Thursday, July 28, 2011

Little Miss Popular

Self-Portrait
Before my daughter was born, her birthmom warned me that I would be reduced to the status of a small rodent from the date the baby arrived on the planet until . . . well, forever. And it was true. Everyone I know was smitten with the little cherub - they still are, in fact. I'm pretty sure most of them like her better than they like me, not that I blame them. I mean, I know every mom thinks her child is particularly spectacular, but mine is irrepressibly cute and outgoing and has a giggle that leaves you no choice but to start giggling yourself. You see, that's one benefit of adopting - I can be pretty obnoxious as far as bragging about her and it's not as if I'm paying some sort of compliment to myself at the same time. It's not like I'm pointing at my child and saying, "Did you see what I MADE?! My DNA is extraordinary, is it not?"

My father called me last week to make sure we'd gotten home safely from our visit to the east coast. As part of his refusal to acknowledge technology of any sort, he loves to buy those little disposable cardboard cameras and uses them aplenty. When he called, he had just picked up a batch of photos he'd had developed. "I got some pictures of my baby," he told me.  For half a second, I thought he meant me (since I am, you know, his first-born child and all).  Then I realized he meant his granddaughter. Ah, of course.

My sisters and my parents sent me birthday gifts in February. They arrived from between a week and four weeks late. The gifts they sent my daughter in May? Right on time.

I'm mostly just amused by the whole thing. Her fan club is vast. Relatives call specifically to speak to my daughter. Many of my friends buy Christmas and birthday gifts for her. A has three living grandparents and all three are hopelessly in love with her. My stad gets such a kick out of her (he was amused to learn of her recent tantrum because I would not allow her to wear tap shoes to church) and loves spending time with her. My mom makes dress after dress for Miss-I-Don't-Wear-Pants. She is counting the days until A is old enough to fly as an unaccompanied minor so that I can ship her granddaughter out for a visit (the two of them can't wait to stay up late and eat ice cream for dinner, I suspect). When we were in VA, my father handed the kid $40.00 and told her it was "grandkids' day." This was in addition to the c-note he just gave her for her birthday. After handing her the cash, he pointed at me and said, "You'll just have to wait until I die."  (I'm named in his will.)  That could be arranged, I thought to myself.

On Sunday, I took my daughter to visit her Kindergarten teacher. Mrs. L had called a couple of times this summer, wondering when A could come for a visit. I don't remember a teacher ever inviting me to their home, that's for sure.  Mrs. L has a pond, sheep, cats, etc. and enjoys having students drop by (she and her husband are empty-nesters). Anyway, the kid was beyond excited by the time we pulled up at her teacher's home. "This is the best kind of day!" she exclaimed as she hopped out of the van and ran into the arms of her teacher.  We spent the next hour and a half touring the home and the pond, sipping lemonade and taking photos. We talked a bit about academics. Mrs. L told me that my daughter reads at "at least a second grade level."  Needless to say, I was one proud, puffed-up mama. (I didn't make her brain, but I get to take partial credit for all the reading she and I have done together!)

As wonderful as my daughter is, I have to feel a bit sorry for her future boss as well as her future spouse. Why?  Two words: weekday mornings. I don't mean to spill all of her secrets (oh, who am I kidding? of course I do!), but Miss Popularity is an absolutely ill-tempered tyrannical pill for about the first two hours after she gets up.  You didn't think it was all sunshine and giggles around our house, did you?
With her teacher


With Granddaddy

With Grandpa

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