Sorry for the long absence last week. Our internet was down, and I was forced to abandon all things web-related--IT WAS AWESOME! (I have no idea why these words are underlined but I can't make it stop.) I read a book in its entirety in my "spare" moments, instead of stalking a lot of other people's lives and documenting our own. I'm not saying I wasn't having withdrawals, but it was oddly freeing.
On to today. This past weekend Mary Aplin went to Dothan with Moogie and Popon while Pace stayed here in Birmingham with Jeremiah and me. I've always thought that it would be good for kids to have one-on-one time with their parents and grand-parents, but it's a hard concept to put into practice. When the grandparents offer to take the kids for the weekend it's hard to say, "No, no. Just take one and we'll keep the other." (That way neither one of us will have a kid-free weekend :), YAY!). This time though, Pace had a birthday party that she really wanted to stay in town for, and Mary Aplin was (like always) rarin' for adventure.
Y'all, it turned out to be such a sweet thing! To have Pace, all to ourselves was so fun. It was like I could see her blossoming under the undivided attention, and it was easier to be her friend instead of her just her Mom. On Saturday, I gave her the day. We got dressed up (and she picked out my dress to match hers :)), and I even let her wear a little lipstick and blush--since it was a girley day.
I learned some things over the course of the day, that I'd like to share:
1) I need to start reading more advanced books to Pace instead of always reading to the girls together.
One of the stops on our day was the library, where Pace wanted check out every scientific book on dinosaurs. Dinosaurs! What? Who knew? I was skeptical as she asked, "Aren't there dinosaurs who eat insects? I want a book about those." or "This one with the Tyranosaurus Rex looks scary; I want it!" But she listened intently as I read each detailed book. I've been way under-estimating her little mind...and being lazy because it's a lot easier to read a princess book that both she AND Dapples can understand. So, apparently, my girley-girl is in to dinosaurs.
2) My child had no concept of limited resources, and she NEEDS to learn.
I took Pace shopping at Old Navy, because I realized I'd never taken her shopping before. As in, let her pick out clothes she likes, try them on, and then buy a couple of them. COUPLE being the key word. She had zero problem having an opinion and style all her own (my dinosaur lover refused to try on anything but dresses and skirts...and swimsuits and shoes and shoes AND SHOES). As I staggered into the dressing room with the large load of her selections, she insisted that she loved each thing she tried on.
Me: Ok Pace, you have to pick. You can either have this swimsuit or this one.
Pace: But I like them both. I want them both.
Me: I am so glad you like them both but they cost money and we don't have enough money to buy both. You have to pick one.
Pace: But Mom, I love them BOTH.
I could not stop laughing. I've been wondering why my child acts like a brat at Christmas, ripping from one present to the next. IT'S BECAUSE SHE THINKS EVERYTHING SHE LIKES IS HERS!
At the end of the shopping extravaganza (which, while confused at this new concept of limits, I must say she never pitched a fit or really even whined), I explained that this is the reason Daddy works so hard. To make money, so that we can have clothes to wear and food to eat. She asked for the phone from the backseat, to call Jeremiah. And yall, it was the sweetest little conversation of thanks I've ever heard.
3) It is not ok to take your 4-year-old to a PG-13 comedy at the movie theatre.
Pace wanted to go on a real date (with Jeremiah and me) on Saturday night. I rented her a movie at the library and was planning leftovers and home-movie night, but she asked so sweetly to go to the real movies (and let's be honest, I understood her pain--since there are very few things I like more than buttered popcorn and diet coke at the movie theatre) that we caved. We were treating her for this one day after all.
However, we could not bring ourselves to fork over the large amounts of cash that it requires to see a movie as a family for something we didn't really want to see (like a cartoon about dragons). So we took our 4 year old to see Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Let me say first that it was stinkin' hilarious, and Jeremiah and I are still quoting some of the lines from the movie to each other, but there was a STRIP CLUB SCENE at the end of the movie. Nnns-K?! I tried to distract her by talking to her. Jeremiah tried covering her eyes, but the fact was she saw it. It was PG-13, so it wasn't like it was that bad, but still...the dance moves.
And just as the scene closed on the stripper-pole, Pace whispered to me with urgency, "Mom, I've GOT to go to the potty!" Please God no. Please don't make me parade from the back of the theatre and across the front with my 4-year-old as everyone is looking and judging. But it happened just like that. I actually heard one woman gasp in horror as we tiptoed by her chair. I was humiliated, and I deserved every minute of it :)
At dinner later that night, I asked Pace what her favorite part of the movie was. And here is her classic answer that made Jeremiah and me nearly fall out of the booth with laughter:
"I really liked that part when they did those funny dances and licked the pole."
Day complete. My daughter is for sure going to hang up the dream of being a paleontologist, to dance on a stripper pole.