Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Story time and a purse (blech).

SS and I decided to attend story time at a local bookstore this morning. When I looked at the rucksack I have been using as SS's diaper bag I realized that it's done. Not wise to leave the house with that thing. SS is almost three (can't believe that is two months away) and does not really need a diaper bag. That is where my compulsion to have things handy messes with my mind. There is nothing wrong with leaving the items in the van, we are never far from it. But no, I must have a diaper, wipes, plastic fork/spoon, snacks, bib and at least a sippy cup with me. I did the same with JJ. My son remembers and talks about many things about his childhood. However, I have never heard, "Mom, I sure appreciated that you always changed my diaper immediately, and had a variety of complimentary snacks and beverages for a ten minute drive to the grocery store." Can you believe that has never come up? Yet here I am still doing the same thing.

I looked around for something suitable. My purse is a travel purse, the type used for storing credit cards, driver's license, a passport and some money. It's served me well, because for the past ten years it has been tucked inside my briefcase. I traded my briefcase for a diaper bag (great trade). Then I remembered it, blech. See, I kind of fibbed when I said I do not own a purse. I conveniently forgot that I have owned one (forced on me) since March. It's the purse my mother had with her at the airport. I noticed it because it is so not my mother's style, although it suited her very well. My mother is a prissy girl, always well put together, slacks and blouses, pretty nails, nice hair and makeup. She is so tired of being embarrassed by me in public that she has resigned herself to dressing down when she is around me. It's also a Roxy purse. What the hell was my 69 year old mother doing with a brand I recognize? I love their stuff, and can't wait to get back to work to splurge on some Roxy clothing for SS.

Turns out that my mother bought the purse from my Cousin K. That makes sense, because CK is the daughter my mother never had. CK (barely 18 months my junior) was always glamorous, hip, a trend setter, and most important of all, feminine. My mother always urged me to be more like CK. I retorted that if I emulated CK's femininity, I would also emulate her lackadaisical attitude towards school and her 1.4 GPA. I won that one. :) CK has only one child, want to guess the gender? In the big lottery of life no one would have ever guessed that CK would only be dressing a boy, and me (the horror) would be responsible for a girl. What can I say, I got me a few skillz.

So there it was, in the same drawer it has been since my mother insisted on leaving the purse with me last year. It's big enough to accommodate SS's basics, and it goes well with jeans. I mean, I guess, what do I know about purses? I wasted half an hour looking for another option, then reluctantly opened the drawer. Do I really want to do this? My neurosis won that battle, got to have SS's things with me. I begrudgingly placed my daughter's supplies in the purse. As I was doing this, SS walked into my room. Her uterine girly detection device in full alert, guiding her like a beacon of feminine light. Her eyes instantly drawn to the purse, then the smile, the squeal and the fun began. SS pointed to the rucksack, "Mama's backpack," said in a monotone weird kind of voice. SS pointed at the purse, squealed, clapped her little hands and said, "Mama's purse," "pretty, oooooooohhhhhhhh, pretty." We had already chosen SS's wardrobe for the outing and SS joyfully announced, "SS's pretty dress!," then, "Mama's pretty purse!" UGH. SS took my now fully loaded purse to her room, sat on the glider, explored it, and seriously, caressed the thing. It gave me an instant migraine.

SS in her pretty dress could not help but gush about the %$*&%*&@# purse during our drive to the store and in the store. Once there she saw Mr.Paul, a nice retired man who provides his musical talent during many story times in this county. SS saw him tuning his guitar and that was it, she was in love. Since there is no musical talent whatsoever in this household and a ban on TV, we are still trying to figure out where SS learned about guitars and why they interest her so much now. She saw the guitar, pointed, shouted (she was loud) "GUITAR!" and planted herself stage front and center.

We have posted enough videos of SS rocking to music, it's what she does. Not today, I could not get her to do the hand motions to the songs, sing along, dance, let alone move. SS sat on my lap, a smile on her face, total concentration on those beautiful eyes, and she just took all the music in. She carefully followed Mr. Paul's fingers strumming the guitar, it was so soothing to her. She was the only quiet, still child when the music and singing was happening. She was equally well behaved during the story reading, but interacted and would name the things she saw on the book. It was quite an experience for me because if there's music, there's SS motion.

It also brought many memories from Mami. She had a nephew who was very musically talented. He used to make guitars from tin cans, wood and using horse tail hair (whatever that is called) for the strings. I had the opportunity to see Tio C play the piano at our church during one of his visits. His playing really moved people. He never learned to read music and was quite embarrassed about this. He could play any instrument placed in front of him, with no formal musical training. He would place the hymn book with musical notes in front of him, because it made him feel better. But the thing Mami remembered Tio C for was those home made guitars and the joy they brought her. She always wanted to learn to play the guitar and in fourth grade, in a terrible miscalculation about my abilities, I decided to take guitar lessons. I sucked royally, terribly, and did not have the discipline to stick with the classes. Academics came easy to me, failure at that age was not in my radar, if I tried once I succeeded. The first time I didn't I gave up.

My initial guitar, was too small for me, but what my mother could afford and thought was reasonable to lose if I quit (she was right). Mami would not have it, and bought me a full size, nice guitar. It is almost destroyed by now. My ex-husband threw something at it to hurt me. But I still have it, tattered and all. Not to let the guitar go to waste, Mami would sit down at night, in her last years, and blindly peck at it and sang hymns.When she could no longer play I felt so much guilt, because the least I could have done was play by her bedside. But I gave up. Darn P and naming SS after Mami. Maybe Mami will get her little guitar playing girl, one that will stick with it this time around. If not, SS is still an unexpected but welcome source of good Mami memories. P you were right on the money, thanks for not caving in on this one (that was so difficult to write).

She was in girl heaven while exploring the purse. She pulled on the loop and said "Mama's keys." My keys are secured by a carabiner and SS is used to see me hooking them to her diaper bag and my backpacks.

SS's perfect imitation of a patient child. HA!

Mama look at all those books. Can we take them home?

A little snack before all her attention is focused on the stage.

Mr. Paul was warming up his guitar. SS was his sole audience and she was mesmerized. All kids like music, it's universal, but there seems to be that extra pull with SS. JJ loved music, loved singing, and loved dancing. Pretty normal stuff for an almost three year old. I do not recall him being so interested in musical instruments. Place drums, a piano, keyboard and now a guitar in front of SS, and she is in another world.

SS was such a good little girl, that I could not deny her request to stay a while longer perusing books.

Mama, this train table has two helicopters!

SS becoming acquainted with Snoopy's siblings.

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