Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Always, always, ALWAYS

I wanted to write something for Mom for Mother's Day. Something funny. But I want to write about this first.

One of my friends sent us a surprise package- wooly treats for Mom and Me from Maryland Sheep & Wool, and a stuffed "tangaroo" for Genevieve- complete with a joey in her pouch. (Sadly, along with other amazing developmental and verbal leaps, Genevieve no longer says "tangaroo".)

"AND a box!"
Genevieve was *thrilled*- she's fascinated by the ideas of kangaroos. She knows they're mammals, thinks hopping like a kangaroo is the bee's knees, and thinks it is AMAZING that they have their babies in a pouch.


It's a fantastic toy, deliciously soft, good weight, with a friendly face. The joey comes out of the pouch, so (against my better judgement) at Genevieve's request, I cut the tags and all the plastic connectors.

"Soft ears!"

Thus began JoeyWatch 2014- where every adult in the house was informed of their part in making sure that (a) the joey didn't get lost and (b) the dogs didn't get a hold of this particularly delicious morsel.

"The same!"
... Which lasted exactly four days before disaster struck. We were putting toys away before bed last night (as usual), and Genevieve noticed that the joey wasn't with Mama Kangaroo.
"Where baby kangaroo?" she asked me.
"Well," I said, regurgitating one of my mother's aphorisms, "I'm sure he'll turn up while we're picking up the toys."
We cleaned and cleaned. No joey. We cleaned the living room. No joey. We cleaned her bedroom. No joey. We cleaned the Big Bedroom. No joey. 

This caused some major bedtime issues, and led to a conversation I wish I had never had to have.
"Baby kangaroo is missing," Genevieve said.
"I'm sure he'll turn up," I said, "I'll look for him some more, later."
"Mama kangaroo doesn't love her baby anymore?" Genevieve asked, very upset.
And then I had a moment, where - simultaneously - my heart broke, and I was OUTRAGED that she had overheard from someone that mamas may stop loving their babies someday.
"Never, never, never," I said, snuggling her a little tighter, "Mamas always, ALWAYS love their babies. I'm sure she's worried about where her baby is and misses him very much. If you were missing, I would never stop looking for you until I found you."

"You help find him?" she asked.
"I will find him," I promised.   
After she went to sleep, I checked the usual places, and sure enough, the joey had fallen between the slats and under the (decorative and unused but for play) toddler bed, and the joey was less than 18 inches from his mother the whole time. I breathed a deep sigh of relief as I tucked him back in his mother's pouch and, mission accomplished, got myself ready for bed.

This morning, when Genevieve woke up (and informed SuperAndrew and me that it was time to "Get movin'! I go get my clothes.") I told her to check Mama Kangaroo.

Happy feet padded down and back our hallway.

"She SO HAPPY to have her baby!" she told me, overjoyed at the reunion, her world back in order.

This is - obviously - not a tale of heroics, but rather, one of love. I don't care if she doesn't remember the specifics, as long she she remembers that I always, always, ALWAYS love her. Because that's what mamas do.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Really happy

On a good weekend, we make a list of things we want to get done, and then schedule the time for it. A big part of the scheduling is (a) if Genevieve can help or (b) if she needs to be otherwise occupied.

I have a complicated relationship with nature and the outdoors, so the yard is SuperAndrew's purview. I think he likes it; I imagine it is very meditative work, the way I feel about folding laundry.

SuperAndrew asked me *something* about pruning the roses, and I suggested that he cut a few for his beautiful wife, because it might make her happy. (Sometimes, when you live in a house with ten enormous rose bushes, you forget that cutting them and bringing them indoors can make a person happy.)

Genevieve was curious to see what SuperAndrew was doing, so we went outside to investigate. Given that our rosebushes have nasty, nasty sharp thorns, and SuperAndrew was using extremely sharp tools, we had the following conversation:

Me: The rosebushes have sharp thorns. Should you touch them?
G: No.
Me: Who touches the rosebushes?
G: Only Daddy. And Mommy.
Me: Right. Who touches the sharp tools?
G: Only Daddy.
Me: Right again.
Once we were outside, watching SuperAndrew, he brought me a rose, and Genevieve said, "Me too, peeeease!"

And then, as SuperAndrew would bring roses over, Genevieve would claim them. (She ended up with six. I ended with two.)**

It turns out, like many of us, Genevieve LOVES getting roses.

Very appreciative
One of the things I do all day long is to remind and reinforce the use of our beautiful manners. To my delight and surprise, Genevieve proceeded to repeat the following phrases (over and over and over) at SuperAndrew. In volumes.

"Smell veyyy good"= "Smells very good"

Aaaank you! Veyyyyy happy!= "Thank you! Very happy!"

Make me happy!= "These make me happy"

And then we enjoyed the roses. We counted the roses. We twirled with the roses. We smelled the roses. When we were done, Gramzie facilitated the placement of the roses in a vase.





Genevieve, while watching me finish this post, "Daddy cut fowwers. Made me reeeeeey happy."

It really doesn't take much, does it?

**For concerned parties, all but one of our rosebushes have roses without thorns. Genevieve *very graciously* let me keep the rose with thorns.