Trust the Gene Genie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Of entertainments and infuriations

The girls and I were watching "Aladdin" yesterday and when the movie finished and I went to turn it off, Elsa -- who, I will remind you, is now almost 8 -- let loose with this unholy wail, screaming about how it was not time to turn off the television.

The clear reaction to this -- the only reaction if we're being honest -- was to laugh. It was so absurd and so out of the blue. And so we all started to laugh. Really hard. Which only made Elsa angrier, leading to more yelling. Which in turn made us laugh even harder. Seriously, I hadn't laughed that hard in days.

Elsa is easily our most challenging child, but by the same token, she's also our most entertaining. Well, most entertaining in the sense that her behavior is often unexpected, over the top and overtly dramatic. Claire and Leigh are certainly just as entertaining. But not in that same unexpected way:

Yes, that's Elsa, who wandered into the display window at The Gap earlier this year and struck a pose while Becky was with the cashier. What I love about this incident SO MUCH is that Elsa did it to entertain just herself. Because she's 7. And the world clearly revolves around just her. The actual photo was snapped by some lady walking by. Who was accidentally entertained by Elsa's self-pleasing stunt.

As we shift gears in the family with work schedules and at-home parenting, I'm hoping Elsa never grows out of this. It's such an endearing and entertaining (and yet infuriating) stage of life. So at the same time I'm totally hoping Elsa grows out of this. We want her to be a productive member of society and grow up to be a self-reliant adult.

Luckily (and do I feel some guilt here? Yes, yes I do), Becky's done most of the heavy lifting already. I've just got to reinforce it and not undo all of her work. And that goes for the other two girls as well. When I was home with them yesterday, I noticed just how well they've been trained to be productive and stay focused. It's like Becky knows what she's doing.

Which begs the question, do I know what I'm doing? I wonder sometimes. I'm sure Becky wonders sometimes. Luckily, she's promised to make herself available for consults and training, should I ever get stuck.

It's nice to have an expert you can call in.

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