, now can I, since they are A. homicidal maniacs and B. pretend?

“SHUT UP URSULA! You’re a BAD sea witch and I hate you!!!! If you don’t SHUT UP, I’m gonna kick you! BAAAAAD URSULA who I HAAAAAATE!!!!!”

Everyone needs a catharsis.