A Visit from a Whirl-Away Five-Year-Old

I go to pick her up for a visit. She goes out the door of her house ahead of me and skips away for about twenty feet; then stops to return to me to demand my car keys so she can use the remote to unlock the car door.

She reaches the car and opens the door by herself and climbs into her booster seat; then, although it is a great stretch of her diminutive arms, she insists on belting herself in.

I make sure the door is shut before going around to get in the driver’s seat and start the car. Before I can back out of the drive, her window is open. She waves out the window and call out, “Bye Dad,” although he has turned back to the house and doesn’t hear her.

She argues about virtually everything on the way home. “Nun-huh” seems to be her favorite word.

“Please roll your window up. The wind makes too much noise.”


We reach “Grandma’s House” and she rushes in to cheerfully tell her grandpa she’s there. As always, he teases her.

“What are you doing at my house?   Who said you could come here?” She giggles and spins around.                                                                                                                 

Soon she is down the hall jumping on my bed. I put a stop to that, telling her she might get hurt.  She says, “Nun-huh.”

Next she wants to play “Hide and go Seek”. She hides so well I get frantic before I find her.

After I have also hidden and been found, she decides we should play “makeover”.  I am chosen to be the model. From my bathroom counter she gets lipstick and then blush and finally eye shadow. When she has finished, I have large green streaks across my forehead and cheeks like fire. She pronounces me beautiful.

Although she protests, I wash my face then follow her to the den where she climbs in front of the computer and asks to go on line. I open up the browser, after which she competently types in an address by the “hunt and peck” method.  She goes to a game site where she plays a game for at least 20 seconds before telling me she is hungry.

Off to the kitchen where we find some chips and fix her a sippy cup of the beverage of her choice.

She sits there a minute and a half munching and sipping before grabbing a handful of the chips and heading to the living room where she gets the remote and turns on the TV to cartoons; but she doesn’t watch because she has another idea. She wants to make crafts. To my relief, she settles for painting with water colors.

I set up a small table and chair for her and give her a large apron to protect her clothes.

Miraculously she covers a page with paint before getting off the chair and ripping off the apron to demonstrate a frenetic dance routine while singing off key. After I applaud her performance, she remembers the electronic keyboard under by bed. We pull it out and plug it in. She is still pounding away, accompanied by the most disturbing of the machine’s automatic staccato rhythms, when her mother comes for her.

After trying and failing to coax a goodbye hug out of her, I say, “That’s okay.  I love you.” She waves goodbye as she trots off down the sidewalk toward the car.

I picked her up at 4:45.  It is now 6:20.  I collapse on the sofa.

Elizabeth Ruth

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