03 December 2010

It's Hip to be Square.

When my children were younger, say about 5 years ago, I vaguely remember my mother telling me something like, "just wait till they're older."  Maybe it was, "this doesn't get easier, it only gets harder."  Either way, at the ripe old age of 31, I thought she was crazy.  What does she know about single parenting during a deployment?  She had me in the 70's, it's nothing like that now.  I even remember thinking that it would not be that way for me, because I was bound and determined  NOT to be like her!  That's right, I thought I knew everything.  I thought nothing could be harder than the physical demands put on you by being a stay-at-home mom to two children while your husband was out collecting stamps for his government-issued passport .  I was wrong.

That being said, I can always tell what kind of day my daughter has had from her expression the moment she steps off the bus.  Yesterday was no exception.  She stepped off the bus, rounded the corner and I saw the tell-tale signs of a bad day.  Splotchy cheeks (thank you, Aunt Sissy) and tears in the corner of her eyes (I'll take the blame for those).  She hung her head, waddled up to me thanks to the weight of her backpack and cumbersome violin case, and said, "Mom, someone called me a name today."  Mind you, I was still reeling from our conversation earlier in the week about "the bad words in the dictionary those men gave us,"  but that is a whole other post.  I have not quite recovered from that one, and I'm not sure I ever will.  (I will tell you that "those men" are members of the Rotary Club that handed out dictionaries to all of the 3rd graders at her school.  "Those men" sounds bad no matter how you phrase it, so I felt the need to explain).

We got back to the house and the dam broke.  So many tears.  After much coaxing and a bribe in the form of a piece of apple pie she told me that a girl in her class called her....wait for it....wait for it....square.  Yep.  She called her "square."  I choked down a chuckle behind a fake cough and asked my daughter if she even knew what "square" meant.  Of course she did.  She looked it up in the aforementioned dictionary!  (I swear I'm going to burn that thing)!

I then did what I do best, and dug deep into my Cosby Show memory bank.  Wasn't there an episode about Rudy getting called a name at school?  What did Cliff say to make her feel better?  Before her piece of apple pie was finished I had paraphrased Heathcliff Huxtable so well she was drying her eyes on her napkin and belly laughing like the 8-year-old I know and love. Crisis averted.

After the week I've had, I wonder what the 41-year-old mom I will become has in store for me.  On second thought, no I don't.  But if I ever do want to know, I should probably just ask my mom.


Sarah said...

Uh, that name is "Rudy Huckleberry". Yet another reason we're lobsters. And you're welcome for the splotches. If you're going to be just like your mother I'm buying stock in Talbot's and QVC right now. :)

Sarah said...

Oh, and hugs to Nat from Sissy.

Carrie said...

Poor baby. (The both of you, that is.) As Aunt Carrot is a self-proclaimed square and dork, I know Nat's pain, and my mom couldn't reference The Cosby Show because it wasn't on when I was eight. I will say that I do get to have a lot of square fun reading and traveling and talking with friends. ;0

Hugs and love to Nat.