Friday, May 23, 2008

A Discussion with E

Things have gotten a little stressful around here again, which means it is imperative that S get his sleep and coffee, I get to work out, and M and E get lots of attention. Of course we always need those things, but when it's stressful, their importance increases. Luckily grandparents are on the case as well as parents, and so far all needs continue to get met.

Tonight M went to the theater with grandparents, and E had a Mommy evening (to be truthful, I must say a Mama evening, because even though I am emphatically not a mama, as I established early in my blogging career, the fact is my children often call me Mama, though it is pronounced Mumma, so perhaps I can just say a Mumma evening). First we watched part of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which she has been very eager to watch, though I must say it's kind of scary! Then we set out on an adventure with a checklist: walk, bank, drugstore, ice cream, park, groceries (not very exciting, I know, but a checklist always makes things more exciting, especially if you check off as you go along).

The walk, which encompassed the bank, drugstore, ice cream and park (then we drove to the grocery store and spent an outrageous amount of money on a ridiculously non-substantial amount of food), was fairly lengthy, and entailed some very interesting discussions.

As we passed the wings place, I teasingly asked E if she wanted some wings. She replied that she was a vegetarian, because she doesn't even eat hot dogs any more. I asked if she was a vegetarian for a reason, or just because meat is one of the things she doesn't eat. The latter. This stirred a conversation about why she doesn't eat a lot of things. She said eating new things is scary, because it's a risk--she might not like it. I must admit that I was kind of blown away, both by the self-insight and by the vocabulary. For much of the rest of the walk we discussed risk--the kind of risk that you can back out of easily (taking a bite, starting a book) as opposed to risk you need to stick with (going to a new camp), the kinds of risks that she takes all the time (starting books, climbing high, swimming far), the value of risk. She did agree, theoretically, to try some new food, based on our analysis. She'd like to start with mashed potatoes (this winter she added baked potatoes to her culinary vocabulary, which was a great triumph, and, as she pointed out, she also likes french fries).

The other insightful moment was when I asked her why she had clung to Grandma when Grandma was trying to leave (I had to pry her off, which was funny, because she usually needs to be pried off me). She said it's because she wants attention. It might actually have been likes attention, but either way, I was quite impressed with the self-awareness.

And those were the evening's insights with E.


Dawn said...

You've got E's whole name in here!!

Anonymous said...

I would so love to go running with you! Do you go on the bike path?

(not that I actually could go. unless there's a spare, two-kid jogging stroller lying around. but that would be kind of hard.)


Anonymous said...

re: last comment, I think I meant to comment on the previous post, "...and that's when I go running."

E sounds very insightful. I love those kinds of conversations, the ones that shock me.