I was too busy dragging around an extra appendage (that looked an awful lot like my three-year-old daughter) to talk to anyone at length. I began a few conversations, but before long, my demanding, wants-me-all-to-herself little girl would start tugging on my hand, trying to pull me away. It was very distracting. And annoying.
I spent a good part of the day frustrated with her. I did understand that she was freaked out by all the people around and wanted me close by for security, but that didn't make her any less of a buzz-kill.
|My girl during what was pretty much her only social|
moment of the whole day (with her brother & a friend)
And now that she's getting older, little princess has begun playing me. I'd ask if she needed to use the potty and she'd say yes. Then once back at the house, she'd sit on the pot for ages and ages pretending to try, when really she was just stalling. This happened a couple of times.
"C'mon hon, let's go back to the block party," I'd suggest.
"I no like block parties," she'd announce, as if she's been to so many and they are just so tiresome.
I struggled with her all day, and it put me in a bad mood. I was pissed off with her for ruining my block party. Bedtime was not pretty.
A couple of hours later, I looked in on her. She was facing the door, fast asleep, and as I opened the door wider, the light from the hallway fell upon her, illuminating her sweet and innocent little face. Tears sprung into my eyes as it hit me how stupid I'd been.
My daughter adores me and wants to be with me every second. I'm her best friend. This precious time I have with her will be so, so short-lived. God, I know that, yet last night I was dying to be unencumbered and free from her grabby little hands and whiny little voice. For what? So I could easily and breezily chat with my neighbors and have a few drinks? What the hell was I thinking?
Because I know...in what will feel like a mere instant, poof, it'll be gone. I'll blink and she'll be starting kindergarten, then I'll blink again and she'll be rolling her eyes over something stupid I said.
One morning I'll wake up, and this time will be over. And then I'll be pining to have it back, to have my baby back. My extra appendage. My shadow. My echo.
My best friend.