My daughter, nearly two, does a thing. There are many things she does, naturally, but there is this one that I want to talk about today. It relates to her genetics, of course, and her personality, and the fuel (read: lily-white pasta) that she loves to shove in her face.
The thing she does is this: She ruins something with a mess. Her room, say, by organizing, or her face, more likely, with food.
And then she screams.
Because, she realizes, she doesn’t actually like the mess. And she would really like someone to clean it all up.
When I picked her up from preschool this week (the week before Easter, naturally), she had rabbit ears on. And a rabbit face. The nose, the whiskers, and when I said “Who ARE you?”, she said “Money”. (“Money”, to Lucia, means “Bunny”. But that’s another conversation.)
And when we got in the car I noticed a tiny shiny thing her in small-gripped hand. And so I pried it out. And then she wailed. Oh she wailed. And I was tired from a very, very long morning and I just didn’t want to fight it. So I let it stay there, knowing full well it was a piece of chocolate before lunch. Knowing full well that a tiny piece of chocolate in a hot, summer-y car in a hot, grimy hand was never going to end well.
It took eight minutes to drive home.
In that eight minutes, she managed to spread chocolate all over all the places. Her mini cargo pants, the carseat, the farthest reaches of the backseat her short arms could take her. Her face, and her hands. Oh, her hands.
By this time, she was screaming.
“Mano!!!” (This means “hand”, in Spanish, not in the invented Money = Bunny language.)
She meant, of course, that she was sick of this crud all over her fingers and needed Mama to clean it up. At once.
And as we pulled into the driveway and I got out of the car and started cleaning and cleaning and saying “Wash, wash, wash!” in the sing-songy voice I do with her when she’s taking a bath, I realized this whole scene was reminiscent of my own life.
My own little life where first I cry for the chocolate. And then I go and mess everything up pretty royally. And then I cry for someone else to clean up the mess.
It’s okay, of course, to do this on occasion, and no matter what we do we little human beings will always suffer from not being wise as books.
But it begs us to remember. To remember about the chocolate.