Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your earmuffs

I had a lovely reunion with the children on Friday afternoon, followed by a weekend full of snuggles and kisses and "I love you, Mamas."  They had a fantastic time in Australia, which makes me so happy.  They got to meet a jillion cousins and hang out with grandparents and aunts and uncles.  They petted koalas and fed kangaroos and emus and marmosets.  They swam in rock pools.  They went to a wedding and danced.  They were admired for their intelligence and dispositions and beauty.

I talked to J almost every day they were gone, and received pictures and little videos of their activities.  A few times, Zeke was willing to get on the phone to talk to me.  Josie never was, except when she finally cracked two days before the end of the trip - she was tired and missed mama and called me crying.

I think being away from me was harder for her than she let on, and not talking to me was a way of dealing with that. Which I totally get.  I am the queen of compartmentalizing, so I'm glad that she has inherited that coping mechanism and is able to recognize what she can and can't handle in a given moment.

But since she has been back, she has been on me.  Sitting on my lap. Reaching for my hand and patting it. Crawling onto me, putting her cheek against my cheek, and then stroking my other cheek with her hand.  Given me impromptu hugs.

And all of that emotionality, combined with recovering from jet lag, coagulated this morning into a bout of insanity as we were leaving to go to school.

Unlike the East Coast, Denver is not experiencing any harsh winter weather this week.  To the contrary, it has been positively spring-like, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s (and with the dry heat and altitude, you can generally add 10 degrees to come up with a "real feel" temperature when it's sunny).

So imagine my surprise when I was getting the kids ready to go, putting them in light fleece jackets to deal with the slight morning chill that will burn off within an hour, when Josie suddenly starts to cry.

"Honey, what's wrong?" I ask.

"You never buy me ear thingies!"  she wails.

I am utterly confused.

"Ear things?  I don't understand what you're saying.  Do you want to put on a hat that covers your ears?"


I think she is talking about headphones, and that she is complaining that for her long plane trip, I got her Frozen earphones that cover your ears, rather than the little ear buds that go inside your ears. Which don't fit her anyway, because her ears and ear holes are so tiny.

"Do you want smaller headphones that go in your ears?"


"Earmuffs?  The fuzzy ones?"

"Yes!  I WANT EARMUFFS! You never buy me earmuffs!"  She is crying incredibly hard.

"Josie, you've never asked for earmuffs.  I didn't buy earmuffs because I didn't know you wanted them. And it's not cold out, anyway."

"Earmuffs!  I don't have earmuffs!"
The only true source of happiness in life.
In a tone of voice I usually reserved for people having a psychotic break, I say, "o-KAY, kids, let's go," and I usher them out the door.  She's still inconsolable about the fucking earmuffs.  Which she has never asked for.  Which no one in our family wears or has ever worn, so it's not an item of outerwear that she has ever discussed or that I even knew was on her radar.  Plus it's almost 50 degrees out when we leave the house, so it is decidedly not earmuff weather.

This completely ridiculous (to me) argument continues all the way to school.  She insists I am the world's worst mother because I am not clairvoyant and did not to buy her earmuffs to wear on a day when it will be 70 degrees and sunny.  I say I'm sorry she's unhappy, but continue to express befuddlement at the entire ordeal.  Zeke gives her funny looks, but wisely stays out of the fray.  She finally calms down when she goes into her classroom and sees her teacher.  I walk back to my car feeling like I have entered the Twilight Zone.

I guess it's just my periodic reminder that for all of her intelligence and general good-natured-ness, she is only 5 years old.  And 5 year olds are, basically, lunatics.

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