All the world and just about every piece of furniture in the house is an opportunity to practice great feats of acrobatic daring and skill. This is according to my daughter. Because though she is afraid to walk down a flight of stairs without gripping the railing or resorting to scooting on her bum, she thinks nothing of hurling herself through the air as she leaps from love seat to ottoman to recliner where she will dive arms out-stretched into the cushioned seat flipping her legs over the high back and catching herself securely with her slightly crooked knees. Once in this decidedly upside down position, she will rock the lazy-boy with such force that it comes very near to losing its balance and spilling her onto the floor behind it.
Tonight as I was working on the hyperlinks for the new photo albums, and frustrating myself far more than was necessary since I could have just read the directions again, she called me into our furniture-lite living room to watch her perform her “acrobends”.
“They are very hard and sometimes they hurt.”
Although she usually adheres genetically to her late father’s theory that “if there is pain; there isn’t much of use to be gained”, this doesn’t apply to the twisty contortions only a preschooler is physically capable of performing. The more painful or potentially injurious it looks, the more it appeals.
I watched her for a few minutes before she tired of her cartwheel attempts and began to demonstrate her ballet moves which include “peelays” and something that looks like a top spinning out of control.
Later, after she had moved on to the swings in the backyard that she doesn’t yet grasp we will have to leave behind when we move, I sat at the keyboard and recalled some of the new vocabulary and facts she has acquired in preschool this year in addition to her growing agility.
January was an enlightening month. I was solemnly informed of the importance of “Dr. Luther King” for the entire week preceding and following his holiday.
“He died, Mommy. He got a shot in the park.”
February was packed. There were valentines and the Chinese New Year.
She was intrigued by the idea that years could be animals.
“What year were you born?”
I told her I was a rabbit and that daddy had been an ox, which made her laugh. She was born in the year of the horse, I told her, like Frankie. The Chinese despair of a daughter who is born in the year of the horse. I never did find out why though being a mother to a little horse for nearly five years now, I have a pretty good idea.
Presidents loomed large in February.
“We learned about presidents today, Mommy.”
“George Washington and Hammerman Lincoln.”
“Are you sure it’s not Abraham?”
“No, Mommy, it’s Hammerman.”
She speaks slowly to me at times like these and in a tone that makes it clear I am not as smart as she is though,
“I really want to be wrong sometimes, Mommy, so you can be right.”
I have a feeling she won’t remember that conversation in ten years, but for now I will accept the sentiment behind it and wish myself a Happy Mother’s Day in advance.