Thursday, May 27, 2010

Your Whole Life

Yesterday I was trying to get the kids through the turnstile at the subway, while carrying the diaper bag, stroller, library books and cup of iced coffee (the most indispensable item of all). As I am not an octopus, I found this challenging. So I asked Primo if he could hold my coffee for a second.

“Ugh,” he replied. Since I no longer have a cup holder on my stroller, this is a request I make fairly often.

“Oh come on,” I cajoled, “Just for a second.”

“OK,” he said, “but only if you promise you will never ask me again, for your whole life!”

“I don’t know about that,” I replied,” I mean, my whole life is a long time.”

“Not anymore,” he retorted.

Surely, I thought, I heard him wrong. Not only was it improbable that my five year-old would be telling me I was entering the autumn of my life, it was unlikely he’d be so cavalier about it.

“You’re already a grown up Mommy,” he explained matter-of-factly, like he was through pussyfooting around the subject.

I guess that means I can start making sweeping promises that I’ll honor the rest of my (numbered) days.

Then today I was telling him how I’d like it if we could help Nonnie make friends her age in Park Slope, and he inquired, “But YOU are elderly, aren’t you Mommy?”

Dude, I may have a few crow’s feet but come on, this shit is demoralizing.

I informed him I was not, in fact, elderly and then to help him tell the difference between ME and an elderly person, I pointed out that I wasn’t a great grandmother and I was not retired and also I didn’t have white hair.

“But you paint it yellow,” he said.

I've certainly taught the kid critical thinking but I may have overlooked teaching him mercy.