White Coat Underground

Winter mornings

My kid is growing, and I’m of course ambivalent about it. It’s not that she’s becoming some sort of giant—she’s still a tiny little thing, but now she picks up books and starts reading them. When she does, I usually start shouting excitedly, but she reminds me that I’m not allowed to be excited. She wants to enjoy her new powers in peace.

She’s outgrowing her car seat, especially when bundled up for winter. And with Midwestern winters being what they are, she’s bundled more mornings than not. It’s time for me to buy a booster.

When I wake up in the morning, I take my shower, shave, get dressed, and walk into my daughter’s room. I turn on a lamp and wait a moment; in a minute or so, she stirs, stretches, and reaches up to me. I pick her up, which is getting harder and harder, and I walk downstairs and plop her on the couch. I have to place the pillow just right and turn on the TV with the lights off. This routine allows her to wake up without freaking the fuck out.

While she slowly joins the day, I make her breakfast and get her snack and lunch into her backpack. After breakfast, dressing, and ablutions comes the bundling. I put on her scarf, hat, gloves, and jacket, then strap on her pack. She looks like a little astronaut.

And when I drop her off at school and she walks away from the car, she is again impossibly small. The little package of winter clothes topped by an impossibly large backpack reminds me of how little my precious kiddo is. I’ve been accused of spoiling her; just try and stop me.

Comments

  1. #1 Treespeed
    December 8, 2009

    Great post. I can’t imagine my daughter reading on her own. She must still come to you with questions about what she’s reading.

  2. #2 Denice Walter
    December 8, 2009

    Just wait! It gets worse.Our friend is totally freaked out:last year, his daughter was a small,thin, delicate, child-like 11 year old;she has recently transformed into a gorgeous “Gossip Girl” look-alike, now 12.She’s about 5’6″ tall and suddenly has become very interested in designer clothes.

  3. #3 lori b
    December 8, 2009

    awww, thats soo sweet.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    December 8, 2009

    I’ve been accused of spoiling her; just try and stop me.

    You can try — I seriously doubt you’re up to it, though. You’re not selfish enough to hurt her — and there’s no known safe dose for parental love.

  5. #5 Liz Ditz
    December 8, 2009

    My darling sprout turned 21 on Sunday. We spent a lot of the weeks leading up telling stories about her as a wee sprout.

    In some venues she’s known as Dyslexia Girl. I hid in my bathroom & cried when she said “Mom! I can’t stop reading, it is so thrilling!”. She was in 7th grade & the book was Agatha Cristie’s 10 Little Indians.

    I’m waiting for the photos of her 21st birthday cake. Icons thereon: jumping horses, a memento of her 2nd degree black belt, military vehicles (specifically, she’s one of the tank drivers here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfWjwBD9cFc) and a tiara.

  6. #6 Joanna Holland
    December 9, 2009

    Awww, so bittersweet. It’s so much fun to watch them learn and grow, but at the same time it happens much too fast. A few days ago I told my three-year-old son to stop growing so fast and he looked at me seriously and said “That’s what happens, Mummy. Boys grow up.” I almost cried.

  7. #7 Rev Matt
    December 9, 2009

    That morning routine sounds awfully familiar, cherish every moment. It won’t be long before you’re cramping her style ;)

  8. #8 science-based humanist
    December 9, 2009

    Out of the blue, my fairly clingy 8 year-old said last night that he was going to “put himself down” – brush teeth, put on PJs, read, etc. And I didn’t even have to kiss him goodnight. Wow, what a big boy! said I. Five minutes into it, he was downstairs asking for company. Te-he. I can’t say I minded.

  9. #9 Epinephrine
    December 9, 2009

    Aw, that’s nice. I don’t often get to carry my kids downstairs, and other than my eldest (who is obviously too big, at 7, to need me to carry her anywhere :P) they tend to be up before me, with their cries of “Eat!” and “Ceweal!”, and paradoxical elephant-like stampedes coming from those little tiny feet.

  10. #10 24fps
    December 11, 2009

    Treasure every moment they let you spoil them.

    My big girl is 12 and can do the laundry, make herself breakfast, make her own lunch and plays first cello in a youth orchestra. She’s not my height yet, but in a few years I’m pretty sure she’ll be looking down at me. And I love the moments when she sits down next to me and says she just needs a mummy snuggle. May they be a necessity for a few years yet.

  11. #11 Dana Hunter
    December 12, 2009

    My mother spoiled me far worse than you spoil PalKid, and I turned out all right. ;-) Still not much of a morning person, though.

  12. #12 Chris
    December 13, 2009

    24fps:

    And I love the moments when she sits down next to me and says she just needs a mummy snuggle. May they be a necessity for a few years yet.

    Wah!!! I miss the mommy snuggles. Though last week my fifteen year old daughter really wanted to have a well-child checkup with the family doctor. I asked her why, and she broke down and cried saying she had felt a lump in her breast, and after having a health class the previous year was really worried. She even allowed me to hug her, and it was so lovely.

    Of course, I made the appointment. It was nothing, and the family doc explained to her that she will have normal changes that occur during her menstrual cycle. And all is well.

    But the big part was that she confided in me, and let me hug her! I love kid hugs.

    Oh, and yes, she does her own laundry, makes her own breakfast and lunch and actually looks down at me because she is three inches taller than me! Plus, next week she is going to join me at the next Skeptics Meetup! She wants an antidote to having to watch the “Jesus Camp” movie for her social studies class (it was presented as “abnormal” social behavior). She is an awesome kid… despite walking around downtown today dressed as an elf in red velveteen with fake white fur trim that she made herself (it is part of a “cosplay” group called Gasukan)!