Archive for February, 2011

My mom was always fascinated with “birth order,” and being a kid, her kid, of course I blew it off.
But now that I have three of my own (and let’s just state here: kids are like cats; you don’t “own” them, they own you), I see the fascination.
So, let’s say you are Rosebud, the third of three girls. You can’t get attention by being a boy. You can’t get attention by being the only redhead (because your mom and oldest sister are). You can’t get attention by being sweet and quietly clever (Elizabeth snagged that role).
What, oh what, is a girl to do?
Demand it. Shout it from the rooftops. Work it, (Oh, Lord, so sorry about this, but…) gurl.
So, like, if you are three and at Disney World and it’s the Electric Parade and you are a Princess afficionado and the Cinderella float is going by, from atop Daddy’s shoulders, you cup your hand around your mouth and shout: “CINDERELLA! HEY, CINDERELLA!”
If you are at home, watching TV with your sisters, and the show is over and the theme song begins playing, you don’t tap your feet or quietly mouth the words. No way, you get off the couch and dance.
If you’re lucky to get to go to the older sisters’ school to pick them up, and you happen to get to go into the school and, well, it turns out every freaking student, teacher and Mom in the school already knows you, you come up with something.
Like when you are walking by the school office, and you see School Nurse Annie sitting way at the back, you kind of drag Daddy in there by waving to Nurse Annie and getting her to call you in.
And when you get in there, and you really have no excuse or much to talk to Nurse Annie about, but then you remember that little head lice outbreak from last fall? Well, you ponder: What would be worse, being thought a public scourge and having everyone avoid you because they think you have scabies? Yeah, that wouldn’t be good, but what if they thought nothing of you at all? That would be worse.
So, what do you do?
You catch Nurse Annie’s attention and you holler out: “I think I have lice!”
Yup, that does it. Next thing you know, the headmaster’s assistant is laughing, Nurse Annie is laughing, and you’re in Nurse Annie’s chair playing with her Super Duper Head Lice Examiner Flashlight.
And Nurse Annie is telling Daddy, “Several of us want to take this one home.”
Oh, yeah, the old “I have lice” schtick…works like a charm.

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About a week ago, late afternoon on a Sunday, around about 5 o’clock, with dinner on the stove and only minutes from being ready, a former neighbor and a friend stopped by.
It had been a while, and she just wanted to see how much the girls had grown and see the addition we put on the house.
Then the doorbell rang. Some other people stopped by: a mom and her twin daughters.
Dinner finished cooking.
Elizabeth gave the twins a tour of the upstairs of the house (yikes), and three-year-old Rosebud offered the former neighbor and friend a tour of the house.
Dinner continued to cook, or whatever dinner does after it has cooked enough.
Mom and twins left, eventually.
(I’m going to keep telling this story, mostly because I don’t think any of these people read the blog).
I’ll just speak for myself: I was ready to move things along.
I’ve done some reading on this, and a party host can achieve this by saying things like:
(Walking toward the door while talking), “Thanks for coming.”
Or, “Let’s not wait so long to get together again.”
Or, “Can’t wait until we see you again,” while simultaneously handing them their coats.
But the great thing about kids, they don’t need to fool with such obvious pleasantries.
The conversation went on, until Rosebud came into the kitchen and achieved the equivalent of blasting them out the front door with a fire hose.
“We’re having dinner now,” she said, loudly, directly, looking up at them, “AND YOU’RE NOT STAYING.”
Everyone laughed. Oh, those crazy kids.
Then, our visitors left.

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