Before you all get wound up and start huffing about how I will for sure anger my pre-teen daughter to the point of no forgiveness, chill. This is not a story about my 12 year old.
It’s about her sister. Her baby sister–the one who is FIVE.
I was inspired to tell this story when my Haddie came downstairs today dressed in a completely coordinating ensemble replete with a little cami that had been purposely and excessively stuffed with Kleenex.
“Are you staring at my boobies?” she asks. Umm–no, I am staring at the mountain of tissues sitting where your boobies will someday be. Displeased with this answer, she continues “Do you want to touch them? You can if you want, because I am sixteen. But hurry up because I have work today.” With that, she turns her 5 year old self around and marches away, purse on her shoulder, keys jingling in her hand. In a moment the Barbie convertible is screeching out of the garage.
I wish I could say this was the first illustration of Haddies precocity, but no no. There is one better.
First, a family story would not be a good one if it did not start with some healthy husband blaming. There is a reason why, even though my daughters and I are the same gender and endowed with the same basic “stuff,” that bathroom trips with Mom should be discouraged. When my husband needs his 47 minutes of “privacy” right at 8:45 pm, he gets it–and it’s not just because everyone is terrified to be in there with him.
When, however, I need my “time” in the bathroom, I almost always have in attendance a master inquisitor. She wedges herself in by persuasion, tantrum or both and fires away relentlessly: “What’s that? Why you doing that? Where you putting that? Are you going pee or poo? Yes you did go poo I smell it” I complete my task, mumble apologies, and hope she will soon forget what she witnessed in that WC. But, my girls don’t forget. They remember, replay and retell.
Once after a long hot summer day of playing and running and loving our stupid dog, Hads desperately needed a bath. I filled the tub and started peeling off bit by bit of her clothes. As we get to her shorts, she starts to giggle. I am distracted and tired so I tell her to stand still so mommy can get her clothes off. “OK,” she singsongs,” but you are not going to be happy with me in a minute”–giggle giggle.
There, in the crotch of her Dora the Explorer panties is an adhesive side down, perfectly centered panty liner.
My vocal cords are suddenly paralyzed and all I can muster is an open mouth.
Answering my silent “Why?” Haddie puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder, “You never know Mama, you just never know. ”