You can get away with some pretty great stuff when it's your first kid. Unfortunately the moment eventually comes when they decide it’s time to play over at someone else’s house. That’s when all your hard work, all the inventive, ingenious ideas you so carefully crafted, come to an abrupt end.
For example: my daughter, Alexis, didn’t realize it was possible for her to open the refrigerator door until she went to best friend Kirsten’s house and watched said friend do just that. Ever the curious one, upon arriving home Alexis immediately made her way to the kitchen and promptly opened the fridge door. Grrr. Down went the eggs. Out came the milk. From the deepest corners my little explorer managed to unearth items of food I eventually dubbed unrecognizable after so many years spent in forced hibernation.
You’d think after that I would have learned my lesson. You’d think from there on out the friends would come to our house, instead of sending me sending my gullible girl out into the devious world where things like being able to play outside in a non-fenced backyard really happens.
But no, and here is where my real story begins.
I had created the most fantastic of illusions, the most superb deception ever planned by a scheming mother just trying to stay sane. I had my then four year-old daughter convinced there was a magical truck that drove through the neighborhood with the sole purpose of playing music for the delight of children. Daily she would flock to the window, her little nose pressed intently against it as she gazed out at the marvelous truck that occasionally passed right by our house. Her little bum would wiggle and waggle with the beat, her feet tapping a staccato, her head bouncing and humming along with whichever tune happened to be playing.
How I crowed with satisfaction, my chest swelling as though I were a mama hen proudly thrusting out her feathers. My baby chick would go on in content ignorance while I, her doting and imaginative mother, could rest in peace.
Pride goes before a fall, am I right? I was so busy praising my ingenuity I had forgotten one important thing: don’t let Alexis go to her friend’s house. Kirsten called one day absolutely begging for Alexis to come and play. Thinking my bubble was too solid to burst I blindly let her go.
A few hours later she came rushing into the house, a sticky smile plastered into place.
“Oh Mom, you’ll never guess what! It’s the biggest, most bestest surprise of them all!”
Alexis thrust her excitement at me as thoroughly as she did her popsicle stick. I could hardly wait to hear what wonderful truth wrapped around a slim piece of wood my little darling had unearthed.
“You know that music truck?”
“Well, Kirsten’s mom stopped it right in front of their house,” she continued, her blue eyes practically popping out of her head.
Please don’t say it.
“Get this, Mom. It’s an ice cream truck!” Unable to contain all the wonderful feelings that one sentence held she began hopping around the living room like a frog on a skillet. “Isn’t that the best surprise ever? Can we get an ice cream when it comes back around? Huh? Can we Mom? Can we? Please Mom? I’ll love you forever.”
Oh crud. Foiled again.
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