Thursday, April 30, 2015

I swear I don't have a (consistent) favorite

I went back through a couple years' of Facebook posts the other day. I started just to make sure my last post didn't show me for a complete hypocrite, but then I got sucked in to the memories. It's 75% Emmy doing something bizarre, 20% Grace saying something disturbing/weirdly adult, and 15% me blundering around like an idiot. Grace will think she is the less favored child someday (sweetie, I swear you're not; it's just that you're not entertaining fodder most of the time). If there's ever an archive feature to Facebook, and if I ever want to resurrect the person I was 5, 10, 15 years ago.

I don't.

It's weird how I look back at things I've said, thought, written just a few years ago and always think, "Wow. I was stupid/mean/judgy/not funny." Sometimes all of those.

I think part of the reason I don't write much anymore is that I don't have much to say that translates well to the blog format. I can be funny in the moment, or if I have a topic, but writing just to write is hard for me now.

I used to try to make complaining funny, but most of the time it isn't anymore. It just sounds whiny to me. The things I have to complain about, I mean. Many of you have Real Things going on. That's what this space is for. My life is by no means perfect, but complaining about it sometimes seems like the equivalent of a robust American telling a room full of Eritreans that he's "starving."

(this doesn't mean I don't complain, ever; it just seems narcissistic to make a whole entry about the mildly inconvenient road construction going on in our neighborhood)

So, back to Facebook. I had NO IDEA how weird Emmy seems, until I re-remembered her only through status updates. She is super weird, for sure, but nothing that will land her in a home when she's an adult (*please oh please oh please*). But to read about her only through me, you would think she did nothing but shout random words in between chewing carpet and falling down stairs.

Emmy is surprisingly clever. I know this because I catch her hiding it. On purpose.

One of her preschool teachers told me last fall that she can read a few (small) words and has memorized several of the storybooks at school. I told her I didn't even think Emmy knew the names and sounds of most of her letters ("Emmy, what does double-u say?" *blank stare* "...Du-?"). Ever since, I've been waiting and waiting for this ability to appear at home, and it didn't... until we bought a lift-the-flap dinosaur book, and all of a sudden she is all about reading that to me. It's obvious she's been hiding it because she knows it means she'll be expected to do things. In order to get full access to this amazing book, she knows she has to sit with me and read it.

(I'm sure she showed her cards sooner at school because she's in love with one of the teachers and will do anything to gain her favor.)

When she was a toddler, everyone at church thought she couldn't talk. We would swear that she could, and just wouldn't away from home, but it was getting to the point where it was like, "The W's are in denial. Should we maybe have a gentle talk with them?" But because Emmy didn't talk, people would just do things for her. She was fat and cute and scowly (in a cute way). Of course you want to give her snacks.

So one day in the nursery, one of the little girls had lost her cup. Emmy was off in a corner by herself hoarding some toys or whittling a shiv. They were looking all over for several minutes while she was completely silent (as usual). Finally, in exasperation, she turned around, pointed to a high shelf across the room and said, "It's RIGHT there!" and went back to playing.

Girl is wily, is all I'm saying. She's manic pixie adorable preschooler on the outside, but mad scientist on the inside. I think realistically the only thing I can hope for is that she doesn't explode something important someday.

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