Last night’s conversations in the car included the following topics:
1. What Smarties are made of. (I had no idea, and surprisingly — distressingly — “sugar” is not the answer.)
2. How cotton candy is made. (I got this mostly right, by the way.)
3. Explaining what “Judas” and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga are about. Respectively, knowing what is good for you, but still wanting to choose what is bad for you (“Like knowing you should eat broccoli, but still wanting to eat cotton candy.” I can rock a metaphor, yo.); and accepting and loving others and yourself for what they and you are.
4. What Flora will miss about soccer, which may consist wholly of the snacks they get at half time.
Flora contradicts everything Kate says. I mean, EVERYTHING.
Kate was going to share her Smarties with her unicorn stuffed animal (“Uni”, natch) yesterday. Flora: “You mean for pretend. Uni’s not real.”
Kate was going to buckle Uni in her carseat with her, not just to be safe, but also because she didn’t want the police to get us. Flora: “The police won’t get us if Uni’s not buckled in. Uni can’t get hurt; she’s not real.”
Honestly if Kate said the sky was blue, Flora would say, “Today it’s kind of gray because of clouds.”
It’s driving me NUTS. I tried talking to Flora about it, but it hasn’t changed anything. I’m trying to let it go, because Kate could care less. Uni is as real as she needs to be, and Flora can go fly a kite. I don’t know why it’s bothering me so very much. I just wish Kate could say something — anything — without Flora jumping in and offering a contradictory view. Especially when it comes to pretend.
I’m kind of sorry I let the kids listen to “Judas”. It’s a metaphor for wanting what you know is bad for you — see above — but still, hearing your 4-year-old singing “Jesus is my virtue/Judas is the demon I cling to” warps your head a little. Whoops.
I do stand by my decision to let them hear “Born This Way” though. I don’t think there is enough love and acceptance in the world — especially of ourselves, when it comes to girls and women — so I’m encouraging that any way I can.
I want to remember all of this, all their questions, their lively debates (until hitting becomes involved), their giggles and hugs and the innocence of wondering how candy is made. I wish I could bottle their laughter now and keep it on a shelf. For later, for the teen years everyone warns me about, for when they are off in college and/or getting married and/or having their own careers/families. I *like* being in these trenches, as difficult as I find it on a macro level. I love their kid selves. I don’t want to miss a thing.
What do you want to remember most about the kids in your life? What would you put in a bottle?