Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Motherhood, Part Infiniti

I made little two-inch photo-tags to attach to Christmas gifts last year, and in a perfect representation of my life, I'm only now throwing away the extras.

Yesterday, to be precise.

Bridgette has enjoyed carrying pictures around lately, so I gave her one. She palmed it gingerly for a moment, stroking it and saying, "Awww..." 

Her gentleness waned substantially through the day. The tag was alternately fisted, bent, squished, and generally and otherwise destroyed.

Is this not the very definition of the word love?

Don't answer that.

Anyway, this is how we came to have a Christmas gift-tag with us on a blanket in the shade of a tree, around 3PM on a hot, hot afternoon.

And like any good mother, I decided to make the most of it.

Lesson One: Compliments

I attempted to teach Bridgette what it means to give a compliment, and then said, "Let's practice! Can you compliment everyone in this photo?"

This is what I'm here for right?

--To educate.

--To teach kindness.

--To deliberately manipulate my own daughter into vocalizing her admiration for me.

I pointed to Piper first.

"Can you say something nice about Piper? Can you give her a compliment?"

"Love," Bridgette answered.

"Oh, that's wonderful, Bridgette! Piper gives us lots of love. And we love her too, don't we?"

This was going to be good.

I continued. "How about Chewy? Can you compliment Chewy?"

"Eat," Bridgette said.

"Okaaay . . . true," I said, eyebrows raised. "Chewy does like to eat. What about Daddy?"

She pointed to him in the photo.


"Yes," I replied. "Daddy works very hard for our family. That was a thoughtful compliment, Bridgette."

Bridgette nodded her head solemnly.

I pointed to her. "What about you? Can you give yourself a compliment?"

She thought a moment and then her eyes brightened.

"FAST!" she yelled, demonstrating by running across the lawn and back.

We both laughed. "Yes, Bridgette, you are very fast!"

I took a deep breath.

At last. The moment of truth. The validation of all my heartache, love, and toil as a mother!

"What about me, Bridgette? Can you give mama a compliment?"

She stopped looking at the photo and turned instead to look me in the face.

She tipped her head side to side. Side to side. Side to side.

She pursed her lips. 

She blinked rapidly.

Finally, she spoke.

"Mommy, you pour the cereal. And the milk."


Brenda Johnson said...

Which means you are the VERY BEST of all!!

ELI said...

That is the most adorable thing I've heard all week.

Alisha said...

Love this!! Smart girl!

Lore said...

In other words, "Mommy, you love me and take care of me." No better compliment to a mama. (And I didn't need a secret decoder ring for this one either!)