My husband took a two week trip, so I was a single mom for a bit. Pleasantly enough, Olivia stepped up to be more mature and helpful.
In addition to making me my morning coffee because she got up first, she did other little gestures. One morning, she made me toast, and even asked if I wanted butter on it, before spreading some on and serving it to me. She then made me a second cup of coffee at my request.
One lunch, at my prompt, she pulled the pasta out of the fridge, microwaved it, plated it for us, and served it. I’ll tell her things, and she’ll actually remember them, or try to.
It was just a shade easier to manage her than if we were just alone for, say, a Saturday day. It felt like living with an aspiring housemate.
Who is this child and what has she done with the real Olivia?
My theory is that she feels like an equal partner when it’s just her and another adult. She’s already an only child, so being around grown ups comes quite naturally to her. Combined with all the individual attention, she feels good about herself and wants to do more.
So I asked her, “Do you like when Daddy’s out of town because it’s just us?”
“Yeah,” she said.
“Do you feel like a big girl because it’s just you and another adult?” I continued.
“Yeah,” she confirmed.
“Are you like this when it’s just you and Daddy?” I asked.
“You never take trips,” she laughed, “and when you do, you always take me.”
What a funny little statement. I guess so, huh? I never travel anymore.
She has no idea that the pre-motherhood Diane traveled all the time. Boy, can motherhood upend your life like nobody’s business. I am so harried and boring now.
Oh well. She’s nine. Maybe in another five years she can evolve from making my coffee to booking our travel itinerary, and we can take our Girls’ Time on the road.