I was summoned.
It was six forty and baby girl was about to make her morning pronouncement.
"Coming." I lumbered out of bed wondering what she'd say today. It could be anything from I like bananas to Kitty cat is fuzzy.
I remember when she said I want to do ballet and I thought, "Okay, kid, you're two, how the hell do you know about ballet?" The answer to that did not take too much sleuthing. Maxie is an Olivia freak. You know, the precocious piglet with a vivid imagination. Was a book, now a popular TV series on Nick Jr. I think there are only about twelve episodes and they practically run on a loop in our house. I can quote from it verbatim. In one episode, Olivia does ballet, and Maxie wanted to as well.
The thing about these pronouncements, I'm one of those doting parents who will try to make it happen. Bananas, simple. But ballet? Are there even classes for two year olds to do ballet? I had to scramble around and ask questions. Thank goodness for the mothers at gymnastics. I found out where to go, and what clothes she would need. I tried to do it the cheap way: Target, Payless. But for some reason merchandise was low, so I painfully whipped out my credit card and headed off to Capezio's. Ballet slippers and leotard, thirty three bucks. Classes for the rest of the session, eighty two. Recital costume and fee, forty one. I'm out one hundred fifty six dollars if she hates it.
She loves it! What ever Miss Aimee tells her to do, she attempts. Other girls end up doing their own thing, spinning on the floor and getting into the butterfly wings and scarves, but my little one does her damnedest to master plié and attitude. In the middle of her first class she found me in the parental crowd and yelled, "Papa, I'm doing ballet!" Another pronouncement with a serious undercurrent, letting me know this was no fly by night endeavor. I gave her a thumbs up and she broke out into the most infectious of smiles. Really, when you think about it, what's one hundred fifty six dollars?
So, what was in store for me today? The dog is pink. My hair is pretty. What? I got to her room, and was reminded once again that the crib has got to go. She'll be three next month. She needs her first big girl bed. I know, I'm a bit slow. I'll go to Craig's List today. I promise. Her eyes were bright. I could tell she had a doozie. Something that will define her life course. Speak, my child. Speak!
I like boy.
I like boy.
Really? Which boy?
And then she dissolved into giggles and squeals and tried to escape my extended arms. I quickly backed out and went to my bedroom to tell Michael. He looked at me with one eye, rolled over, pulled a pillow over his face and cursed a muffled FUCK! My husband is going to be a perfect horror to any boy sniffing around our daughter. The pillow came off his head and in a plaintive whisper he asked, "Why can't she be a lesbian?"
As I was pondering the benefit of Michael's question, Maxie was choosing her clothes for school, something she's been doing for a while now. She chose a yellow dress with white flowers and matching hat. And to complete the ensemble, white sandals and yellow sun glasses. She looked like Audrey Hepburn. Well, minus tiara and cigarette holder.
I had to wonder if in any part of my daughter's conscience, sub or otherwise, she was dressing for boy. As I drove her to school, I tried to get more info about boy but she was stylishly enigmatic. This left me humming one of those annoying songs that refused to leave my head. When we arrived she received numerous compliments. She took off her hat, handed it to me. Took off her sun glasses, handed them to me. (I couldn't help but wonder if Audrey passed off accessories with such aplomb.) And then we entered her class.
It isn't easy for Maxie to be social. She sometimes stands with her finger in her mouth before committing to having fun. Her standoffishness has always been a part of her. However, I've noticed over the past couple months that she has readily jumped in to activity with more frequency. And yet, today, finger back in mouth, eyes downcast. I wondered, what's up? I tell her teacher about I like boy, and she whispers, "It's probably Miles." And sure enough Maxie was gravitating towards Miles like my husband to trashy magazines. Miles, however, was more interested in a toy airplane.
That's it. I had to leave. I justified this thinking I'm sure she doesn't want me hovering. But really, it was painful watching her experience one of life's cruel lessons: talk about boy, dress for boy, approach boy, but all boy really wants to do is play with something shiny.
As I got back into my car, the song I was humming earlier came blaring into my head with clarity: "I kissed a girl and I liked it..." Maybe lesbian isn't such a bad idea.