I scrapped the blog post I was going to write to talk about the grossest thing my daughter, Violet, has ever done. It was today. I am still shuddering. More on the gruesome details in a bit.
My daughter Violet is four and a half. She’s at that age where she often acts far older than her years (sometimes 16, for example, when she runs into her room, slams the door, and reminds me that she needs to be alone).
We have these great conversations that are so intelligent and rational and amazing. We’ve talked about the size of the Universe and what stars and the rings of Jupiter are made from.
We’ve talked about the fact that some creatures are mammals like humans and give birth to live babies and other creatures, like birds, fish, and reptiles, lay eggs.
We’ve talked about how no matter what she does wrong, I will always love her. Always. That she’s my whole heart.
I quickly lose sight of the fact that she is only four and a half. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become complacent. I leave her to her own devices at times. Especially when I am trying to run a house by myself. She is also painfully independent (see aforementioned slamming of bedroom door). I trust her not to put peas up her nose or to eat crayons. I am far too trusting.
This morning, my daughter was hanging out in my room playing on my bed. She loves to hang out there on Saturday mornings and play with our cat who has turned my bed into her daytime abode. As I brought some laundry into the room, Vi cheerfully said, “Mama, guess what I did?”
I asked — not for a moment suspecting the grim truth — “What did you do Baby?”
She responded, “I licked the cat.”
“I licked the cat.”
“What did you say?!?!?!”
“Her butt. The fur. Not where the poop comes out.”
“Vi, you have to promise me that you’ll never do that again?!?!?”
My daughter looked stricken.
“But why? She licks herself.”
Then she started to cry and I had to stop from dry heaving. I picked her up and held her. I brought her downstairs to brush her teeth. I brushed mine for good measure. I then explained that poop and cat fur have germs and that cats have enzymes in their saliva and micro fauna in their digestive tracks to help them deal with this. Four-year-olds don’t. She looked unconvinced.
This episode reminded me of so many things:
- I need to keep a better watchful eye on my progeny
- Vi is always learning and growing. It’s my job to teach her and to reinforce those lessons (over and over); and
- Vi is going to do disgusting, irrational things. Because, she’s four.
Finally, it reminded me that laughing is better than crying. We did a lot of laughing together after this.
“Mama, will you ever stop loving me, when I do things that are bad?” Vi asked me.
“Never gonna happen, my love. You’re my whole heart,” I replied.