M was going through her baby book recently, after a trip to Cleveland in which she visited with her five-month old second-cousin, Danny. It was pretty detailed from birth until about six months old, and then nothing. I told her that after that, there wasn't any time to fill stuff out because she was so active and I was having so much fun just playing with her, but the truth is I was pretty sure I'd just remember it all, since there was just the one of her. Turns out, not so much. So I'm going to try to write down now everything I do remember from her younger days.
Let's see...she called bottles babas. She would walk up to you with arms raised and exclaim, pick me, pick me, when she wanted to be picked up. "Rubber me" was her way of asking for back rubs. She refused to believe that Blue was a girl and Magenta was a boy (even to this day.) She's never had a pack of gum that a dog didn't finish off for her (although she'll tell you otherwise.) Her favorite food has always been Kraft Mac & Cheese (she used to call Easy Mac bubbles because she liked to watch them boil in the microwave.) I have pictures of her riding the Jr. Gemini at a very, very young age and hating it. But I will not admit to forcing her on it; let's say it was dad's idea. She was terrified of bugs until she learned about them in second grade. She had a crazy friend in kindergarten named Rae who used to come over and swing things around to make the dog crazy and also talked a lot about spanking. She had a stalker friend in preschool who would come up to my job on the weekends and try to set up play dates with her. But mostly I remember that she's always been a sweet, easygoing, helpful girl.
At 9, M's totally comfortable just walking in and having an entire conversation with me while I'm sitting on the john, but actually locks both doors to the bathroom while she's going. I told her she was a peeing hypocrite, and she responded, "I'm just smart enough to lock the doors. And you can take that, Mister, to the bank." Whatever that means.
I've been told that 11 or 12 is the age that she'll stop wanting anything to do with me, besides telling me how I've ruined her life, and we'll be at odds from that point until she graduates from college, if she doesn't run off and marry a Burger King manager just to spite me. Although, now that I think about it, if she's going to marry into fast food, BK's the way to go. And I did find a B from a BK bag in her diaper back when she used to eat paper. Oh, stop judging me; fiber is fiber.
Anyway, from the way she's stomping around here cleaning her playroom after I told her she can't have her friend over until it's done, I'm thinking that time is probably coming a little early for me. I still have this dream that that won't happen (I blame the Gilmore Girls for offering false hope.) But I would guess that every parent thinks that, and most are disappointed.
If genetics has its way, 32 will be the age when she completely loses her mind. (I spent a solid two minutes looking for the bacon bits that were sitting right next to the plate I was wishing to put them on.) I suppose my mother's humorous way of replacing nouns with other nouns can't be too far ahead. (Can you get me my book? It's in the dishwasher -- oven -- toilet -- the thing next to the thing.)
I'll try to keep you updated, but as you can tell, I'm horrible at keeping written records.
UPDATE: She's right now perfecting her signature scent with food coloring and cinnamon.