“I love you Daddy!”
“No you don’t, cause you always whinin’!”
Truer words have never been spoken. I heard this exchange eons before I ever entered the roughest hood you could ever dream of—that is if you get to indulge in REM sleep (AKA that thing you did before you decided to procreate). That’s right, I’m talking about the parenthood. Concrete jungle where screams are made. Yall know.
I was just a girl of 9 or 10 when I heard my cousin whine those words to his father in a voice that would make fingernails on a chalk board say “Hey! get your own turf!”. His dad aptly replied “No you don’t”. I wouldn’t truly appreciate the sagacity of his response until I became the proud owner of 4 of my own crumbmakers. This might be a good time to introduce my cast of characters.
There’s plucky smurf. The youngest. Sample exchange:
Me: “So do you wanna help mommy make a cake?”
Plucky: “Why? You don’t know how to make it?”
Then there’s diva smurf. A typical tidbit:
Diva: “Are you gonna wear that dress? It makes you look pregnant.”
Me: Blank stare.
Next there’s sensitive smurf. I recognize my child self the most in him. Classic confab:
Sensitive (pouting): “The kids at school said my nose looks like a hog’s nose.”
Me: “That’s not true! They’re just mad because you’re so handsome. ”
Sensitive: “No I’m not. I’m hog-some.”
And lastly pre-teen smurf. Standard style:
Pre-teen (as she looks on while Diva is dancing): “OMG you move like Urkel’s daughter!!!” (and then this for good measure) “Lemon citrus head!!!”
Diva(on the verge of tears): Mommy!!!!
No matter what they’re doing, doesn’t it always come back to that utterance: ‘mommy/daddy’? Whether you’re in the middle of cooking, cleaning, splitting atoms or hiding in the bathroom you can expect to hear a child at regular 15 minute intervals calling out ‘mommy/daddy’!! But take heart! They can switch it up for you so you won’t get bored. They bellow it, they whine it, whisper it, rapid fire it, heck they might even chop and screw re-mix it for you—but they’re gonna call your name day in and day out with little care for your well being or mood. Dictionary.com was ambitious enough to try to define love and they offer this:
love (noun)– a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
Aint nothin’ tender about the way kids hound you. They are passionate though, passionate about getting what they want! So do your kids love you? They will one day. Right now they just need you. They need you to reassure them they don’t dance like Urkel’s offspring. They need you to hug them up when an older sibling’s parting shot about their head resembling ovular fruit sends them over the edge. They’ll really love you when they’re old enough to have a cast of characters of their own.