Sunday, March 16, 2014

Velvet By: Karen Pilarski

It must be so interesting to be a two year old. The attention, the fits, the curiosity and the love.

This weekend we took care of Velvet (my husband's cousin's daughter). She is a blonde cutie pie. We lovingly nicknamed her "Velveta Cheese."

However, she is in the terrible two's. Randomly she flings herself on the floor in a fit of rage. Face hot red, bubbles of snot bursting out her tiny nose. A mere second later with tear stained cheeks she is giggling again.

Velvet came with us to get my husband's hair cut. Old ripped books were on a rack surrounded by hard waiting room chairs. Hair products were on shelves. Already a minute in door she started to get antsy. I asked if she wanted me to read a book. Eyes lit up and she jumped up and down in excitement.

Velvet
I read her a book about a ballerina named Gigi. "What is she doing?" Velvet would repeat over and over. She observed the book illustrations. Gigi had wild curls and rosy cheeks. Her droopy knee had a loose band aid on it. "She has owie!" I tried reading again by she flipped through the pages in rapid speed. "I want 'nother book." She hopped off the chair and grabbed another book.

 "What is she doing?" She kept pointing and firing off the question as she looked a different book.

My brother-in-law taught her how to say the word 'fart.' "Hahahaha, she farted!" she proclaimed. My face heated up in embarrassment. "No, Velvet don't say that." 

While she was playing with pages a older gentleman started up a conversation with me. He had a grandson who was about the same age. He said the grandson would break out into a fake cry. I politely laughed and nodded.


 "What is she doing" was heard a few seats away. Another older lady was grinning ear to ear watching her.

My husband was paying the cashier and I mentioned to the man that Velvet would start throwing a fit. As soon as I said it was time to go, the theatrics and tears began. "NOOOOOOOOOO" wailed Velvet. You have thought it was secret service coming to the rescue. A hair stylist zoomed by with a jar of suckers and my stepdaughter was trying to comfort her. The kid is good I thought. Future Oscar winner right here in Super Cuts.

At our home I thought Velvet would enjoy tea time. I poured myself a steaming cup of green tea. I found an empty mug and a tea bag I didn't want to use. With tiny hands she pulled the string and dunked in into a steaming cut of air.

Then took a spoon and stirred pretend contents in the mug. I taught her how to toast. The clinking sound delighted her small pierced ears. "Funny!" As the spoon clanked around, small fits of laughter lingered in the air.

She invited her stuffed Minnie Mouse to our party. Usually Velvet is a picky eater and will refuse to eat. It is that two year old mindset of wanting control.

Somehow she ate her pizza and drank her pretend tea. I did my own acting and pretended Minnie Mouse was hogging my tea and jumped on my head. My body wailed around on the floor as Velvet shrieked and erupted with excitement.

It was oddly pleasant outside. The weather had been unbearably cruel this winter. There was still crunchy spots of snow on the ground. We went for a walk to the thrift store down the street. We had just moved in the neighborhood before Christmas. It was finally nice enough and a weekend to check it out.

My stepchildren looked around with my husband. Velvet grabbed my hand "Lets go" she demanded. I was led around the store by the half pint. She played with the baby toys and hugged the dinosaur doll. It struck me that children love everything unconditionally. It was a plush symbol of comfort. She started to get cranky and I knew it was time to go.

Velvet and my husband.
The children were playing video games and I made fish, corn and mashed potatoes for dinner. I had made plans to take everyone by my sister who lives near us.

My kids hungrily devoured the food while Velvet started screaming. "No eat, NOOOO" she wailed. I got down to her level and said "Eat or nap, you choose." Huge globs of tears gushed down "NOOOOOO, No want!" I put her in the other room and she took a short nap.

By my sister's house we painted our nails and watched some movies. My sister put on "Dirty Dancing."

Velvet loves music and dancing. "Take hands, dance" she said as she pulled my hands. We twirled around and jumped and danced. She clapped her hands and smiled wide. Who needs cardio when you are dealing with a two year old energy fueled child?

My sister and stepdaughter ran to get some food and Velvet pitched a tantrum. "No bye!" I told her she is a big girl and that only babies throw fits. "I not baby." She hissed. "Then stop crying, come by me when you are done crying." A few minutes later she forgot about why she was angry and started playing with her toys.

Wouldn't that be awesome to throw a Lifetime Network worthy fit and then in a snap of a finger all is calm? This kid is going to be actress, I'm calling it now.

Velvet and I found "Where the Sidewalk Ends" By Shel Silverstein. I remembered many of the poems from when I was child. My favorite was "Sick Today." She snuggled up close to me and was soothed by the words.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
-Shel Silverstein "Where the Sidewalk Ends."

 I loved the collection of poems but that one in particular. The way I understand that poem is that Silverstein is saying children have limitless mind. There is no caution or restraints. Velvet like most small kids, her actions and thinking move at rapid speed. Unlike adults who hit emotional and intellectual blocks along the journey, children will keep on moving.

They delight in the newness of the world. A small inconvenience feels like a deep and painful slap against their independence. Children make sense of their environment by asking questions and exploring. They are the true adventure lovers. Each day is something thrilling and brand new. It is interesting to be a two year old!