Last night at dinner we had a hard time convincing Leta that her food wasn’t going to burn a hole in her skin. Each time I brought a spoon of applesauce to her mouth she blocked me with both hands and a flimsy interpretation of someone who is having her tongue forcibly ripped from her mouth.
“I have a hard time believing you’re in that much pain,” I told her. It only made her more determined, though, so she stuck her fingers in the jar and then slapped some applesauce into her hair. She showed me! Not only is she not going to eat it but she’s also going to decorate her body in protest. Awesome. We’re raising a hippie.
Yesterday was one of those days, those many, many days, when parenthood is in constant flux between the cute and the contemptible. One moment she’s holding the remote to her ear and having an imaginary conversation ostensibly about me because every other word is Mom:
“Mom. Mom? Sum nuh nuh uh uh uh, Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom? Mom.” By the rise and fall of her intonation it sounded like, “I am looking to sell this person who gave me life. Five dollars? Make it ten and we have a deal. Her name is Mom.”
The next moment she’s sprawled on the floor beneath my feet and clinging to my ankle while wheezing a noise that can only be described as, “Iiiiiiiiiihhhhhh,” a variation of, “I am dying.” She wouldn’t let me leave her side the entire day, and if I tried she threw herself to the floor and attached herself to my leg like a parasite fish.
After she rejected the applesauce at dinner I handed Jon the spoon and indicated that it was his turn to ram his head into a brick wall. His strategy was to distract her with another spoon while he shoveled cheese-covered pasta shells into her open mouth, but each time he got close she would whip her head around or duck completely out of the way. Jon is not easily frustrated and he tried everything short of tying her arms to her side and prying her mouth open with a car jack.
He finally stood up over her, placed his hands over hers and held them tight to the tray of the high chair. He had finally reached his limit having heard her plaintive distress call all day long, and in a very measured display of indignation reminiscent of his mother said, “I think the term we’re looking for here is GODALMIGHTY.”
I agreed. “That pretty much sums up the day.”
“‘How was your day?’ ‘GODALMIGHTY.’”