My youngest daughter is spending the night with my parents tonight. She's fine with this, which is surprising. See, she's sure I was kidnapped as a child. She tells me frequently that she saw my "real mom" at the store or asks where my "real parents" work. I've told her over and over that Lolli & Pop are most assuredly my real parents.
"Nope. Your real mom has white hair. I know. I sawd her."
I find this quite funny. I told my mom as she loaded my baby into her car this morning that she's not my real mom & explained why. The last thing I heard as she shut the car door was, "Yes, I am. I have pregnancy pictures." "No, you were pregnant with some other baby."
Now, logically, I should be worried that she'll willingly go with a stranger & decide they can be her other parent. But the kid is so completely sure of this - as she's convinced of the correctness of everything she says - that it's just plain fun to argue with her about it.
We debate facts all the time: Jesus & Moses went to preschool together, it IS fine for a five year old to climb a ladder onto the roof, peanut butter and spinach DO go together, she's a year older than her twin brother, and our next door neighbor is her real dad.
Wait, what? Whoa, kid, don't go sayin' that last one! Everyone will recognize the falsehood of your previous arguments, but don't you dare start rumors about me like that! Dang! Your dad IS your real dad, there is NO way anyone else is. It's just not physically possible.
See, if you want to start false rumors about me, here are some I approve of:
I weigh 135 lbs (at 5'11", I'd be a waif);
I am having a black-tie art show in Paris;
Nathan Fillion keeps trying to get me to be his BFF;
I was an astronaut;
Stana Katic calls me for fashion advice;
the Pope has me on speed dial for when he's confused about the meaning of a passage of scripture;
Clive Cussler & Michael Connelly run their manuscripts by me for advice & inspiration;
I can do handstand push ups;
my farts smell like roses;
I'm the ghost writer for the Richard Castle novels.
Shall I go on? Girlie, you get to have a pretend horse in your room, can't I have some delusions, too?
So... anyway... we talked about strangers and not going with them. Of course, she readily agreed to not go with a stranger. She'd meet them and make friends first. Doh! Of course, all my little people are good at meeting new people, a trait I have NEVER had. I avoid the phone, and I act like talking to someone new just might make me implode and melt into a puddle of sizzling green goo. I try to smile & nod at visitors at church - don't want to be unwelcoming; but I typically go refill my coffee during the time at church where you're supposed to hug everyone.
What flaming extrovert invented the "go hug your neighbor and spread the love of Jesus" time at church? I need to smack him. I don't remember a single time where Jesus hugged anyone. How would history have been changed if He had told Peter and Judas to go hug it out? The only people I have any interest in hugging grew in my belly. (And yes, little girl, I have pics and stretchmarks to prove you grew in my belly. You weren't kidnapped.) And I'll occasionally hug the man I married. That's kind of required. And Stephanie Forsythe, because she's the raddest chica I know. As for everyone else, keeping the coffee going is the best hug you can give me.
The husband, however, will talk to anyone; and if you have ever met him and didn't piss him off, you are his friend. It doesn't matter if you met at a frat party 20 years ago, and you can't remember him from Adam, he will still remember your name and introduce you as his friend from way back. My kids totally inherited his extrovert genes. They make friends everywhere they go, oblivious to age, gender, or race. Everyone is their friend, and I love that about them.
I just can't let them play in the front yard without me. I can see it now: "Hey, kid, you want some candy & a puppy?" "Yes! You're my new best friend! Can I ride in your car?"
That explains the treehouse, trampoline, balance beam, gymnastics mats, playhouse, hammock, firepit, and 10-kid swingset in the back yard. Surrounded by a privacy fence. Zipline coming soon.