“Mummy, are you dropping me off?”
“Yeah, I am”
“Are you picking me up or is daddy picking me up?”
“Where are we going today?”
At the end of a long day at work? Going home, I hope! I tell her we are going home. She thinks about it for a moment.
Can we go to Coles?
Grocery shopping? With you? At the end of the day? Why doesn’t that sound so appealing?
What do you want to buy?
Umm… Milk, yoghurt, strawberries…
Sometimes her list is so accurate it freaks me out. If I want to go shopping, say for clothes at Target or DJs, I usually don’t feel so tired. In fact, she is a great help when it comes to deciding what to buy. We end up eating out, which means no cooking and tidying up. She loves eating out. Everybody wins.
If I tell her that daddy would pick her up after daycare, there is a follow up question. Of course!
Where are you going today? Do you have a party? Are you going to a movie with your friends?
Once that is answered and filed away, we move on to more important things.
What do you have for my dinner?
Do you mean snacks? What I have packed for when I pick you up?
Yeah, what do you have for my snacks?
I mumble something about a fruit, biscuit, peanut butter sandwich or Vegemite toast. Most days it’s alright. She just wants to know what it is. She doesn’t fuss. Once in a while, she would like to know if she has other options. I may let her choose between a fruit or a biscuit. I might ask her to eat both. I might have to tell her to eat whatever I’ve packed and wait to get home for whatever she demanded. It depends. When she doesn’t have any choices, she accepts it gracefully.
“Yes, I do like bananas“, she’ll say, if I had a banana.
I am wracked with guilt when she asks me the question on a day I’ve forgotten to bring something. Those days exist. I tell her I’m going to get her fruit and ask her if she has a preference. Sadly, I don’t always manage to keep that promise but she is okay. More guilt for mummy!
It is amazing how much conversation we fit into the walk from the train station to the childcare center. Amidst the noise of traffic, I strain my ears to listen to her questions and answer it as best as I can, without yelling and informing all the world about my plans for the day. If we waited at traffic lights, we have more time, and therefore more questions.
What day is it today?
She sings, “Sunday, Monday, Tueday, Wennday, Thurday, Friday, Satuuurday… 7 days are in a week…”
It only takes the briefest of moments before the next question comes hurtling down.
Is it my Show-and-Tell day today
Is it my soccer today? Or is it dance?
Today is soccer.
Is it my soccer day and dance day?
No, just soccer. Dance is on Thursdays.
Alright. I don’t want my friends calling me R. I’m Elsa today. Queen Elsa of Arendelle.
Okay. Why don’t you tell them your Elsa? If you don’t tell them, they won’t know.
Little do I know that they do know. She has trained everyday at the daycare to call her Elsa. As soon as we enter, her friends come by and say, “Good morning, Elsa“. Her teachers are wary:
“Good morning! Am I speaking to R or Elsa today?”
“Good morning! Who are you, today?”
She has a big smile on her face, as she shyly says, “Elsa. Queen Elsa of Arendelle”
“Oh! I must be Anna then“, says one of her teachers. If she is lucky, she’s right. It could be one of the boys or the other girls.