The Golden Girl

She found them as she was rummaging through the sensory table in my toddler classroom: little pebbles spray painted gold to inspire fantasies of pirates and buried treasure in the imaginations of littles. It worked, I guess, because she scooped three of them up carefully, washed them in the sink, and clutched them to her chest. 

“Can I keep them at home, mom?” she asked without whining.

I nodded and asked her to help me take the excess sand from the sensory table out to the playground and dump it. 

“Can I take my treasure?”

I nodded, again.

I was dumping sand when a pair of bouncing brunette braids appeared and said, “hey Scout’s mom? Can I have a gold rock too?”
Before I could reply, two other preschoolers flanked the girl with the braids and added their pleas for some treasure. 

I giggled a little, knowing what they wanted was literally the rocks they were standing on with just a bit of paint. Just the simplicity of it made me smile. 

“Guys, I don’t have any gold rocks. Scout has the last three.”

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have put her on the spot like that. I saw my mistake unfold as the three begged earnestly for just one rock, pleeeeeaaaase. 

Scout looked at me and grinned nervously. I was about to step in when she said, “well I only have three and if I give you each one, I won’t have any.”

Math, y’all. My preschooler just mathed. I was distracted by her awesomeness and achievement in an area I continue to struggle to this day. 
Regardless, she paused a moment and then handed each one of her friends a shining pebble, subsequently making their entire lives it would seem from the squeals and cheers that erupted. 

I was stunned. Math and selflessness? She’s not mine. Check the hospital records.
We walked back from the playground and I praised her like the fan-girl I am for being so awesome and cool and such a great friend. She just grinned at me and said, “I love you, mommy.”

Tonight we read a story together and I cuddled in next to her as she sucked her thumb and gently rubbed my arm with her fingertips. I asked her why she chose to give her friends her rocks, because I hadn’t thought to ask her before. 

“I’m not sure,” she said with her eyebrows furrowed together. 
I patted her curls and kissed her forehead to tell her that reply would suffice. Not everything has to have a reason, sometimes it just is. 

 She had been quiet for several minutes and I thought she was asleep when she said “mommy?” much more alert than I had expected. 
I was a little annoyed when I responded, “You’re not asleep? What?
She cuddled in and and whispered, “you’re my favorite kind of gold.”

*photo credit: Sum and Substance Photography.

From Frog to Swan

It’s my son’s first day at day care.

This shouldn’t be nearly as nerve-wracking as it is, considering I WORK AT HIS DAYCARE. No, seriously, I share a window with his classroom. I can literally see him at any point in the day. Nonetheless, I’m anxious as I load him into his car seat and he gnaws his Sophie the Giaraffe unknowingly.  

His sister is in a mood.  As we drive past the turn that would take us to gramma’s house, she sounds off in the backseat.

“Um. Where are we going?” She lisps through her lose front tooth.

“We’re going to school.”

“But baby Weston is still here. You forgot to take him to gramma’s.”

“No, Scout, remember? We talked about it last night. He’s going to school today too.”

It should give you a clue into her personality that I felt the need to talk the baby’s schedule over with her the night before.

“Oh. Right.” *paused for thought and possibly dramatic effect* “Well, I don’t think he should go to school.”

“Huh. Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but gramma is out of town so he has to go to school. There’s no where else for him to go while I’m at work.”

“You could keep him home.”

It may sound like a suggestion, but let me be clear, it is not.

“Nope, I can’t. I have to go to work.”

“But he’s going to need you! He’s just a baby!”

This is not helping my anxiety.

“He’s going to be so well taken care of,” I assure her. “He won’t miss me at all. He will be so busy playing!”

“If you don’t take him home, I’m going to turn you into a frog!”

That escalated quickly. 

“I don’t think that will solve your problem.”

“Well, I’ll wait until you’re done driving me to school and then I’ll turn you into a frog so I don’t get killed!”

That’s some solid forward thinking right there. 

“I’m sorry you’re upset with me. He’s really going to be fine.”

What followed was ten minutes of the silent treatment, which was GLORIOUS. When we got to school, I had her come into the room with her brother and greet the teachers. She inspected the toys and threw some serious shade toward another toddler who made a move like he might take the toy West was holding, but after a few minutes walked out with me while her brother played.

“See? Not so bad?” I said, smiling and nudging her a bit.

“It’s fine. I’ll turn you into a swan instead.” 

That’s all I needed. Just a little upgrade from frog to swan. Today’s gonna be great.