“Coley, this spot here is for the truffles,” Rose says, pointing to a nifty folding bench on her Lego airplane.
“Yes. This is where you keep your truffles. When you’re flying.”
Rose decodes our blank faces, pauses and asks, ”Truffles is what you sometimes call big suitcases, right?”
“Duffles, Rosie,” Col says, smiling benevolently at his sister. “They’re called duffles.”
Living with Rose is like hosting the new reality show: “My Thoughts, Uncensored.” “I’m skipping now,” Rose has been known to announce. Yesterday morning, Rose climbed in bed with me and whispered into my hair, “I’m wearing the smallest socks.” Communication is her currency, and she’s a big spender. “I yawned, and the gum fell out of my mouth,” she informed me last night.
On good days, the days where Rose is so happy she skips from the kitchen to the bathroom, enumerating, singingly, all the things she loves, I think, “She’s so articulate, so expressive!” On days where there’s already an ache in my head that feels a lot like small people who have no “off” button, it’s a little like listening to Roger Ebert flip through his rolodex of “thumbs-down moments.”
“Mama, I don’t like chard. Why do you always give me chard? Well, I only like it in macaroni and cheese. But I just like the eency pieces. I definitely don’t like the stem part. At all. Mama, are you listening?”
She straddles two worlds like no one else. She spends all morning making dramatic entrances in sparkly get-ups, and then climbs on her bike (in a poofy prom dress) to ride Dan’s backyard obstacle course, which includes: steering through a gauntlet of elk antlers, ducking under PVC pipe hoops, charging up the board-on-a-brick ramp, grabbing a spoon from Dan and tossing it into the hula hoop hanging from the tree. Record time: 23 seconds.
She reigns over Col’s cronies, pitting them against each other in “silence contests,” for which they sit completely mute piecing Legos together, for the prize of one measly sticker. Today, in the five minutes we ran into Col’s friend, Braden, at the veterinarian’s parking lot, she sold him a empty glass-cleaner bottle that had been malingering in our car for one dollar.
She skips up the hiking trail in a victorian gown, cheerfully attracting dirt and mud as if that’s what the lace pinafore was for anyway. Then she stops to give a short discourse on something or other: the state of her right foot, how she’s hungry for cheese (but not the yucky kind that I make, the other kind, in a wrapper) or how she’s soooooo excited to get to the creek.
When I reach down to hug her in bed at night, she pulls me to her and squeezes me, as if she were the mother and I the child.
Happy 5th birthday, darling Rose. May you always blossom.
Reach Rachel Turiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit her blog, 6512 and growing, on raising children, chickens and other messy, rewarding endeavors at 6,512 feet.