Tuesday, March 11, 2008

when i grow up

"Mommy, what YOU want to be when you gwow up?"

Donovan LOVES to talk about what he wants to be when he grows up (fireman) and what Ainsleigh wants to be (ball-hu-WEE-nuh) and what everybody does. Today he included me in this conversation and when he asked me, I said, "A mom." "No - when you all done being a mom. What you going do?" I shrugged and said, "I'm going to be a mom forever." This had a two-fold effect on Donovan. First, the word "forever" is very important to him - when Ainsleigh draws him a picture or shares something with him or when he finds a shiny rock or...you get the idea...he almost always asks, "Can I keep it fo-WHEH-vuh?" Sometimes this is punctuated by an additional "and EH-VUH?!" Yes, Donovan, you can keep that stupid plastic maraca forever and ever. But anyway, the word "forever" carries extreme weight with him. Second, I could see the wheels turning in his head as he cocked his head to one-side, a slight smile playing at his lips, his hair sticking out at weird this-is-my-bedhead-and-my-mom-didn't-smooth-it-down-this-morning angles. He finally replied, "You be my mom when I be a fireman?" Yes, Donovan. ForEVER. "Oh! I wike dat. You best mom."

Now. Let us remember where I was, mentally, almost a week ago. And let us marvel, for a moment, at Darwin's declaration of survival of the fittest. I suspect women from the dawn of time have known about this phenomenon. Because how else would you explain all of these toddlers living to adulthood?

And the icing on the cake? Later, Donovan asked me, "Mommy, ah you a peh-pess?" No Dono, I'm not a princess. He persisted in his question. Ah shoot, of COURSE I'm a princess. So I replied that yes, I was a princess. He giggled and said, "I cahw you peh-pess, ok?" Sure, you can call me princess. And you know what, he has. As I dropped him at his morning mini-preschool, he ran to the door and yelled over his shoulder, "Bye peh-pess!" And when we had returned from getting Ainsleigh at school, he asked, very politely, "Peh-pess, I have yunch now?" And when I asked if he wanted some yogurt, he politely said, "Uh...no chaynch choo peh-pess."

Ainsleigh has been snickering the whole time, and Donovan has been very pleased with himself. And really, I'm thrilled. Because when I was their age, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said a princess. I just had no idea it would take motherhood to make me one.