Little Miss Death

Posted: July 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging, California, Cancer, Death, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Parenting | 2 Comments »

While your daughters’ minds are filled with unicorns, rainbows, and kitty cats, my kid’s current obsession is death. And I only wish I was kidding.

We’re in Rhode Island for our epic summer visit. Apparently the humidity has clouded my writing brain. Or maybe it’s the gin. At any rate, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. To make up for it I’ve been putting on fireworks shows around the country to keep you entertained. Hope you’ve been enjoying them.

But Paigey’s fascination with death started in California. It’s been several weeks now. She asks me things like, “Who is the first person what died?” and “When you die where do your thinkings go?” These are all excellent questions that make me certain she’s the next Nietzsche.

I never know what to say to her other than, “That’s a good question, Paige.” Because really, who WAS the first person to die? And how much did that have to freak out his roommate?

Of course, as with most of the embarrassing things kids do, Paige likes to broadcast her perverse interest to others. On a recent playdate she walked into the kitchen to inform her friend’s mom, “You’re going to die some day. Everyone dies some day.” Then, “Can I have some milk—in a sippy cup?”

And if her big sister ever gives her a marble, a dried-up Chapstick, or some other worthless trinket, Paige invariably will ask, “Can I keep this? For real? Until I die?”

At the rate all this to-her-grave crap collecting is going, Paige will be on Hoarders by age seven.

At least Little Miss Goth tends to be more easy-breezy than macabre. So I haven’t been speed-dialing therapists (yet). Like, a few weeks ago, while sitting in traffic in Berkeley she looked out the window from her car seat and softly crooned, “Puppies die… Kitty cats die…” I can’t remember the other lyrics, but all in all for a spontaneously generated song it wasn’t half bad. Kinda Joan Baez meets Joy Division.

When I do worry is when she says something like, “I wish I was a baby. That way I would have a long long time until I die.” Those comments make me panic. I don’t want anyone in my family thinking about returning to the diaper-wearing days. We are PAST that, kid. Okay?

Friends recently visited us in Oakland from Chicago. By day we wrangled our girls around town and by night we wrangled cocktails on our front porch. At one point, as I delivered a tray of whiskey sours, it struck me that the woman from the couple is a preschool teacher. So I inquired about our Mini Morticia. Should we be concerned?

Turns out our friend—a child development expert, no less—said P’s morbid mania is actually age-appropriate behavior. (She’s four.) At least, after a glass of wine, one gin and tonic, and half a whiskey sour, that’s what she said. And I’m choosing to believe it.

Especially since the girl isn’t ALL hell and brimstone. She’s a smiley little thing, and friendly as a puppy. Paige has other interests besides death, like orphans, hats, homeless people, the San Francisco Giants, and the blue-eyed boy Jonathan from her preschool. She’s a surprisingly well-rounded little weirdo.

The other day Paigey circled my desk like a shark as I checked email. “What’s the sick you can die from?” she asked while combing the ends of my hair with a small pink My Pretty Pony brush.

Me, distracted. “Cancer?”

“Oh yeah,” she said. And a minute or so later, “How do you make a C again?”

I tore my eyes from my screen and outlined a C on a pile of papers with my finger.

Paige took the handle end of her plastic brush and traced a C on my upper arm.

“What’s the next letter?” she asked.

Me, engrossed in the contents of my computer: “The next letter in what, honey?”

“In cancer!” she yelped, with the handle of her brush poised intently near my arm.

I snapped my attention away from my screen and looked at Paige. “Whaaat? Please don’t write cancer on me, Paigey. Even if it’s not with a real pen.”

Her eyes grew wide, “No, Mama!” she wailed. “NOT to have! I make for you not to have!”

The girl was administering some shamanistic death immunization with a My Pretty Pony hairbrush. And given all she knows about the subject, I probably should have let her finish.

Instead I closed the lid of my laptop and said, “How ’bout we get some ice cream?”


2 Comments on “Little Miss Death”

  1. 1 Mary Patrick said at 6:40 pm on July 8th, 2012:

    She’s my kinda little gal. Should put her to work helping me produce funeral sing-alongs. We always keep them cheerful.
    ~Cemetery Mary

  2. 2 kristen from motherload said at 6:42 pm on July 8th, 2012:

    You are so right, Mary. You two could be invincible together!

Leave a Reply