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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I have a tendency to unconsciously appropriate other peoples' affectations, leading me to say things like y'all.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

She had no idea that her future was in the balance

On Tuesday mornings, when John leaves for D.C., the one thing I really look forward to is the little bit of time and extra energy I can devote to Sophie before her dad picks her up for school. The normal routine on such mornings goes as follows:

I wake up at 6:00 or so to see John off in his cab, then make the bed, tidy things up (like all of the pants, dirty socks, dry cleaning, etc. that John likes to collect on his side of the bed) and put Sophie's lunch together.

By that time it's roughly 7:00 and I hear the confusingly loud tromp of Sophie's relatively small feet coming from her room.

I hook her up with breakfast (typically a waffle, pop-tart, or other dry hand-held food) and head for the shower. She sits in the bathroom with me talking through her breakfast and hangs out while I do my make-up and pull all of the clothes out of my closet in an attempt to get dressed for work*.

Then she gets dressed and we exchange lots of hugs and kisses when her dad comes.

The end.

Well, this morning, as I'm finishing up my self-imposed chores, I hear her pounding down the hall and turn to greet her with a big smile. The face that greets me is similar to this one**:

except that it's more sleepy and disheveled. Her first today a school day? she rubs her eyes and looks way too cute to be as evil as I already know she will be. Of course, as soon as I answer in the affirmative, the cute is replaced by the whining, miserable, foul-tempered little tyrant Sophie will be for the rest of the morning.

Apparently, she'd woken up with idea that we could stay home together and bake cookies. (I'm thinking that when John reads this he'll be happier in his hotel room than he's ever been because he managed to avoid all of the crying and whining and general unfounded discontented that made my morning hell.) After that, nothing could make her happy, not even the television, and I could barely repress the conviction that there was bound to be a lesson in getting turned out of the house in your pajamas on a very cold spring morning, with bare feet, at a young age.

No, I didn't say trauma, I said l-e-s-s-o-n. Who's with me on this one?

* Sometimes, she'll opt for the Powerpuff Girls instead because she's discerning and realizes that eating a pop-tart in the bathroom is nothing short of gross...even for a 4 year old.
**Yes, there was a tense change there and frankly, whether it's appropriate or correct doesn't matter so much; keep up.


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