Eliza is spending a few days with her Granny in New Hampshire and Jim made it for 21 hours before he caved and announced that we should call and check in last night. I did not neenerneener him only because I had spent much of the day reaching for my phone to text her to see how she was doing, and then realizing that there was no way for her to read the text because she doesn’t have a phone. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, me, when I am bereft of my oldest girl-child.
And then I told her I made gazpacho with some of the tomatoes she picked at the farm a few days ago, and she ordered me to save her some when she gets back.
The whole point of joining the farm and its 5 BILLION pounds of goddamn kale is finally paying off: The child has become excited enough about the harvesting process that she then wants to make food from what she has harvested and then EAT the food she has harvested. She actually likes 3 whole varieties of tomatoes now, and none of them are the normal ones, because why be conventional? Noooo. She wants tomatillos, which she likens, bizarrely, to Sourpatch Kids; ground cherries, which come wrapped in what looks like a miniature lantern and taste like sweet yellow cherries but are in fact bona fide nightshades; and cherry tomatoes, but only the kind they have at the farm.
Here, have a vat of tomatoes (heirlooms, tomatillos, cherries, paste, and ground cherries):
I think part of it’s the big-girl-doing-stuff-that-only-big-girls-can-do nature of it.
We get there, and she lopes off, containers in hand, to the you-pick board, and I find her 45 minutes later carrying vegetables and random plant leaves. It’s completely adorable and I have to work hard not to smush her to bits when she does it.
And then there’s THIS joker.
She’s in a phase—already, dear god—where she finds butts hilarious. The other day I caught her grumbling and spinning like a drunken cat, and when I inquired as to the nature of her dementia, she complained, “I CAN’T SEE MY BUTT!”
On the day pictured above, she utterly lost her mind in the morning because she wanted to wear SHOITS! and there were no SHOITS! because all she wears is SHOITS! and they were all being washed, including the pajama SHOITS! Really, we have long since erased that boundary because given the choice between yelling about SHOITS! and wearing pajamas in public, I know which way I’m going to go. On this day, however, that did not matter because we had, in fact, gotten all of the SHOITS! dirty and there was nothing for it but to wear a skort. There was a long stretch where no one in the house could hear a thing over the wailing and the cats were starting to look like they’d need PTSD counseling, until I finessed the problem by pointing out that this skirt had SHOITS! underneath the skirt part, which was accepted with sobbing and hugs, and then everyone went on their merry way.
Yesterday we took her to a zoo which she thought was awesome even though many animals appear to freak her out.
She saw a horse and shrieked with delight. Then, when said equine trotted over to make our acquaintance, she shrieked again and ran behind me yelling ”I SARED MOMMY!” This was also her reaction to camels (but then she got mad when we left them) and peacocks, and alpacas* and many others. (Notably exempt: monkeys, tortoises (TUTTAH!), bunnies, foxes (FOTHES!), raccoons (YAYO FAV-IT!), capybaras (DOGGIE!).)
But then in the evening she turned to me and said, “MEMMER WHEN-A GO AT DA ZOO WIFF MAMA!” and then proceeded to fondly reminisce about all the animals.
*Alpaca digression: When we were on Martha’s Vineyard we visited an alpaca farm one day. Lucy took one look at the animals, spider-monkeyed herself firmly to my front and declared, “I DON WANNA RIDE-A PACA!” Where she got the idea that we would be riding them remains a mystery 3 weeks later.
And, yes, she speaks in all-caps.