Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Do Believe I'm Raising A Paleontologist

Dear Hazel,
Last night was hot and muggy.  The kind of night where you wake up in a pool of sweat even though the fan is at its highest speed.  And, apparently, it was also the kind of night where Mommy takes off her nightgown in her sleep...  and sleeps nekkid. 

Yes, yes... I can imagine the horror on your face as you read these words.  I know, right?  Isn't there something in the Bible or the Constitution that forbids such nonsense?  For the love of Pete, isn't this, at it's core, a crime against humanity?  Isn't there a GOP Senator somewhere that has an opinion on this??? 


Got a little sidetracked there because of all the insanity that's been going on the last few days weeks months about women's rights in our country.  I write this down, naturally, because when you and your sister read this, I want you to realize that the rights of women in America were being debated IN YOUR LIFETIME.  Debated. As if there was anything to debate.  As if there are actually two sides to the matter. Oh, and in your lifetime?  Science was scoffed at.  And often made up.  BY ELECTED OFFICIALS.  In your lifetime.  And I can only hope and pray that when you're my age, the nonsense will have been long gone. 

Sadly, I don't believe it will be.

But, instead of talking about that nonsense, I want to talk to you about the current nonsense you're throwing at me daily.  Hourly.  Minutely.

Where were we?  Oh yes... Mommy slept nekkid last night.  And when it was time "for waking up and eating brakfess" as you so eagerly remind me first thing in the morning, I was confused to find that not only was I nekkid, but my nightgown?  Nowhere to be found.  And I do mean, NOWHERE.  I looked in the dresser, in the closet, in the sheets, under the bed, in the laundry, in the bathroom, in the backyard (in case I had done a little sleepwalking last night. again.).  But nothing.  That nightgown is gone.

And as I was throwing on a t-shirt and shorts so I could fix you breakfast, while grumbling about not being able to find my nightgown we had the following conversation:

"I know where your punjamas are, Mama." (Yes... punjamas.  Because the pun?  Always intended.)

"You do?  Where are they?"

"The dinosaurs came and took them."

And... there it is.  My life in a nutshell with you these days.  You and your dinosaurs and your monsters.   You know what?  You know a lot of words these days.  Some may call it a plethora.  You can tell me about all the animals at the zoo.  You know the name of every kid in day care.  You even have the entire book of nursery rhymes memorized.  So, you know... there are other things to talk about in your world. 

But the only thing you ever, ever, EVER talk about?  Dinosaurs.

At first, I thought that you must be learning about dinosaurs in school.  But if you are, it's not from your teacher. I have my suspicions about who you're picking it up from, though.  I don't mind.  Honestly, it's preferrable to talking about princesses all the time.  I'm down with princess talk now and then.  But if it was princess talk to the extent that I hear about dinosaurs?  We'd be having a Come To Feminism talk.

Anyway, the dinosaurs are EVERYWHERE. But mostly in your room.  Because I've told them they can't come in my kitchen. 

A few weeks ago, when it first started, we had a conversation that went a little like this:

"Mama... the dinosaurs are going to where my punjamas while I'm at school."

"What?  They're not allowed to do that.  I'll tell them that they can't wear them, okay?"


Two days later?

"Mama... the dinosaurs are going to wear my undies!!!"

"Well that's just against the rules.  I will tell them they can't wear your undies while you're at school."

"But da dinosaurs like my undies!  They want to wear them!"

"I know!  But they're your undies, so I'm going to tell them and then  I'm going to make them go outside to play, okay?"


When you woke up from sleep walking into the closet at 4 a.m.?

"Why are you crying, sweetie?"

"Da (sob) dinosaurs (sob) live in (sob) da closet (sob)(sob)(sob)!"

"Oh, I'm so sorry!! I bet that was scary!  But you're okay now.  Mama will protect you."

"Don't weave me, okay?"

"I will tell the dinosaurs they can't live in your closet anymore and they will listen to me because I'm the strongest Mommy in the world and will beat them up, okay?


Whenever you hear a strange noise?

"What's zat?"

"That's the sound of the dishwasher/lawn mower/motorcycle/grass growing."

"Nuh-uh!  It's a dinosaur!"

"It is?"


"Are they playing up here again?"


"Silly dinosaurs!"

And every night for the last two weeks?

"Mama... I can't go to bed?"

"Why not?"

"Cuz of da dinosaurs and da monsters.  Der in my room and jumpin' on da bed."

"Oh really?  Do you want me to go tell the dinosaurs and monsters that they have to go outside with their Mommy's now so that you can go to sleep?"


"Okay.  (Clears throat)  Alright dinosaurs!  It's time to go to bed.  We are done playing in Hazel's room and it's time to say night-night. Swoosh!!  Did you see that, Hazel!  They are so fast!  They went outside to play with their Mommy's so we can go to bed."


"Okay.  Time to go to bed."

Whispers: "Der's anudder one over der."


"In da closet."

"What?  I thought I told you to go outside, dinosaur!  Swoosh!  See?  There he goes!! Goodnight dinosaur."

"G'night, dino. (yawn) saur."

And now in the mornings:

"Where are all da dinosaurs, Mama?"

"I think they're all downstairs sleeping with their Mommy's."


"Yep... they played all night and now they're sleeping in."

"Oh.  We should wet dhem come upstairs and pway with us!"

"You have to eat your breakfast first.  You don't want the dinosaurs to eat your breakfast, do you?"

"Nooooo.  I eat my brefist so the dinosaurs can come pway."

"You like dinosaurs, huh?"

"Yea.  I wike da pink one, and da gween one and da PURPLE one!"

"Our dinosaurs are nice, huh?  They like to play tag and tickle and lick you on your face.  They're not mean, are they."

"No!!  Day are my fwiends!"

God bless those dinosaurs.  And God bless your imagination.  I love it.  It keeps me on my toes... and takes me back to a time when my imagination ran wild, too.  I have a sense of nostalgia watching you in your little world of magical pink and purple dinosaurs because I remember when EVERYTHING was magical.  There were no limits... only endless possibilities. There were no walls or ceilings that I couldn't walk through or fly through.  I believed in Rainbow Bright and her magical unicorn.  I knew that there was a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and if I ran fast enough, I could find both it AND the leprachan.  I believed in talking ponies.  I believed that I could fly and attempted to do so daily.   I was powerful.  And it was marvelous.

All these years later... it's simply amazing to see my little girl with that imagination well in hand.  And the beauty that your mind can, will and does see every day?  Blows me away. The fantastic adventures that you've been on... and the ones you'll be on as soon as you can imagine it... is a sunbeam shining directly on my soul. 

I hope you can hold on to the power of your imagination for a long, long time.  Because all too soon, the real world will butt in and try to tell you certain things about life... things about yourself.  It will tell you that you can't do things that you believe you can do.  You know what?  Who is the world to tell you to believe something about yourself that you disagree with?  Screw 'em.  Do it anyway.  And do it well.  The best way you know how.

That's the only way to live.  With a big imagination... and an attitude.

And also... I'm actually not sold on there not being punjama-stealing-undie-wearing dinosaurs living in our house.  Because I still can't find those pj's.  And it's becoming the only logical explanation to me.  As a matter of fact, I believe that those dinosaurs have taken all of our tupperware, half of my workout socks and my black skirt that's been missing for three weeks.

Damn dinosaurs.


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