My three-year-old is so sweet. I love this age and stage of her life.
If I say, “I love you, Palauma,” she immediately responds, “I love YOU, Mama,” with just the right amount of insanely cute squeak in her voice, and she never misses a beat.
If I sing, “Mama loves Palauma, ” she’ll croon right back, “Palauma loves Mama.”
Lately, though, she’s been adding a little something extra to her declarations of love.
The other day I said, “I love you,” to which she replied, “I love you, too. And I don’t want you to die.”
Whoa…Wha? Where did that come from?
She says it a lot now and it’s really starting to creep me out. Maybe because she says it with a huge, squinty-eyed, almost fake smile. That and the fact that when I walk through the door after work, or even a short run, she runs up to hug me and says, “I’m glad you made it back, mama.” Really? Was there a chance I wouldn’t? Does she know something I don’t?
Sure, none of us knows when our number will be up, but that doesn’t stop me from imagining my golden years. And, of course, in my old age I picture at least one of my kids taking care of me…one of the perks of having 4 kids, right? Since there’s a 1 in 4 chance that duty will befall my youngest, I might as well plant the seeds of her fate now.
She recently caught me having a pity party about grown up things, like saaay…our future financial security. I was crying my eyes out when she brought me an almond and asked, “Mama, will this feel you better?” I hugged her close, then looked her in the eyes,
“When you’re a grown up, you’ll take care of me, right?”
She squealed, “Yeah! I’ll take care of you mama, and you take care of me cuz I’m a baby!”
“Oh yeah…how do I take care of you?”
“You feed me. You go get me to sleep. You wake up me. You help put on me a dress. You get me on the toilet to go pee. You get me on the toilet again to go poop. You get my little shoes on and you pick me up and we go outside. You make a happy face and I make happy face.”
And I did, right then and there, break into a happy face. Even when she added, “And I don’t want you to die.”