Remember naked Moana from yesterday? I’d be failing you if I didn’t tell you the whole naked Moana story.But first, some background.
It turns out that every Friday is show-and-tell day in my 4-year-old’s preschool room. I didn’t know and I was intrigued. What exactly had my kid bringing to class show-and-tell these last few weeks?
A recent Friday I asked if she shared anything. “Yes, mommy of course! I brought a chip clip!”
“Yes, a chip-clip!”
(That’s right, my four-year-old brought to school a bag-clip thing you use to keep your bag of Lays closed.) I was a little worried.
“Oh wow a chip clip, huh? So what did your classmates say when you showed them the clip?”
“They said it was red!”
It was indeed.
This is where I should’ve known better and stayed out of my daughter’s affairs. Let the child bring whatever object she likes! Stop worrying about the potential frowns of her peers who perhaps don’t appreciate the fine spring mechanisms of the chip clip. My commitment to raising a resilient child rather than a child protected from every hurt was suddenly thrown out the window. Buh-bye!
After that Friday I started reminding her that Friday was show-and-tell day. Which brings us to naked Moana.
We were running late that particular Friday. I reminded my daughter it was show-and-tell day and I started suggesting toys within my sight: how about curious George? Or her toy camera?
She grabbed Moana. Moana was missing her skirt. Are you sure you want to bring Moana? Yes, she was sure.
(I don’t need to tell you that Moana’s skirt was nowhere in sight.)
I made a split-second decision–we would take (half-naked) Moana to school. I mean, all kids play with half-naked dolls, right?
When we arrived to preschool the other kids greeted my kid. . .by lifting their shirts and exclaiming LOOK AT MY SWIMSUIT! Friday also happened to be “water day” where they could wear a swimsuit and play in sprinklers and kiddie pools. My kid lifted her dress and showed her suit to her teacher, Miss M. Miss M. looked slightly horrified and said, they are always such exhibitionists on swim day!
Before I continue, let me tell you about Miss M. She is a grandmother of two. She loves to tell stories and teases the children about how all birthdays are going to be cancelled except hers, which is met with roars of laughter and NO MISS M!! At a recent school event with parents Miss M. read aloud a book about a bunny and when finished said in a conspiring tone to the parents, “I have another story about a bunny–how my father once held a party for his friends and had someone dress up as a bunny to convince the drunk guests they were REALLY losing it, but that is a story for another day!”
So when I casually mentioned to Miss M that speaking of exhibitionists, “Oh hey, Z. brought a half-naked Moana doll for show and tell, aren’t kids hilarious?” I was not expecting her to freak out.
But freak out she did.
To make matters worse, somewhere between home and school, Moana’s bikini top flittered away and Moana went from being half-naked Moana to becoming Full Monty Moana.
I’ve never seen Miss M look so appalled.
I was squirming now.
Oh, well all kids end up playing with these dolls naked, right? I bet the kids won’t even notice, I laughed nervously.
Miss M’s face: still horrified.
“Oh, well you just don’t know what they will grab to bring for show and tell do you! I didn’t even realize she grabbed the naked doll, silly me!” (YES I TOTALLY THREW MY KID UNDER THE BUS.)
I just kept talking and talking as one tends to do when situations are awkward. I finally realizedmaybe it hadn’t been entirely appropriateto bring this doll to show-and-tell. I asked Miss M if she wanted me to take it home with me– because really, I could, no problem!
No, no, it was fine, she assured me, still with her deer-in-headlights look.
This is the story of how I learned to BUTT-OUT OF SHOW-AND-TELL. Don’t ask, don’t tell.Sure, kiddo, bring more chip clips!
(And hey, do you have an extra one? Maybe I’ll use one to keep my mouth shut.)
After all this transpired I ran into another parent and mentioned the Moana incident. The parent laughed and said, yeah, one day their daughter brought azippered jacket to class show-and-tell. Huh.
Turns out that four-year-olds know exactly what they are doing thank-you-very-much. Chip clips welcome. Naked Moanas, not so much.
As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo.Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.:Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me:DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me:Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
That was the three-year-old in response to stuffing being placed on her thanksgiving plate. The nerve! You don’t even want to hear what she said about the celery.
(She did however find Redi-whip to be quite to her liking. She ran around the house with it clutched in her hands and squealing. It took three of us to corner her and grab the can before total-and-utter-whipped-cream-chaos ensued.)
1. the Canadians are back! the Canadians are back! Our Canadians (that’s what we call them) who live down the street have returned from Montreal. They have a huge, sweet brown dog named Buddy. They are polite and their country’s leader is Justin Trudeau. I want them to adopt me.
2. My daughter’s preschool had a thanksgiving lunch today (aww!) and the kids sang us songs. It was super cute. One staff member made a huge rice krispy treat dessert shaped like a turkey. It sounds weird, but It. Was. Awesome.
3. My painted buntings are now friends with my mourning dove. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!
…and one reason to laugh/cry:
1. I discovered gray hairs in my eyebrows today. MY EYEBROWS. As the kids say, “what the actual f@”!?”
Thankfully I see my hairstylist Monday. She may or may not tint my brows which is technically not allowed in Florida (we regulate eyebrows more than gun purchases), but she takes care of me. Actually this is a reason to smile.
Flashback to 1983.My parents are watching Dallas in the basement with their friends. I’m at the top of the stairs, trying not to squeak the steps, hunched in a nightgown with my knees pulled tight. Of course my mom sees me and yep, she is upset. Despite her frustration she lets me sit on the floor and join them in watching the number one show of 1983.
My mom had to do this a lot–put up with a kid who was awake until all hours of the night. Usually it was just the two of us. She’d let me watch Love Boat on the tiny black and white TV in our kitchen while she made popcorn. Initially she would be exasperated (Of COURSE she was, adult Sarah gets it now!) but she always softened and lovingly let me join her in her late night routine.
Let me write it out right here in case my prayers haven’t reached my mother: MOM I AM SO SORRY FOR WHAT I PUT YOU THROUGH. MOM HOW DID YOU DO IT. MOM YOU POOR WOMAN YOU NEVER. GOT. A. BREAK!
Why the mea culpas? Because now I’m in her shoes. My almost-four-year-old is having what I jokingly refer to as the “four-year sleep regression.” She is awake approximately 99.98% of our waking hours. No break from the kid. No down time. And let me tell you, as an introvert this is so hard.
How am I responding to it all? I’m trying to model my mom’s love. (She still teaches me.When people say love never dies, that it extends forever, this is what they mean.) Lately I’m following her lead as much as I can. Like her, I’m surrendering to the fact that my kiddo won’t sleep and there isn’t much I can do about that fact. I might as well make some popcorn for her while she sits on the floor to join in watching Jane the Virgin.
I have a feeling she may someday look back fondly on these moments. I have a hunch I just might, too.
Nobody is getting sleep in our house lately. The kid seems to be getting too much sleep at preschool nap time plus allergies and colds and high-spirited-child. No sleep. No time for watching Jane the Virgin before bed. (Me, not the child.)
Ok, I’m done whining.
But first, a story. A humorous story where I thought I could perhaps FIX this lack of sleep thing!