One day last summer I was changing Sasha’s diaper, when she looked me dead in the eye and asked, “Mommy, what is fuck?” She enunciated the ck in a way that made it clear she was imitating my usage when I’ve tripped over a plastic egg for the thousandth time, or my 20-pound cat has escaped after I’ve finally managed to get Sasha bundled up and out the door.
“Oh, that’s a word only for grown-ups,” I told her. This is my standard line for anything that really is just for grown-ups, but also for things she observes me doing that I probably shouldn’t be doing—climbing on a bookshelf to measure the width of a window, for instance. For now, she seems to take my word for it, that these things are only for grown-ups. For now.
“Mommy,” she said, her baby voice full of gravity, “maybe when I’m a big, BIG grown-up I will say that word.”
“Yes, honey,” I agreed. “Maybe then you will.”
There are lots of things Sasha tells me she will do when she’s a grown-up. The running list includes:
- drink wine out of a tiny, tiny cup
- enjoy beer foam
- cut with a sharp knife
- eat raw spinach
- wear a black coat
- have pubic hair
- and, of course, say “fuck”
Itemized, these seem like funny desires for an almost-three-year-old. But when I think about it, they make for what is probably a pretty accurate partial depiction of what she will be like as an adult. (Or is it a depiction of me, minus the beer foam, which is my husband?) In the two years since I started LST, I have learned that longest shortest times are constantly changing. We go in and out of crisis mode and each new crisis comes on so strongly that we nearly forget the last. The LSTs change because our kids are constantly changing. Growing. One micro-step closer to becoming who they will be.
Here’s to a new year of micro-steps. And getting through the LSTs that come with them. I’m excited to say that I have a few podcast episodes in the works. 2013 will bring us stories about an unplanned pregnancy; a very planned baby, ten years in the making; and one about the meaning of the word mama. Or maman, as this case would have it.
In the meantime, got any fun things your kids’ big BIG grown-up list? Tell us! Down in the comments.
SubmissionsI'm looking for moms and dads to interview about surprising struggles in early parenthood. If you'd like me to consider your story, please email me.
We Can’t Stop Reading
We Can’t Stop Listening To
1. One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found
Disk 4, Track 6: "Peanut Duck"
2. Peter Pan
Track 4: I've Gotta Crow
3. Wild Flag
Track 1: Romance
Podcast Theme Music