Posted by Fitz

Last week, I got a scary peek into the future – namely, adolescence.  My sweet Bean, who showers me with “huggies” and “kishes” throughout the day and night, engaged me in the following conversation:

Bean: “Beanie cuppycake.  Eat.”

Me: “Yes, Beanie will share a cupcake with Mimi after we change your diaper!”

Bean: “Share.  Cuppycake.  Yummy, yummy!”

Me: “Can Mommy share the cupcake, too?”

Bean: “No.”

Me: “Well, what will Mommy eat?”

Bean: “Poopies.”

Crumbs' Artie Lange Cupcake

Crumbs' Artie Lange Cupcake

OK, have you stopped laughing yet?

I know – or at least, am telling myself – that this was a perfectly innocent comment, coming from a girl who has months to go before her second birthday.  She was in no way telling me that I should actually eat poopies, but instead was telling me that I would have to find something else to snack on – there was no way I was getting in the mix with her, Mimi, and the cupcake.  I can’t blame her – the cupcake was from Crumbs – but a teensy little part of me got a little nervous. 

What if The Bean, the light of my life, hates me when she’s a teenager?  I can handle the normal fights about clothes and boyfriends and going to the mall too often, but I couldn’t handle it if we were a mother/daughter combo that truly cannot get along.  I love her so much, and I so want to have an open, loving relationship with her at all stages of our lives – like the one I have with my mom.

As a parent, I’ve found myself constantly on high alert.  Am I saying the right thing to The Bean when under pressure?  Am I kind enough, generous enough, stern enough, strict enough?  Despite this one incident, I’ve worked hard to try to focus on the day to day of my behavior rather than thinking too far into the future (a sure recipe for a Haagen-Dasz freakout).  I hope beyond hope that the baby steps I take with my daughter will help both of us get on the path to a relationship that is strong, meaningful, FUN, and based on mutual respect.  I’m the only one trying to get us there right now, and that’s the way it should be with a small child.  When The Bean can play a part, though, I’m hoping she chooses to do so.  I’ll certainly buy her a cupcake or two for her effort.