February 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Blues

I should begin by saying that Sweet Potato no longer enjoys her nickname. It makes her sound bulky, she says. Why couldn't I have called her Sweet Pea instead? Peas are little.

Sweet Potato is unique, I said, and it's the first real food she consumed-- although she didn't like the orange stuff much either. I said we'd compromise, and I'd call her Sweet P.

Sweet P is not a happy girl these days, and this is the face she wears most of the time. She's been (off and on) sassy, stompy, and door-slammy for a few years now, but we haven't even been getting that lately. All of a sudden she's just not interested in conversation or even in arguing. She does her homework, stays in her room, keeps quiet.

For example, she's got a big birthday coming up: Twelve. What does she want? Nothing. What does she want to do? Nothing, but if she must choose: cake at home with just the four of us. What kind of cake? "Chocolate, I guess."

This is the girl who would normally begin planning her birthday party March 1 every year, the same girl who once wanted to turn the house into a Parisian hotel for her birthday complete with an intercom for room service. And could she have a cake of every flavor?

For years Sweet P has said that she doesn't want to grow up. She wants to be short and petite and young for the rest of her life. She doesn't want the responsibility of driving or having a career. She gets upset when people tell her how tall she's grown (unfortunately, folks always think she's in high school). I understand that a lot of people hit an age where they just don't enjoy birthdays the way they once did, but twelve seems a bit young to be singing the over-the-hill blues.
I don't know if it's the move that's got her down; maybe she'll perk up when we get to California. She's not talking. Maybe it's a phase, a stage, the age, but tonight for the first time in the history of her childhood she didn't want me to tuck her into bed. She didn't even want the traditional pattern of kissy faces we always make: chin, lips, right eye, left, center forehead, three quick kisses on left temple and then each ear). I thought she'd change her mind once she crawled under the covers, but I've been writing this for an hour now, and the house is quiet.

Sweet P, turning five.


Anonymous said...

Aw man, that's rough. Nobody in the Northeast gets enough sunlight during these long months. Make sure she's getting enough of whatever vitamin she's supposed to be getting from the sun. Luckily you're all headed for a boost of light soon. Good luck. Casey told me she didn't love me anymore today. Sweet P will come around too. :( No kissy faces is hard though. Maybe it's time for a pooch!! - FMF

My Little Cuties said...

Oh does this make you incredibly sad? I hope it's a short phase and she comes around.

Anonymous said...

What's a Nana to say about all this change. Sweet P most likely needs a California fix and I do agree that sunshine will make a difference in one's disposition and can make you feel much lighter about life in general. Twelve was a rough year for me; do I continue to play with dolls or, ride horses and flirt with boy's? The last one won out. Love, Mom and Nana. T

Suzanne said...

I cried -- real tears.