I have two daughters, Lovey and Sweet Pea. One is 4. One is 6. One is biological. One is adopted. One is “OK, mommy“…“You got it, mommy“…“I‘m a good girl, mommy!” and one is trying to kill me.
My 6 year old, Sweet Pea, is from China. Before Sweet Pea, it seemed every kid I ever saw who was from China was a sweet, mild tempered, smart child. I am telling you, EVERY KID I ever met who was from China was like that. I figured if I could get a kid like that, I could have a kid like that.
But that’s not how it works.
Don’t get me wrong. My Sweet Pea is delicious and if she’s with YOU, she’s perfect. She’s all “Um, excuse me, may I please have a napkin, I like your dress” all really sweet and nice… but when she’s with us, it’s different. The other day I walked into the kitchen and found little Lovey in a defeated heap on the floor, crying, because Sweet Pea decided she wanted the seat Lovey was in and she figured pushing her off would be the most effective way to get there. I mean….why? WHY?!?!?
…But that’s what big sisters do.
There are times, though, when Sweet Pea makes me angry, really angry, and I vow to stay angry for a while so she gets it. I’d say if Sweet Pea HAD to pick the smartest time of the day to upset Mommy, that would be morning time, on school days. The reason I say it’s the “smartest” time is because in the mornings, I don’t get a lot of time to hold onto my anger. She’s leaving for school soon and who wants to send their kid off to school with an upset mommy?
The thing is, there are some mornings when she will do something that makes me mad, and it’s usually because she wakes up in a yucky mood. I like the mornings where she wakes up on her own. On those days, the chances of her being in a good mood are better than the days when I have to physically go in her room and wake her.
I don’t like those days.
With each step to her room, I feel the impending doom of what lies beneath her covers. It’s almost always never good. But still I try…I put on a brave face and I go in there.
Me: Good morning, love! How was your sleep? Are you excited for today? Today is going to be such a fun day!! You have art today and a good lunch and I’m going to pick you up from school, and then you’re going to have a fun playdate, and maybe she can stay for dinner… What do you think? Ok, let’s get up. Ok, honey? Let’s get up.
Sweet Pea: I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired. I didn’t sleep AT ALL last night. (That’s a lie, she sleeps hard.) And you don’t know how much work first grade is!!! I mean we get to school and have to work ALL day and then I take the bus home and it’s like 1700 and 50 million hours and I’m SO tired. And then I have SO much homework. You don’t understand. It’s so hard. And I don’t want to get up, I don‘t LIKE getting up. I don’t LIKE school and I DON’T LIKE Eminem’s new song!”
Me: Listen up, Miss Thang. I don’t care about all that other stuff, but we do NOT speak ill of Eminem’s new song. Now GET UP. I mean it, NOW. Go potty and get dressed. NOW. We are going to be late and I still need to get your sister up and get her dressed and make you guys breakfast and if you don’t get up NOW I’m going to make you wear jeans (she hates jeans) for the next three days. And you know I’ll do it.
And even though she, reluctantly, gets up–things don’t usually get better from there. And what’s more, now I‘m in a mood too. Thanks, Sweet Pea! Thankfully, I have Little Lovey who is all “Good morning, mommy! I had a dream that a rainbow princess came into my room and talked to me and she was so nice and so pretty and I love you and daddy and Floydie and my sister. I love everyone!!“
But even that‘s not enough to get me back to good because Sweet Pea is still “UH-UH-UH, GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT, STOMP STOMP STOMP“ and complaining about everything and blaming random, weird stuff on her little sister who, incidentally, isn‘t even in the room– or IN THE VICINITY. It‘s all so unbelievable and exhausting and unnecessary.
I can’t believe she would make me this mad in the morning!! Why does she do that?!? I’m SO not being nice to her on the way to the bus stop!!”
Except that never happens because for some reason, no matter what has transpired that morning, no matter what it was that she did that made me so angry, so crazy–when we cross the threshold from the garage to the driveway and Sweet Pea slips her little hand in mine and reminds me to grab a “poop bag” for Floyd Coden, all is forgotten.
The walk to the bus stop is only about 7 minutes from our house, but those 7 minutes are precious. It’s just me and Sweet Pea and Floyd Coden. We have 7 minutes to discuss what happened that morning that made mommy so angry (that usually lasts about 2 minutes). Then we have 1 minute for me to discuss why “Cats in the Cradle” is a hard song for mommy to hear because it reminds me of my dad, but I know she loves it, but maybe we don’t have to listen to it 20 times in a row…? and then we have 4 minutes to talk about how Sweet Pea loves Areg, but she also still loves Derek but Derek doesn’t love her (he loves Lydia) but he was throwing rocks at Sweet Pea’s bus window yesterday so I don‘t know…
Some days we quote lines from “Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse,” or we laugh about something funny Lovey did. Lately, she has been asking about smoking so we discuss how it used to be cool when I was a kid, but now it’s just gross and stinky and nasty and so NOT COOL so DON’T EVER DO IT because it’s disgusting and no one smokes anymore. “Just Say No!” But one quick thing, honey…Mommy kind of still has one a day. You see, Mommy is grandfathered in because Mommy started smoking a million years ago and it was cool then, but now it’s not so Mommy stopped, except for one (maybe two) a day, but don’t bug her about it, and don’t ever do it because it’s gross and you’ll have yellow teeth.
We talk about how proud I am of her for having good manners when she’s not with us. (Even though it comes off kind of fake and eventually it’s going to annoy the hell out of her friends. What up, Eddie Haskell?)
But what we talk about most is how FREAKING CRAZY it is that she and I can be so different, but at the same time, so much alike. I mean for the love of G-D, the kid is from CHINA and from some other person‘s body, but in so many ways, we are exactly alike.
It is CUH-RA-ZEE. And then we laugh because it‘s so funny that we‘re so much alike….and then I cry because it‘s so NOT funny that we’re so much alike, and if she continues to be like me, my future is going to be HELL– and then I squeeze her face, give her a kiss and she gets on the bus.
And that’s it. And I miss her so much, I can’t deal.
Until 5 minutes after she gets done with school.
And then I’m convinced she’s trying to kill me again.
Thanks for being here!
Facebook : DimSumandDoughnuts