While pit-stopping at a Mobil station in Altamonte I say to my daughter, "Man, it's cold in here."
She was sitting on the toilet and I was trying not to think about the thousands of other butts that have touched the same seat. Note to self: extra bubble bath in the tub tonight. and maybe bleach.
She gets a quick shiver, like her body is so happy to have finally peed it does the shortest dance ever. And then we wash. Hands, arms...I stop short of wetting a paper towel and scrubbing her patootie.
We're out the door and in a hurry, since Husband and Friend are waiting in the car. We've actually just left the restaurant, but doll-face didn't have to go there, so here we are. And we're running out clutching our arms around our bodies because it's so god-damned freezing in the place. My nugget is running behind me and says,
"It's so cold in here it's freezing my life."
And I laugh. And we get in the car, which Husband has moved to opposite side of parking lot because he's hysterical and I tell them both about the nugget's frozen life.
And then I think, as they talk, on the way home...how great would that be? If I could just walk my almost-five year old baby into the Mobil station and watch from the summer outside, beyond the automatic sliding doors as she freezes her life? And the logical part of me wonders how long it would take and would I need a tent.
Could I have her this way all the time? Smart and silly and precious and proud.
Just a little more time with the kid that sometimes dips her garlic bread in her milk on spaghetti night and chews away while Husband and I sit staring at her. Wishing we could do the same without gagging.
A lifetime more of "I tooted" in the middle of the coffee shop while people around giggle and smile as my face reddens with mortification and hers reddens with laughter.
A month of Sundays where the thing I really love doing is watching her sit at the little table in the living room while she eats pizza wearing a tee shirt, jelly shoes, and a tutu as if she saw Jessica Alba wearing it on the cover of this month's Cosmo.
I want to keep her young. Keep her the way she makes me feel...
Thankful, secretly, that someone has the guts enough to tell me that I have a mustache in a way that makes me laugh instead of cry.
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