How do parents do it?


alphabet (Photo credit: Jim Davies)

Holy moly, I remember watching my nieces and nephews when they were little…and I was much, much younger.  It didn’t seem as difficult then as spending the day with a kid is now.  I’ve spent a big part of the day with my little neighbor, Claire…you’ve probably heard me talk about her before.  Sweet, funny, adorable and exhausting.  I took her and her mom to one of the food pantries here in town (there’s a whole upcoming blog in that experience).  She’s very well-behaved and quiet, that’s not the problem.  She just has so much energy…and, uh…I don’t.

After we got back, we went our separate ways, or so I thought.  Pretty soon there came this hesitant little knock on my door.  When I opened the door, there was Claire…her mommy said she could come over for a while.  She wanted to pet the kitties.  It took a while, but they eventually got to the place where they’d stay in the room with her.  Spook even allowed Claire to rub her head.  Shocking, but true!

Claire wanted me to show her how to write her name.  When I started to write it, I was using all caps.  Well, she informed me, in no uncertain terms, that we didn’t need those in her name.  Then it dawned on me, they use lower case letters…okay, I got it now.  Lower case it is.  And she recognized the letters.  See, I don’t think we did anything like that in kindergarten, but maybe we did…it has been a long, long time ago….in a galaxy far, far away…oh wait…that’s the exhaustion talking.

She had to go through every single cat toy in the house (well, not the ones under the fridge or the washer…but only because she doesn’t yet know about them), asking me which cat liked which toys the best, when they got each of them, what their favorite colors are, and so on.  Then she wanted to know why I leave them by themselves all day when I’m at work.  I mean, how do you tell a 5-year-old that you leave your cats home alone because they’re cats?  Ahh…but then came the clincher.  She said she’d be glad to watch them for me while I’m at work.  Aww…right?  I told her Spooky watches Scout since Spooky is older and that seemed to satisfy her.

Before she left, she asked me if I was working tomorrow.  When I told her I was, she asked, “And you’re going to see if you can find Dora for me?  I’ve never had Dora.”  How can I resist?  I sure hope we have something to do with Dora in the store.  If not, I guess I’ll have to go hunting…

Now…I have to go to bed…I’m worn out!

5 Responses

  1. Kids do have a lot of energy at that age. I hope you find Dora. I have a feeling Claire finds a sense of peace at your house–and we both know a cat makes a wonderful friend.

    • Thank, Patti. I hope she manages to find a sense of peace here…yep, cats are good friends…I was always able to talk to my cats when I was a kid (well, I still do, but it seemed like they were the only living creatures who would listen to me when I was little).

      Luckily, we sell Dora coloring books so I was able to pick one up for her today. I even taught her how to say “hello” in Spanish…

  2. I have never been a Mom. By choice. I didn’t think I would make a very good Mom and my husband was not interested in having children. I am married for 40 years this coming January. My heart couldn’t help smiling when you were going to go out for a Dora. I once had a little girl that came to visit from the house next door to us. I fell in love with her. She so reminded me of me at that age and I understood her. She loved horses and we had birds at the time that just captured her interest. She was very good with them. I truly enjoyed that time. She opened my eyes to all sorts of things and got my mind off some emotional issues I had at the time. I agree with Patti, I think Claire finds a sense of peace AND comfort and safety at your house.

    • The really good thing about having the neighbor girl visit, is that we can (gently) run her off when we need to. I bet that little girl remembers you to this day. When I was 5 or 6, there was a teen-aged girl who worked at the store on the corner…she’d stop by our house and take us kids out for rides in her car…we thought we were something…she was probably only 18 or so, but it made us feel so important to have an adult take an interest in us like that.

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