Friday, June 22, 2012

Wet Happened?

Mackenzie is a human sponge lately... absorbing more than I ever thought a 2 year old was capable of. She's repeating everything she hears (not so great when she has a mother who still needs to curb her potty mouth), remembering small details from throughout the day (not so great when she tells daddy that mommy tooted that afternoon), and asking a million and one questions (not so great when mommy is sleep-deprived and the patience tank is running on empty).
As we were leaving a restaurant last week after a nice family dinner where all the chips seemed to fall into place and the four of us actually managed to join the rest of the world for an hour of normalcy, Mackenzie ever-so-sweetly pointed aimlessly and asked, "What's this, Mommy?"
"What's what, Mackenzie?"
"This," she said, again pointing at nothing in particular.
"This is life," I half sighed, for no reason other than lack of a better answer.
Doug laughed, shaking his head. I guess I wasn't very convincing.
I thought about my answer.
Seemed to me like a reasonable response. Then I thought about Mackenzie's question and I thought about my answer again.
Why wasn't I clever?
Why didn't I take her breath away with some fairy tale explanation?
Because I'm a mom just like many of you. And sometimes we don't have all the answers despite the cold, hard fact that moms are supposed to have all the answers.
It dawned on me that before long Mackenzie will be asking why the sky is blue, why the grass is green, why, why, why...
And I realize I'm going to need to polish up on my storytelling skills.
You'd think that I would've worked on them in the week since the big "life" lesson.
But you know me better than that.
This afternoon Mackenzie helped me water the flowers... a little ritual we've started together. The only issue is that watering the flowers basically translates to Mackenzie watering her clothes and shoes.
She watched herself pour the water onto her feet, and immediately turned sour realizing that she had nothing left in her can.
"Wet happened?" she asked, looking confused and sad.
Of course, she wanted to know WHAT happened... but in her darling little toddler voice the "what" was "wet".
I explained that yes, in fact, wet happened. Wet happened all over her feet which were still soiled from the playground. And now we had to clean her feet before we tracked mud through the house. And we had to do it quickly because her poor little brother was all alone inside taking a nap.
Like she cared.
All she wanted was more water to dump all over herself.
Which is exactly what I gave her.
And she was a happy little girl again.
And I realized that I may not have all the answers all the time. That I might take the lazy route sometimes because I'm too tired to use my imagination. That I may be cynical sometimes because I miss the days where dinner out on a Saturday night meant great adult conversation paired with enjoyable adult beverages... and it didn't involve coloring between courses or counting the cars that passed out the window.
But I also realized that more often than not I love teaching an inquisitive and curious little person about the world and all its wonder. And I love seeing the look on her face when she discovers something new.

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