Rainbows and Oranges

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It’s morning.

“Lizzy, you have to get dressed now if you want your sticker today.”

“Did you do your homework? You have to bring something that starts with the letter ‘O’.”

“If you don’t get dressed, then you have to go to school in your pajamas and you won’t be allowed to play outside.”

“Leave Henry alone -- he’s under the table because he wants to be alone.”

“Did you find your Sharing Day item?”

“Lizzy, I’ll help you get dressed, now -- but you’re not getting a sticker.”

“Have you thought about the clues you need for Sharing Day?”

“No, you don’t get a sticker for getting dressed eventually -- you get a sticker for getting dressed without making a fuss, first.”

“Can you think of a better clue than ‘it’s orange’?”

“Don’t forget to brush your hair.”

“No, you can’t eat your Sharing Day item... or poke holes in it.”

“Where’s your jacket?”

“Lizzy! You forgot your Sharing Day item!”

Elizabeth is loaded into her car seat, holding her breakfast baggy in one hand and her Sharing Day item in the next. She eats Froot Loops and a toasted bagel as we drive to school and work. Her mom and dad listen to The Who.

On one side of the mountain the sun is shining brightly, but as we turn the corner, there are clouds. It begins to sprinkle.

“Hey, Lizzy -- do you see it?” Daddy points through the front window. “There’s a rainbow!”

Excitedly, she looks through the window. “There is?!” she exclaims. But as quickly as the rainbow appeared, it evaporates and is gone.

“I don’t see it!” she says, sadly.

“Oh no, it disappeared. Sorry sweetie.”

Dejected, Elizabeth sighs and nibbles her bagel. She removes the orange from a plastic Albertson’s bag and runs her fingers along its thick, bumpy skin. She admires its bright, happy color and thinks of digging into it with her fingers. She imagines how good the sweet tangy burst of juice would feel against her tongue.

Don’t eat that, Lizzy,” her mother warns.

Elizabeth sighs. “I won’t...” she says and let’s the orange rest on her lap.

Some mornings are just tough for a 4-year old.


Rima January 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM  

Melissa! I'm so glad you're back!

Mornings are hard for everyone around here. I often have to sit back and remember what it was like to be a kid - the rules, the denial of instant gratification, the irrational (or rational) fears. It's tough. I wish Lizzy could have seen that rainbow.

Melissa January 29, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

Thanks so much, Rima! It's good to be back!

Yes, I really wish she could have seen it, too -- poor sweetie. I looked back over our morning and thought "we are such annoying parents, sometimes!"

Michele January 30, 2008 at 9:44 AM  

Neil was sick all last night and this morning so the daily routine of getting Zoe ready was left up to me. Since I rarely do it ... because I'm already at work ... I'm not all that good at it and apparently I don't know the rules too well ... as Zoe pointed out several times. Gotta love mornings.

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare January 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM  

Welcome back Melissa! Now I get to read your wonderful words to help pass the time. Much better than Oprah!

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