Friday, January 28, 2011

she isnt 30

those of you who know me or have spent anytime around my beloved, wicked smaht peach, know i have talked to her like she's 30 since they placed her in my right arm just over 5 years ago (the left was still holding my puke pan from labor). she has always been a pretty mature, insightful kid who is destined to be much brighter than either one of her parents. and im okay with that. in fact, i have thoroughly enjoyed her grown up logic and all of the ways it has made me think harder and faster and often times more thoughtfully about so many of life's complexities. however, every now and then, i am reminded in the most obvious of ways that she is, after all, barely 5. and although she may have some surprisingly advanced logic, at her core, she is a child, navigating this little happy world of hers with the heart and mind of a little person with limited life experience.

back in late december, while planning her upcoming january birthday bash, i asked the peach which 5 friends she would like to invite to her party. the rule at our house for these early years is the number of kids she invites needs to coincide with the age she is turning (go ahead and put your judgment away). so she rattles off her five friends and then quickly adds that she would like to invite one more. most responsible parents would simply remind their child of the rule and move on. however, this girl has me so well trained that i rarely to never give her that simple of an answer. i now predict the ensuing 3 follow up questions and try to include those answers in my initial response. sooo, i told her that i understood her dilemma and if for some reason, one of her five friends rsvpd 'no', that we would certainly extend an invite to this sixth friend. done and done. no further questions.

fast forward a couple of weeks to the hallway at gks preschool where im picking her up. while wrestling her coat, hat and mittens on, she enthusiastically tells me of some really 'great news'. when i asked what it was, she said, 'well, i told #6 today that if one of my 5 friends couldnt come, she got to be invited to my party and she thought that sounded great!' crap. of course she did. a quick scan thankfully revealed no sign of friend #6 or her mother. i grabbed her backpack and lunchbox and clumsily tried to take my own large foot out of her sweet little mouth. really, gk? really? why in the world did you say that to her?? but i knew the answer. its because shes a kid. excited about her party and anxious to get the guest list firmed up (she is at times her mothers daughter). and of course, she'd been given, perhaps in hindsight, a little too much information.

i had no words and really didnt want to have any part of this conversation in our busy little hallway, so i did what any responsible parent who was gripped by the fear of not knowing what she could possible say next would do. i scooped her up and rushed her out the door of the school like it was on fire. once in the car, i took advantage of the short ride home to talk about potential hurt feelings and why we would happily make an exception this year for this sweet, sixth friend of hers. and i couldnt help but remind myself that while she may seem older and wiser and more equipped for the world most days, that at the end of this day i am profoundly grateful that she is still simply 5. sweet. smart. shoving my foot in my mouth for me. five.