I think this means that whatever we’re doing is working

In an effort to allow Jon and me the time needed to get ourselves and the baby packed for our whirlwind trip to Los Angeles, our assistant Katey asked if she could come pick up Leta on Sunday morning and take her to brunch for a couple of hours. And this is one of probably hundreds of reasons why we hired Katey, that she has the ability to sense what we’re going to need before we need it, and before I could even remind her about Leta’s picky palate, she was all, Heather, how long have I known this child? There will be plenty of brown and beige things on the menu.

And yes, she would monitor the mustard and ketchup and make sure that never the twain shall meet. And then we both simultaneously groaned.

All I had to do was get her dressed and ready for the pick-up, but I made sure that the path to that final destination was laden with metric tons of coffee. Because sometimes, you never know which morning it’s going to be, but it takes an act of congress to get that kid dressed. She just gets distracted by other things, and if I’m not on top of her she’ll wander back into the room and go, “Now, remind me… why did you have me go to my room?” OH I DON’T KNOW, SO THAT YOU COULD COME BACK IN HERE AND PHRASE THAT QUESTION LIKE A DEFENSE ATTORNEY.

Quick aside: we recently bought some furniture for our back patio for the sole purpose of spending our summer evenings out there as a family: the dogs running in the yard, Leta and Jon playing “princess and guard” around her swing set, and me in a chair feeding Marlo. One night after dinner I turned to Jon and said, “Shall we go outside and enjoy the evening?” And since then Leta has repeated some form of that question to us before we even take the first bite of dinner: are we going outside to enjoy the evening? Mom? MOM? We’re going outside to enjoy the evening, right? TELL ME WE’RE GOING OUTSIDE TO ENJOY THE EVENING?! To the point that both Jon and I are all OH MY GOD SHUT UP WE ARE GOING OUTSIDE TO ENJOY THE EVENING.

And holy grape nuts, if we don’t get out there and enjoy the shit out of the evening.

Before you send me email to alert me to the fact that “getting distracted by other things” is clearly an indication that Leta has ADD, let me assure you that you have clearly jutted your nose into the wrong end of my business. Leta sometimes concentrates too much on things, and when her friends jump from one activity to another with too much speed she has been known to stomp her foot and whine that so-and-so won’t keep to the task at hand. And we’re all, yeah, because so-and-so is five-years-old, and Leta is all, THAT IS NO EXCUSE.

It’s just, she’s so much like her father, The Absent-Minded Professor, that sometimes in the middle of basic everyday activities, like putting her clothes on, she remembers a thought she was having yesterday about something else, and that thought leads to another activity ENTIRELY UNRELATED TO PUTTING HER CLOTHES ON, and when I come into the room she’s got her shirt off, her pants on, and she’s sitting there having the blonde Barbie apologize to the brunette Barbie about some argument they were having yesterday. And when she looks up to see me there with my hand on my hip, my foot angrily tapping the floor, she’s all, I know, I know, give me one second, the brunette Barbie has to think about it.

Anyway, I finally get her dressed and she and Katey head out to brunch with Katey’s baby and boyfriend. Jon and I putter around for a couple hours until they return, and when they get back Katey pulls me aside, and has she ever got one to share with me… turns out there was a twenty-minute wait at the restaurant, so she had her boyfriend hold their place in line while she took Leta and the baby back to the car. She wanted to breastfeed during the wait, so she sat in the driver’s seat of the parked car and had Leta sit in the front-side passenger seat. She’s sitting there feeding the baby and can tell that Leta is really uncomfortable when Leta says with more than a little trepidation, “Katey… umm… I’m not allowed to sit in the front seat of the car.”

Katey assures her that it’s okay, the car is parked, they aren’t going anywhere, they’re there so that the baby can get her meal in privacy. A few silent seconds pass and Leta goes, “Promise me you won’t tell my mom I did this.”