Sitting at home tonight, the Offspring asks me two monumental questions:
1) Mom, will you pull my tooth?
Now, this may not see like a lot to all of you out there in BlogLand, but it is here at the KLee/JF household. Our child is notoriously weenie about teeth, taking medicine, and putting ointment or other assorted medical-type stuff on owies. This is my child, the one who shrieks with pain when you bring the ointment into the same zip code as the aforementioned owie. My child, who once vomited at the mere *thought* of taking medication that would make her feel better. My adorable progeny who panics at the merest pinprink of blood -- and who also requires a bandage that would do an amputee proud, to cover said owie.
She had been worrying this tooth for a few days, and I hadn't been much concerned with it. This afternoon, when I pick her up from school, her tooth is the first thing she tells me about. It's hanging on by the slenderest of threads. I offer to pull it for her, knowing she'll refuse. It's another one of my ploys to become World's! Most! Horrible! Mother! (insert trumpet fanfare here.) We go home, getting to homework and other housely duties. When JF arrives home, she suddenly gets a big bout of cojones from some deep, inner recess and asks me to pull the tooth. She bites her lip and asks, "Will it hurt?" I told her it would be like a pinch - it would hurt for just a second, but it would be over just as fast, and then she'd have some money from the Tooth Fairy. (Yes, my child, at age nine, still believes in the Tooth Fairy, and I humor her. I figure that there's not enough magic in the world already; who am I to spoil it for her?) The tooth comes out quickly, and the Offspring proudly shows her father. *sigh* She's growing way too fast.
The second question comes as I'm helping her condition her hair.
2) "Mom, can you help me? I've been thinking about death a lot lately, and I'm worried that I'm gonna die soon." I try to calm her fear, but since death is very imprecise, I say I can't promise her that she won't die soon, but that the odds are greatly in favor of her living a long, wonderful life. All of her immediate grandparents are still alive. My grandmother, who is now 86, is still alive and vital. The track record would indicate that she's not due for a meeting with the pearly gates for a long, long time. I tell her that she should try not to think about it, because it will only stress her out, and there's no sense in worrying about something you really can't control or predict. Her response is another puzzling question: "Do you think I'm having a mid-life crisis?"