I Used To Want To Be Like You

Most days I am just delighted that Chica gets to go to the same school as me.  I enjoy the funny conversations she carries on early in the morning with my friends who make over her each day.  I look forward to lunch and extra recess time because I might catch her eye and give her an “Air Fist Bump Explosion”, our not-so-secret long distance hand shake we decided on at the beginning of the year.  I’m thankful too for little glimpses into her budding friendships with a rainbow of classmates.  But every once in a while it’s hard.

This afternoon I was feeling a little more pressure than normal because I knew my 8:15 meeting tomorrow morning would cut into my usual prep time.  Chica was flitting around my room sharpening pencils, laying on our exercise balls, and snacking on two leftover bags of Cheerios at the same time.  Some days when she hangs out in my room after school she is completely focused on something, and I hear nothing from her.  Last week I got at least three solid days of peace from a bag of dried beans and a few imitation Beanie Babies.  Today was a different story.

I’m definitely not proud of this moment, but here’s how it went down…

Chica finds a number balance on the counter and the floodgates open, pouring out the questions in full force.  Picture me at my computer organizing a pile of checks and receipts for our field trip, giving Chica only about 1/32 of my attention.

Chica:  What’s this?
Me:  It’s a balance.
Chica:  What’s a balance?
Me:  It’s a math thing.
Chica:  What’s it do?
Me:  Math.
Chica:  What’s this arrow for?
Me:  I don’t know.
Chica:  What’s this red part for?
Me:  I don’t know.
Chica:  Is the 10 a secret?
Me:  What?  I don’t know what you are talking about.
Chica:  The 10’s a secret, right?
Me:  I don’t know.
Chica:  What’s this thing called again?
Me:  A balance.
Chica:  Why do you have it?
Me:  (Thinking…maybe if I ignore her, she’ll stop.)
Chica:  How do you work it?
Chica:  What’s this white part for?
Chica:  Why does it have this?
Me:  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I. DON’T. KNOW.  You are making me CRAZY.  You are really making me really really crazy.  I have work to do and you are asking me a million questions and I can’t concentrate and you are making me crazy so can you please just stop the questions so I can work?  Find something quiet to do that doesn’t involve asking so many questions.  PLEASE!

Yeah.  So, I really did say that.  Ouch.

Apparently she gets the picture, and the questions stop, but next I hear from behind me the clickety-clack of her fingers on the keyboard.

Chica:  (Composing an e-mail aloud as she types…)  Dear Mrs. Proffitt,  I used to want to be like you, but now I don’t want to be like you.

Yep.  She really did say that.  Double ouch.

At some other point today Chica and I talked about forgiveness.  She wanted to know if I would always always forgive her, not matter what “bad stuff” she did.  I told her I would, and I hoped sincerely that I will keep my promise to her on that one.  I forgave her today for asking a million questions, and she forgave me for yelling.  Phew.

I’m thankful tonight that I can count on always always being forgiven by the only perfect parent that exists….no matter what “bad stuff” I do.

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