I’m worried about how Paige is going to handle turning 30. If how she dealt with her fifth birthday is any indication, 30 will be a doozey. With the amount of discussion, processing, anticipation, and anguish that’s consumed her over this five-fingers-old b-day, you’d think she was in the throes of a mid-life crisis.
A few weeks back Mark was bathing Paige after dinner, and from my perch folding clothes on the couch I heard her start crying. This is not a terribly unusual occurrence, since by the end of the day exhaustion can get the better of Paige’s amiable disposition. I had no idea what she was bawling about but assumed Mark had it under control, so I forged on with my folding.
Five minutes later a toweled-off but still-wailing Paige dashed into the living room to find me. She was buck naked, her hair a mass of dripping wet, matted curls.
“Ma-maaaaaaa,” she blubbered red-faced. “I don’t waaaaanna turn five! Everything’s gonna be different!”
“What do you mean?” I asked, wrapping her up in my arms.
“I don’t wanna leave my school! I love my teachers and my friends!” she wailed. It dawned on me that she thought she might be shunted directly kindergarten upon turning five. But before I could open my mouth she bellowed, “I don’t know how to do math! And I don’t even KNOW what P.E. is!”
Is it wrong to laugh at your sobbing, inconsolable child?
One thing Paige did embrace this year for her birthday—aside from her animal-themed party, which she counted down to starting some 20 days out—was her birthday interview. Yes the annual talk we have that I share on this very blog.
Here’s the transcript of our conversation:
Me: Do you feel different now that you’re five?
Paige: Why is it called an interview?
Me: Why do you think?
Paige: Because it’s interviewing you?
Me: Well, yes.
Me: So how do you feel different now that you’re five?
Paige: It feels like I can do more things by myself.
Me: Like what?
Paige: Um. Hmmm…. Write!
Me: What do you like most about preschool?
Me: What else?
Paige: Play with my friends.
Me: What do you like to do most when you aren’t in school?
Paige: Read. Read Jack and Annie.
Me: Do you know how to read the words?
Paige: I am just doing it in my mind. I look at the words and I make them up into one whole words. That is how I read. Like w-x-n and z—but that doesn’t really make a word. That is how I read.
Me: If a genie could grant you only one wish, what would it be?
Paige: Having a house with dogs and cats allowed. Having a dog.
Me: Where do you think you’ll live when you grown up?
Paige: In… [long pause] Japan.
Paige: I just do. I wonder what it’s like in Japan.
Me: Who do you think you will live with?
Paige: My kids and our father.
Me: Like your husband?
Paige: My husband.
Me: Do you have any idea who that’s going to be?
Paige: No. Well—I do have two ideas. I might marry two of those guys.
Paige: Jonathan or Elliot. I mean Jonathan or Ezra!
Me: Why them?
Paige: I don’t know. I just like them. Jonathan isn’t into marrying me. He’s maybe going to marry Ania, one of my friends.
Me: Do you think you’ll want to have children?
Paige: Nah. I don’t know.
Me: Well you were saying you were going to live with them so I assumed that meant yes. But you’re not sure yet?
Paige: Not really.
Me: Who is your best friend and why do you like them? Do you have a best friend?
Paige: Well, not really. But I do! It’s Jonathan and Ezra.
Me: What do you think are the biggest problems in the world today?
Paige: That is kind of a hard question. Making a trap.
Me: What do you mean by that?
Paige: It’s the hardest thing to do today. Like a mouse trap. Well it’s not exactly a mouse trap. It like catches bugs and things like that.
Me: What would you do if you were the president?
Paige: Um. I would live with all the kids that I like. Yeah I would I would I would I would I would!
Me: Would you do anything to help people in the world?
Paige: Help kids—like things they can’t do and reach. And teach. Teach kids how to do things like swim.
Me: What do you think you are an expert on?
Paige: On the swings. Because I can go really high on the green one, not super duper high on the blue one. Just medium on the blue one.
Me: What do you want to learn more about?
Paige: Science and spies.
Me: What have you done that you’re really proud of?
Paige: Going to swimming today and going underwater.
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Paige: An acrobat.
Me: What do they get to do?
Paige: They get to go on trapezes and do all fun stuff. And they’re freeeee!
Me: What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Paige: I’m lucky.
Me: That’s cool. Why?
Paige: Because I have a safe family and I have a house and toys.
Me: What songs are special to you?
Paige: “Super Trooper,” “A Sun of a Mass of Incandescent Gas,” and Phineas and Ferb songs. [Looks up at a poster] And Pinkalicious songs! No more songs that are special to me.
Paige: When is the boyfriend one gonna come up?
Me: The boyfriend what?
Paige: The boyfriend question? Meep.
Me: What is the boyfriend question?
Paige: It’s when you ask me if I have a boyfriend or if I want one.
Me: Do you want to answer that?
Me: Are you going to?
Me: Okay, so what’s the answer?
Paige: I want a boyfriend.
Me: What would you do with a boyfriend?
Paige: I would play with him.
Me: Anything else you want to say about that?
Paige: Mommy you are just making up questions to me.
Me: That is what an interview is.
Paige: So you’re really doing it?
Me: Doing what?
Paige: Um. Making up questions.
Me: Yeah, well I had them written here. Do you think I should have done it differently?
Paige: Are there more questions?
Me: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Paige: I would go to Hawaii to see the hula dancers.
Me: What are some of your favorite places you’ve gone to?
Paige: Rhode Island. New Yowk. Where else have we went to?
Paige: Minnesota! Where else?
Me: Ohio, Kentucky…
Me: Not every place has to be your favorite place.
Paige: [quietly] I really want to say Kentucky…
Paige: Is the interview done?
Me: If you could have any super power what would it be?
Me: What do you mean?
Paige: Freeze bad guys.
Me: Then what would you with them?
Paige: I don’t know. I would be Freeze Girl!
Me: What are you most afraid of?
Paige: Um… John. The ghost of John. It’s a ghost named John. This is its song: [singing] Have you ever sawn the ghost of John? Long white bones and nothing left. Oooooh. Wouldn’t it be chilly to have no skin on?
Me: [laughing] Where did you learn that?
Paige: A book.
Me: What makes you happiest?
Paige: Going to the ice cream store.
Me: Is there anything else I should be asking you for this interview?
Paige: What is my favorite movie. Um, what is that movie that we watched where the girl is the lead and there’s a bad girl? It’s something like Fiona? Where she gets a horse in the end?
Me: Oh, what we watched last night? Flicka?
Paige: Yes, I love Flicka. Flicka. Flicka.
Paige: Is my interview done?
Me: Yes. What did you think of it?
Paige: Good. It was a little different.
Me: Than what?
Paige: My other interviews.
Paige: I didn’t like what I said.
Me: You can change any of your answers.
Paige: Okay, what should it be?
Me: What answers should you change? I don’t know. I liked your answers.
Paige: Okay. I won’t change any.
Happy happy birthday and huge big love to you, dear Paige. This mama wouldn’t change a thing about you.