My kid gets funnier by the day. Her diction improves as does her understanding of the world, and I love it. Apparently, also, however, she turned 13 sometime in the past 3 days. She has started to feel like it is her right to insert herself into this adult world as if her lack of experience, understanding & education are of no consequence, and that her context works for everything.
It is as entertaining as it is infuriating, and I FAR prefer this to the terror and chaos and frustration and anguish of the Terrible 18-months to four-years-old we experienced.
Pearl and Brad and I are eating dinner one night, and Pearl’s talking about how the kids at school hypnotize each other with their lunches. She says, “You just have to love it.” (huh?!)
She picks up my glass and says, “Mommy, follow this with your eyes. You’re getting very sleepy.”
So I start asking her if it really works, and if she’s seen any of her 6-year-old compatriots eat an onion like an apple or cluck like a chicken. She seems to be pretty confused, and Brad’s looking fairly entertained, and I’m chuckling like a madwoman.
“So what do your friends hypnotize you with?” I ask.
“My milk, my sandwich, anything I love.” (oooh.)
“Why do you do this?”
“I don’t know, mommy. Everybody does it.” she says, looking at me with incredulity, as if that’s the most obvious thing ever, and of-fucking-course.
I have a flash of mother-brilliance, and so I take the opportunity to quip some advice that I see as particularly valuable.
I say, “So Pearl, sometimes kids do mean or bad stuff, and you don’t have to do it just because everybody else is.”
“Yeah!” says Brad, “Like if anybody wants to rub your skin with an eraser, tell them no!”
“And don’t join the Pen 15 club, Pearl.”
“What’s that?” She asks.
“It’s where somebody writes a grownup word on your hand, it could get you in trouble.”
Her eyes light up devilishly, and she says, “I want to.”
“Want to what?” I ask.
“Join that club.”
“But Pearlie, I just told you it’s not a good thing to do and you could get in trouble!”
“Well it’s my choice.” She says, rolling her voice around like a marble in the back of her throat, and looking at me like I’m from the moon. So I shoot back,
“Who are you and what have you done with my sweet girl?”
“What? I just want to, mommy. I still love you.”
Oy Vey! Moms, am I right?