Last Saturday, I took my daughter to an arts and crafts festival downtown. We wandered up and down the sidewalk, fondling handmade scarves and sculptures created from common household utensils. The kid unexpectedly turned and strode into a boutique and I followed her in. It was one of those women's clothing stores into which I almost never venture, the type that's chock full of oversized accessories, impractical purses, and what-are-YOU-doing-in-here salespeople. When you see just three of something hanging on a rack, you know you can't afford it. A skipped up to a hot pink halter dress with a diaphanous skirt strewn with tiny crystals.
"Mommy, you would look so beautiful in this dress!" she exclaimed, pulling the dress outward so that I could take in its glory.
"Oh, sweetie," I responded, running my fingers over the flowing fabric, "I don't know where I'd wear a dress like that."
She stopped and turned around, looking up at me with brow furrowed. "You'd wear it ON YOUR BODY." She said it slowly and carefully to ensure my comprehension.
The following day, we were headed to church. Our church is right near the airport, so we often see airplanes landing as we are waiting at the light. A watched a mid-sized Northwest Airlines flight touch down on the runway. "We're taking an airplane to see Meemaw in Oklahoma!" she exclaimed.
"Yep, we're leaving in two weeks," I responded. "We're not leaving from this airport, though." We are driving to a larger "hub" airport because the fares are a lot cheaper.
"We're going to spend the night at Kathy's house the night before," I continued. "She lives closer to the other airport."
"Mommy, why would we stay at Kathy's house? WE. HAVE. A. HOUSE." Again with the careful enunciation for my benefit.
I never knew I was so stupid until I became a mom. After all, I spent much of my education in Gifted/Talented classes. I graduated college with honors. I've read Faulkner, for crying out loud! But now, I'm just a run of the mill dumbass who does not understand basic concepts.
From the back seat I keep hearing things like, "This is NOT the way to our house. You need to turn." Also, I'm often told that I've forgotten something, when the truth is that I haven't forgotten - I just haven't done it yet. Just as I'm reaching into the refrigerator to pour some apple juice for our resident pre-schooler, I'll hear that sing-songy voice, "Mom-my, you forgot my ju-uice!"
"I didn't forget, " I say through slightly gritted teeth. "I'm getting it right now." I never get credit for it, though. It just continues through different objects. "Mom-my, you forgot my pillow/blanket/teddy/pajamas/backpack/umbrella/coat/toothbrush!"
It's a wonder I manage to shower properly and feed myself each morning.