Has anyone seen her lately? Because I haven’t.
When I asked Lucille a question the other day she turned her head toward me. Her were eyes soft, her face slack as she responded the way she does to nearly everything these days.
You may be surprised to know that these were actually not the answers to the question I had asked her. I don’t think I’ve ever asked her anything that could be answered with vagina but she doesn’t seem to realize that.
“Lucille, do you want orange juice or grape juice?”
“Did you get your shoes on?”
“Not yet, vagina!”
“Where is your backpack?”
“My butt crack?”
Then she scampers off to another room and I hang my head. The princess of potty talk has me pinned to the mat. I’m down for the count without the will to get up. And the potty talk is really only one piece of the tangled story of Lucille these days.
She has worn pajamas to school all week this week because she refuses to change clothes. Today, she wore the pajamas she wore yesterday. She slept in them in between. When I try to make her change her clothes, she crosses her arms and won’t let me get a shirt over her head. She kicks, she screams, she writhes on the floor. I’ve learned to just walk away. There is not enough coffee in the world to fight this battle in the morning.
A few years ago, I wrote about Lucille’s unpredictability, about her two-year-old tantrums. I had assumed, at the time, that this was a phase, something we would thankfully leave behind at some point. It’s been two years. I’m taking deep breaths.
The other day we walked into the garage which, granted, is a disaster and she blurted out as pretty as your please, “Holy hell mama it’s messy in here!”
I have to admit I laughed out loud. At least she calls it like she’s sees it.
During her ballet performance this week she fluttered across the room, she jumped imaginary ponds, she scowled at me as soon as she got close enough. She stood with her fairy toes on the purple line pulling up her skirt and giving me the stink eye in front of all the other parents in her class. I was so proud.
Lucille is spirited. Lucille is smart. Lucille, lately, has been a pain in my ass. I love her dearly. I really do but I wish she would work through what ever it is she’s working through and start to use words other than vagina and butt crack in a conversation. I see in this tiny package a fierce, independent spirit trying to emerge from the writhing, the stomping, the furrowed brow. Lucille’s screams could peel paint off the walls and I’m hoping that soon, very, very, soon, she finds in those screams the strong, amazing voice I know is in there begging to come out.
And when it does, get ready, it’s going to be powerful.