The other day I was sifting through the mountain of art our daughter creates at preschool every week, when I happened upon a co-creation by her and one of her preschool mates. Our daughter, whose name is Csilla, had obviously stood side by side with Cooper one day to create a masterpiece work of art because both names appeared on the flimsy preschool art paper. Here it is:
Two tangents here:
1. Why is preschool art paper barely a grade thicker than tissue paper? and;
2. Do the teachers really have to send every piece of art home with the kids so we end up with a huge pile of it and out of guilt/admiration, can't seem to throw it away? Couldn't they just trash some of this craptastic stuff and we, the parents, would be none the wiser?
Anyway, Csilla notices this piece of art and recognizes her own name on the page, but she's not yet three and the reading isn't quite there yet, so she can't figure out whose name is alongside hers. I tell her is says Cooper and I start spelling it out for her C-O-O... but before I can get to the P, Csilla starts crying hysterically. Dumbfounded, I try to console her, but she runs screaming into her bedroom and throws herself headfirst onto her settee and continues to scream. She's inconsolable and I haven't the faintest idea was has set her off. Csilla's not especially prone to crying (really... I'm very lucky) so I think maybe she's hurt herself or something else important, but I have no idea.
I finally calm her down enough to ask her what's wrong and she sputters, "Cooper's name can't start with a C! Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
She's back at it. More screaming.
"What? Cooper's name can't start with a C? Why not?" I say.
More sputtering, "Only gurls names can start with a C!" (By the way, we live in Vancouver and yet our kid often speaks with a Bostonian accent - hence gurls, not girls.)
In my best confused mom voice I say "Huh? Only girl's names can start with the letter C?"
She whimpers, "Yeeesssss. Like you mama (my name is Carolyn) and meeeeeeeee Csilla! Cooper's a boooooooooooooooyyyy mama. His name can't start with a C! No boys allowed!!!"
You can see her logic. Of course Cooper's name can't start with a C. He's a boooooooooooooooooooooyyyy. Ahhhh. It all makes sense now.
Anyway, this story pretty much continues with crying and more crying and insistence upon the fact that boy's names can't start with a C until I use the first and second best weapons in a mom's arsenal against the irrationality of an almost-three year old - distraction and bribery - and I use them hard and fast and in one breath...
"Csilla-honey-quick-quick! Let's-go-get-some-treats! Quick! But-we-have-to-hurry-because-we-have-to-get-there-before-all-your-Backyardigan-friends-get-there-first-and-we-should-probably-eat-them-in-front-of-the-tv-just-to-make-sure-they-taste-good!"
Huh? Now where's my logic gone? But it works. The crying stops instantly. Csilla then says clearly and calmly, "Treats? For me? Can I have an M&M mama?" One offer of M&M's and the problem is solved.
"Sure darling... let's go. Your mama loves you."