Oranges

Oranges

My daughter woke up and decided that we should take oranges for “all our neighbors” which meant taking a bag of Cuties to preschool. I don’t see any harm in handing out Cuties at preschool, so I said yes, and also she loaded the whole bag into her backpack and is walking around with it which is probably good sensory input, or something.

“I hope all my friends like oranges,” she said.

Preschool both is and isn’t great. The weekly break is great (they go once a week because we are poor). The teacher is great and my daughter actually feels safe and seems to trust her. I want her to mentor me. I want to absorb all of her magic and transform my parenting.

At the same time, my kids are challenging. I don’t think they’re too extreme compared to kids I’ve known, but they’re busy, pretty much always in fight or flight mode and there are two of them. We’ve already had one meeting and the preschool sought me out when I failed to sign up for conference week. I get the importance of communication, but school conferences put me in fight in flight mode, and we’ve had a rough few months. It’s not really on my radar right now. If they’re safe… I’m good. I’m aware of all their behavior, because we spend every waking moment together. I know it’s difficult and challenging. I do it every day. I’m sure I should probably care more and have a more positive attitude, but I don’t. But we have a conference scheduled for tomorrow, whatever.

So apropos of nothing (except her undying love of oranges), my daughter woke up wanting to gift the world with oranges. It looks so contrived, especially as I go into every meeting expecting they’ll be expelled. But this is truly who she is. You don’t see it when she’s biting you and melting down because her brain is telling her she’s going to die (and neither do I, honestly), but this is my real daughter, and she will absolutely destroy you but her apologies and gifts are always genuine, and always her idea. I don’t force apologies and I don’t need to. When she’s functional again, she knows what she needs to do and she does it.

But I know it looks like I’m trying to win favor and it looks super cloying, my little girl with a backpack full of oranges for “friends and neighbors.”

It’s all her, though. This is who she is.

We’re a lot alike.

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