“I’ll take the brown pretzels and the yellow popcorn. Please.”
Mia is learning about descriptive words in school right now. I’m always amazed by how much she knows and the fact that upon being introduced to a concept once she readily remembers it and often immediately employs it. This recent English lesson is a prime example. Concept introduced. Mia grasps it. Mia instantly puts it to work. “I’ll take the brown pretzels and the yellow popcorn… Please.” Mrs. W smiles and promptly picks up the phone to call me. We both cheer. Yay!! She’s got it! We’re proud. So proud indeed, that we both decide to ignore the fact that she just asked for two snacks and just let her have a small amount of both. Everyone wins.
Just like that we’re off- on a journey of descriptions. Now everything has an adjective in front of it. Which works nicely for a bit – look out for the orange tiger! The red pretzel coatl (don’t even ask- it’s from some kid’s show.). The fluffy white clouds. Two descriptive words there- awesome! And then there is a problem. Mia has decided to replace nouns with adjectives, like, for example, the first time she asked for ice water after learning this novel new concept. “Chunky water.” Huh? “Chunky water.”
I could only scratch my head and ask myself what in the hell “chunky” water was. It didn’t sound appealing, at all. So, I asked again. “What did you say?” Before I can finish the sentence Mia’s whole demeanor has changed. (She absolutely hates repeating herself. Poor kid, wonder where she inherited such impatience from.) So she elaborates for me, except this time she is speaking slower, with a pause in between each word. Her cute little voice also now sports an edge to it. An edge that was absent only moments before. “Cold. Chunky. Water. PLEASE.” She practically screams the last word at me. Oh, that magic word: please. Please has been both a curse and a blessing as Mia seems to think that just adding it into a sentence automatically will make an instant reality out of any request. And now she has yelled it at me, which only means one thing. She means business. She wants that chunky water, and she expects it now. Instantly. Pronto.
But I’m lost. I just can’t seem to see it her way. I stand there sporting a face of confusion. I’m baffled and she knows it. She doesn’t even bother repeating herself a fourth time. Exasperated by my sheer stupidity, she just gets up off of her throne and slowly walks to the kitchen, throwing a smart glance over her shoulder at me. A glance as if to say, “Come, you ignorant peon, I will show you some damn chunky water.” Meekly I follow.
Once there, as if to leave me in my state of confusion just a bit longer, she methodically gets out a cup, turns on the faucet, places her cup under the faucet.. And then turns around. Our kitchen is quite small, so she is instantly at the freezer, pulling on the door. She gets the ice tray and hands it to me. “Three chunks please.” Oh. My. God. DUH! Chunky water. Ice. Chunks. How could I be so unseeing?! How could I be so unimaginative? So dull, uninspired, lost. So.. adult.
Perplexed and utterly annoyed at my lack of ability to see things from a child’s perspective, I realize I am now exhausted. This exchange has worn me out. And I’m thirsty- so thirsty. I get out a glass, turn on the tap and let the water slowly fill the glass. When I turn around Mia adds a chunk of ice to it. I stand at the counter and drink. Mmm, chunky water is pretty good, I think as I feel her eyes burrowing into me. She’s smiling, slyly. Happy that her mother has been school. Happy to know that I now understand the merits of a nice glass of chunky water. And, in some small way, probably happy to know she has once again made a fool out of me. As I finish my glass of water I can only
fear imagine what she will learn at school next week.