The Tyrant is nine big years old, and has decided to play basketball for the NBA because “I just keep getting better and better, Mom.” She actually is very good. Her rebounding style could conservatively be labeled as aggressive, or more accurately as hack-like.
She continues to be a magical sort of child who gives feathery kisses and is prone to saying things like, “Oh, Mom, you look so beautiful!” when I’m wearing clean workout clothes. She herself dresses strangely, often in clothes that don’t match or wearing the same shirt three days straight. Somehow, she makes it work. “What? I’m not a girly-girl,” she tells me over and over. I have no idea what she means.
She’s a kind, generous, thoughtful kid, except when she’s not. Asking her to clean her room by herself might incite a tantrum worthy of a reality television show. Why do you hate me? Why did you even adopt me? I don’t belong in this family! Can you please speak nicer to me? Just say you’re sorry and this will all be over. And then, a few minutes later, “I think I was just hungry, Mom. I’m sorry.” I imagine it’s like living with an adorable cuddly baby porcupine. She loves strawberries, mac ‘n’ cheese, strawberry ice cream, bananas, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. And croissants. And raw cookie dough. Mostly raw cookie dough.
She remains inextricably connected to Teddy, her stuffed bear. Teddy goes to school, serves as her pillow, wipes away tears, and dispenses an aroma you might expect to find in a penicillin lab. Yobi the rescue pup once ate Teddy’s eyes, so until we could schedule a transplant surgery Teddy wore a Delta airlines sleep mask.
I gave her Teddy while she still lived in Guatemala, and I think she somehow connects it to the place of her birth, which is both wonderful and disconcerting. Sometimes I can intuit her confusion, her desperate effort to reconcile where she’s from with where she is. I love her so much, and I want her to be all mine, but like all children, she possesses an independent spirit that often shifts her perspective into mysterious, alluring directions.
But this same independent spirit, allowed to flourish, has produced a startling, hilarious, artistic streak in this wild child. She makes music videos. With an app called musical.ly, she has produced over 900 videos and has 798 fans. For real. We’re expecting a call any day now from The Ellen DeGeneres Show or the FCC, because sometimes she uses bad words. Like ‘ho. But she thinks it’s HOE. And she doesn’t know what either word means, so we’re fine with it.
She’s kind of a natural, and slightly obsessed. Sometimes, an hour after I’ve tucked her into bed, my phone beeps to alert me that she’s just posted another video. Teddy and the dogs feature prominently in many of them. I know you’re dying to see them….here’s one, and here’s another. If you are an agent, please contact me directly.
Having three children nearly pushed me over the edge. If someone had explained to me how hard it would be, I might have stuck with one, the Diva, the darling angel princess girl. Every single day, though, this tiny little package of unbridled joy, righteousness, and love reminds us that sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.