Critic

Monday, September 14, 2020

Today I am grateful for a critic.  Yeah, but it’s not like you might think. It’s the critique of a four-year-old, which can be the most brutal of all!  The picture is a couple of years old, but the hands to the face movement has been refined.

When our youngest granddaughter was potty training, I would sit on the big potty, while she was on her little, musical potty and I’d sing to her.  Or we’d sing together.  She loved it.  Her favorite song was, “You are my Sunshine”.  It always brought joy to her face and mine. 

Now she’s four and can go potty by herself.  But she doesn’t ever want to miss anything and apparently still likes an audience for the big event, so when she was here yesterday, she went to the bathroom, then hollered, “I need company!”  So, being the indulgent grandma that I am, I went and stood in the doorway.  And started singing.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. . .”  She slapped both hands on her face, dropped her head, elbows on knees and said, “Is that the ONLY song you know, Grandma?”  Really?

“I thought you loved that song,” I said.  “We always sang it together when you were little.”  She’s shaking her head, rolling her eyeballs and slapping her hands to her face, like she just can’t get this “woman” to understand.  So, always the people pleaser, I sang something else.

“John, Jacob, Jinglheimer Schmitz. . .”  in full voice.

“STOP!” both hands slapping her face again and head shaking to boot.  “I don’t like jinglehammer!” 

Geeze, kid.  Cut me a break.  Her father is in the kitchen listening to this exchange, and mind you, she is still doing her business on the potty.  I was fast running out of material.  But never fear. . .

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star. . .” I was inspired.  Who doesn’t like Twinkle?

“No!” If she kept slapping her face with those little hands, she was going to start leaving marks!  “Twinkle is for bedtime, Grandma.”  Deep sigh, “At night!”  Grandma is a real dunce.

I am laughing so hard by now that I can barely speak, much less sing.  Hah!  As if!  I dug deep, rolled my head back, struck a pose and burst forth with, “Hello, Dolly, well hello Dolly, it’s so nice to have you back where you belong!”  All I needed was a big feathery hat and cleavage.

She looks at me like I’ve lost my damned mind.  I picture her father running out the front door to save himself from show tunes, but I will not be deterred no matter how many little hands slap that little face or how often those eyeballs roll and that head shakes.

“You’re looking swell, Dolly.  I can tell, Dolly, you’re still glowing, you’re still growing, your still going strong. . .” I was on a role-I-should-have-performed-roll!

“I’m all done!” my critic shouted above my belting alto.  “Grandma, I’m all done!  No more singing!”

Yeah, kid, I heard you.  I know you’re done.  But I’m just getting started!  Everyone is a critic.  Even a four-year-old.  BING!  Heartprint!

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