January 6, 2015

"What's This?"

Many of my more experienced mom friends tell of a time that our teenage children will all but stop communicating with us. They'll tell of a time that our teenagers will become so immersed in their own little world, that we will become spectators to their lives.

Fortunately for me, that hasn't happened with Hadley yet.

I have no words for this. 

Did I say fortunately? Pffft.

This morning as I was wrestling with my clothes, getting dressed (I do this more often now that I'm a stiff forty-something-year-old woman than I ever did as a young child learning to dress myself), Hadley came to my bedroom door and said, "What's this?"

My head, of course, was caught in my sleeve but I responded anyway, "I can't really see it."

"This, Momma. What is this?" she insisted.

I pulled my head through the proper hole and said, "Oh, socks."

She sighed so hard that my hair blew from my forehead. "No, Momma. This." Then she thrust a pair of socks at me.

"Slip on socks?" I answered, the question mark actually seemed audible.

"No," she said through gritted teeth, "THIS."

"I don't know, honey. They look like a pair of footies," note my use of a different word, "that one would wear with slip on shoes. Or at least that's the way I use them."

She rolled her eyes so hard into her head that I thought she was about to seize. "Geez, Momma. THIS." She spit the word out slowly and loudly as if she were speaking to a rude, elderly, foreigner who couldn't speak English.

I stared at her. I blinked. I didn't know any other way to say slip on socks.

With a lock of her knees, she explained herself. "This. This. This. This," each time shaking the (dare I say it) socks at me.

"Honey, I have no clue what you're talking about. I call those socks. Is that not right?" I confessed, possibly with a lump in my throat and a fleeting thought about early onset Alzheimer's. They say you can loose the simple vocabulary first.

She dropped her chin to her chest and roller her head between her shoulders, popping her neck as if she were gearing up for a prize fight or a Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

"THIS, Momma. THIS pad in the sock." Then she closed her eyes as if praying for the heavens to open and pour forth a bounty of patience as she dealt with the ignorance of the world.

"Oh," I stammered. "I think it's just a foot pad."

"Finally," she sighed as she took my padded socks with her and walked out of my room. "Was that so hard?"

Yes, child. Yes, it was hard. It was very hard.

When exactly do I get to be the observer?


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