Saturday, December 1, 2007

Unfinshed business

Just about anyone who looks at my daughter will tell me how much she looks like me. I even had a stranger tell me that if it weren't for the age difference we could be twins. (That might be stretching it a bit.) Not only does she look like me, she IS me in so many little ways. When my brother and his family were here for a visit a few weeks ago, he told me he could remember me at her age (he is 3 years older than me) and that it was uncanny -- almost frightening -- how much she was acting just like I did as a child. Sometimes I think I know a little too well what is going on in that little head of hers, and I can even remember doing some of the quirky things she does that now drive me crazy!

One of those fabulous little traits is being a saver. I'm not talking about money here, unfortunately. I'm talking about treats and other random items that apparently have special meaning to her. The reason I was just thinking about this is because I opened our freezer to find a half-eaten popsicle that we got two weeks ago from a nurse who was trying to keep her happy while my inflamed eye was examined. It was one of those 'twin pops' that has two sticks and can be broken in half. She enjoyed the part she ate so much that she decided to save the rest of it for later. It went into a styrofoam cup and into my bag, then into our freezer when we got home.

But that's not the only thing she saves. I find things like tiny remnants of suckers carefully re-wrapped, special coloring pages untouched by crayons, and post-it notes from daddy's office. Sometimes she will only eat half a cookie and want me to put the soggy uneaten half back in the bag. When she received a sticker yesterday for being a good girl while her brother got his shots at the doctor, she didn't peel it off its backing and proudly wear it; she asked me to put it in my bag "for later."

I have to reluctantly admit that I understand this mindset. I remember "rationing" the candy I got for Halloween each year so much so that I'd end up throwing most of it out on October 30th of the following year, just so I could have an empty bucket to get the new stuff in. I think I was afraid it would run out and I'd have nothing to fall back on when that sweet tooth craving came upon me. And I clearly remember when I was 12, saving one of my cat's whiskers in a special box along with the kleenex I used to wipe my tears when I found out he had been hit by a car. Don't laugh! At the time it meant something to me... Something...

So, yes, she gets it from me. But as an adult this kind of thing drives me crazy! I try to tell her, "Wear that sticker! You earned it!" or "Eat those last three M&Ms now because you can't have them just before bedtime!" Mostly I just don't want a house full of half-used or half-eaten stuff and crumpled wrappers with remnants of treats, but I don't dare throw them away because this girl remembers -- sometimes eons later -- and I don't want to be responsible for the tears!

Now, on to more pressing matters: who is going to eat that popsicle? Or is it destined to become a permanent fixture in our home?

1 comment:

Jess said...

I remember always being jealous that you still had candy WAY after Halloween. I would always down mine in a day or two...still do that... :)