Wait Wait

Miss Phaedra is growing up at an alarming rate.  Her birth certificate puts her at six years old, but anyone who’s ever met her agrees that she’s actually about thirty-six and perpetually annoyed with the two adults that the government insists she live with for the next twelve years.  Thank God she’s here, though, because otherwise how the hell would I know how to do really complex things like make ice cubes, or remember to pack her shoes in her backpack?

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She’s always been a grownup stuck in a kid’s body, but lately she just seems so much older all of a sudden.  Everyone told me that once she hit elementary school, time would hit fast-forward.  No one told me it was the three-click fast forward instead of the one- or two-click.

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Phaedra got her first pair of glasses today.  I finally made the appointment this week after she failed the vision test at school (probably the first and last test she’ll ever fail at school).  When I first told her a few months ago that I would have to take her to the eye doctor and she would probably need glasses, she was not excited at all.  But after awhile, when she realized that “Holy shit, I could have pink glasses!!!” she decided that she was fine with it.  She made it all the way through the appointment, which she took very seriously despite the ridiculous faces and goofy-ass thumb’s up I kept giving her behind the doctor’s back. She is generally not amused with my dumb antics, as she is beyond such immature behavior.

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Not impressed.

She was thrilled that her glasses were ready the same day.  So she put them on, and then she turned twelve years old.

I can’t stop staring at her.  Partly because I can’t get enough of how cute she looks in her little glasses, but also because in the ten minutes between sitting down at the counter where they adjust your glasses to the moment she put them on and said, “Wow, everything looks so different,” she aged about five years.  Not just in the way she looks, but in her demeanor as well.  She just carries herself differently.

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Sometimes I hold her in my lap like a baby. She loves it, even though she is Ms. Independence. I think it’s because her time to be the baby was cut off earlier than she would have liked when Bella came screeching up to our doorstep, tires smoking, right before Phaedra’s second birthday.  I ask her to slow down and stop growing up so fast.  She tells me, “Don’t worry, Mom.  I’ll always be your baby.”  I make her promise to remember what she said.  She does, but I know she’ll forget one day.

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But I won’t.

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12 Responses to Wait Wait

  1. Hillary says:

    Umm, holy cow. This girl is dynamite. Love her glasses! Your little narrative made me laugh and choke back tears at the same time. My girl is growing up way too fast. I know that when the first tooth falls out, or an eye exam is failed–I’ll be toast. I can barely handle her wiping her own butt…Wait, yes I can. That is a sucky business–wiping butts.

    Cheers to Phaedra. And you 🙂

  2. Ruth says:

    Adorable!

  3. JD @ Honest Mom says:

    You articulated so many of my feelings about my eldest – who will be 8 soon! *sniff*
    Oh, and yeah – I love your writing. 🙂

  4. Shirley says:

    I will always think of my children as MINE, even though they are grown and
    living elsewhere
    but, take heart that you are raising her to be so grown up and someday Independent!

  5. Oh mercy, she’s a doll. A doll stuffed with firecrackers and attitude – the best kind. I dare anyone to look at us sideways in 20 years when we’re at the playground, rocking our full-grown babies on our laps.

  6. I can just feel the love through your writing, Janel. My son doesn’t have glasses…yet. Though I’m sure he needs them. But I’m holding off for many of the same reasons you mention. And also? Because if he can see, he won’t get so close to me when we read books at bedtime. Shit, I got all teary the first time he wore a BELT. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle glasses.

  7. I just love this and her face…with our without glasses. But, with glasses? Holy cow.

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