So, the holidays. That happened. As did my mom coming for a visit. And 2013 ended. Good riddance, I say. I was not visited by the unholy sh!t storm an alarming number of people in my acquaintance endured but still, not my favorite vintage.
I am alternately thrilled and utterly panicked about next month’s new work thing that I am doing. I do hope it will not drive me to drink, because I very much would like the spring to end on a HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?! mic-drop note. Preferably whilst wearing ridiculous shoes in which I can walk in improbably graceful fashion. Am channeling my inner Pepper Potts (movie version, Black Widow entourage-of-one and Tony Stark sadly not included).
Let’s just say, also, that 8 is apparently not among my favorite childhood years, although I was comforted to find, in conversation with my mother recently, that she and I apparently drove our own mothers to distraction at the same age. Maybe it’s just not a good year for our personality type, which Eliza has more than a little of.
Luckily, there are enough moments of awesome (it’s still Eliza, after all) to keep me from complete despair.
My sister and her boyfriend refer to themselves and his son via ironic portmanteau. For anonimity reasons I won’t share the whole thing, but it begins with “SCHOO”. They have been conversing about future plans, including the possibility of children. Of course, I piped up immediately with several egregious name possibilities. Eliza, however, won that particular game by suggesting, ever-so-drily, that they needed to name their child “Ah.” Go ahead, say the names back-to-back (taps foot, looks at watch)…
She draws, writes, cartoons, and crafts her heart out. We discovered a free website that lets you make little crudely animated movies, and thus did several hours pass in cheerful creativity. I can’t figure out how to turn the format into a youtube-readable thingie, or I’d upload one, but they are so very 8-year-old-nonsensical-humor-ish.
She’s channeling her late grandfather again because her favorite song is Land Down Under, which falls squarely into the genre of goofy, borderline-novelty-song pop hit that he was such a sucker for. This one he loved in part, I think, because it mentioned Brussels. When you comes from a tiny country that people mix up with Denmark or Poland all the time, you learn to cheer for every moment on the pop culture radar. Anyway — he loved it, and now she does too. I tell her these things, and I don’t know to what extent it matters to her, but it’s important to me that she knows.
And here, look, this was long overdue for commemoration, because this was truly amazing of her:
That’s the three of us, in running regalia, at the annual 5K in Hipsterville. Eliza and my mom had hatched a plan to run it together back in the summer when Eliza first decided to explore this running thing. I’d originally begged off because I had a karate class to teach but the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t resist the idea of three generations of us running it together, and so I got a sub, signed us all up, and on the appointed day we all went out there and my mom and I cheered Eliza through 3.1 miles — the farthest and fastest she’d ever run — and I grabbed their hands so we could all cross the finish line together.
I couldn’t be prouder of her. And props to her because while the running is mostly dormant now — too cold, too little light in the evenings — she has definite plans to keep going come spring. She is not a natural athlete any more than I am, but she has figured out much earlier than I ever did the joys of doing these kinds of things even when they’re hard. And weirdly, though she is alarmingly perfectionist about some things, in running, she seems to be able to know when to push on and when to say, “Ehh, %&^ it, today’s not my day.”
On the other hand, 2 is Lucy’s best vintage so far. Not that there’s much to choose from yet, but boy-howdy is that kid charming. “She’s so HAPPY!” marvels just about everyone who sees her, and it’s true. She certainly has a temper (there have been instances of *biting* when frustrated, and also, for the love of God, let her pick her own goddamn pajamas), but her baseline personality tends toward the relentlessly upbeat.
Among those charmed as per usual were her cousints — yes, apparently both girls say it that way as toddlers — who drug her off to fuss over her at Christmas much like they did last year.
She is very self-sufficient for a 2-year-old. I mentioned distractedly to our relatives that I wanted to change her diaper and put her in pajamas before we drove home from their house and when I looked down, she had stripped off her shoes, socks, and pants, and whipped off her diaper and folded it neatly to hand to me. In the middle of their living room.
(She has decided that toilet training is NOT HER THING, apparently, and has lately refused to use the potty entirely, but Her Royal Highness The Queen frequently demands her diaper be changed “BECAUSE IT SQUISHY!”, ie she peed in it.)
Still, she has a lot of opinions. Among the reasons she has yelled at Jim recently:
He played the version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by William Shatner instead of the Beatles. “Play da REAL song, Daddy!” she complained.
She really likes songs that have her name in them, but apparently not everyone is deemed worthy to sing them.
While we were in New York, my mom and I bought a new copy of the late lamented ABC NYC, which went missing some time back. I read it for Lucy who immediately became as obsessed with it as Eliza did in her time. Now she asks about going to “Nooyoik” all the time, plus anytime we are anywhere vaguely urban (mostly places with buildings of more than 2 floors, which includes sections of her hometown) she pipes up hopefully, “Dis NOOYOIK?” When I tell her we are not, she asks, “We goin-a go to NOOYOIK soon, WIGHT?”
Eliza did not help when she described FAO Schwarz to her.
On New Year’s Eve, after we did the kid’s First Night stuff in our town, I took them to get hot chocolate, and I got this shot of her. That kid could turn into a serial killer and all would be forgiven as soon as she turned her Bambi eyes on the nearest copper. They are LETHAL, especially when combined with wobbly-lip-of-sadness. Which, bee-tee-dubs, she is not above using to get the drop on her big sister, little minx that she is.
Oh look, the Snowpocalypse hath commenceth! Woo!
OK, that’s enough out of me for now. Next up: Cultural markers of the past year, because all of us have a lot of opinions, including Eliza’s utter gobsmackedness at the worst song of the year.