Tuesday, September 26, 2006

self portrait tuesday

If I were alone being completely honest with myself, and I contemplated whether I really had a favorite child, the answer would sincerely be no. I do feel more mushy about one or the other on certain days, but this pendulum swings evenly. Lately, I feel extremely mushy about Mina. And this is one of my favorite photos of all time. It caps off the With Someone theme at Self Portrait Challenge.

Mina lost her first tooth last week. She squealed and strutted and shouted, "I'M GONNA GET SOME MONEY!" Then she wrote the toothfairy a letter on her own. It read: "Hi Toothfairy. Do you see my tooth under my pellow? The last time you were here you gave my sister five dollers. Did you know this is my first tooth? Isn't that amasing?" I said to Husband, "Is she busting the toothfairy's balls right now?" He said, "Yup. This kid is a money grubber."

I saw a mother yesterday kissing her four year old's neck just under his cheek. It was the rapid type of kisses where you just rattle them off because you don't ever want to leave that soft, sweet crease once you're in there. She kissed and kissed and the baby's head shook and he laughed, and I couldn't wait to get home to do the same to Mina.

The week before, when I was walking the dogs, I saw a father and daughter eating a meal on their balcony. They were eating quietly. The girl was around six and she sat on her knees and brought her fork to her mouth like a big girl even if she clutched the fork like a baby, and she chewed her tiny little bites with her mouth closed. Why this choked me up I'm not sure, but it had something do to with teaching your babies to do things or them following our lead and then all of the sudden there they are acting like little tiny human beings, miniature-like, but they do it with pure intention. They are not thinking about the day or resenting their work or worrying about bills, they are thinking about how do get that fork to their mouth so they can eat the food their dad made until they are not hungry any more. The sweetness of the scene made me want to run back and go kiss Mina's neck again.

She's doing things on her own now: Drawing her boundaries with her mami-like sister, dressing herself, telling me what she likes and doesn't like. Mina said to me last night, all bossy, "Mami, get me a bigger container and pack a big salad for my lunch. Yesterday, it was too little." And I thought, whoa, Mina's demanding that I pack her a big-ass salad for lunch so . . .OK! But then she asked for candy incessantly. She dresses herself in long, yellow baller shorts that hang over her knees. She'll then pull up navy and light blue striped socks over her knees, put on a Girl's Football League tshirt and then try to get out of the house with some red lipstick darkly spread on her tiny lips and a Barbie purse on her shoulder. I call the style Hoochie Jock. I recently cut off some yoga pants to make knee-length shorts. I didn't know Mina had fished out the cut-off parts of the pants until she came out to the living room wearing one piece of 8 inch leg as a mini skirt and the other as a tube top. I said, "What the hell--" She said, "Can I go to the library like this?" And Husband's heart froze, genuinely scared about the future of Mina's dress style. She then went to her room and cut fringe in the hem of the mini skirt and cut a keyhole in the middle of the tube top, put a piece of yarn through it and tied it around her neck as a halter. She said, "How about now?" Apparently she thought Papi didn't think the outfit was snazzy enough. I wanted to tackle her and roll her around and kiss her face until all the Vixen red gloss was off.


acumamakiki said...

Oh this is lovely. As you watch your kiddies getting older, it's hard to not get a ball in your throat as you glimpse their baby self all stuffed into this big kid's body. I love the term, 'hoochie jock'. Mine just has the hoochie part down. (=

michelle/weaker vessel said...

Seriously laughing at loud at the Hoochie Jock stylings. Love her DIY spirit! And yet another great self-portrait, yo.

LeS said...

Oh do you ever know how to live this life! Ha - Hoochie Jock!
I think one of my favorite parts of this job called Mama is imagining the future adults we get to help mold.
And you've certainly got two rockin' future adults on your hands my dear :)

Anonymous said...

Mina has the right idea about teeth. When I lost my second tooth, I wrote a little article and put it under my pillow, saying "Due to inflation, the cost of redeeming a tooth has now increased to $0.50. We regret the inconvenience, and hope that you will continue in your capacity as Tooth Fairy." I included a small graph, showing the increase in tooth rates from 1975-1977. $5.00! That's true inflation!

pixielyn said...

I loved this post bestest of all of your posts.

YOU ROCK as a Mom!

You make me weep with the joy you express about being a mother/wife/woman.

Thank you.

la vie en rose said...

aren't they just too yummy!

kiki said...

lovely self portrait

lovegreendog said...

the words and images here are so wonderful. i'm going to kiss my babies right now!

Kathleen said...

so so funny. i love that she made her own clothes outta yer cutoffs! hee.

she is one loved child. lucky girl. : )

Jeremy Stockwell said...

Awesome picture! The light is great. The genuineness of the moment is palpable. So glad that Amy put this one up on the main site, cause I think I would have missed it, otherwise.