The disappointment around here comes in frequent and heavy bursts. My daughter does not know why we limit her so, given her clear preference to have all things upon request. Do we not understand her pointing her index finger so sharply at the TV? Do we not register the stern “mmmmm!” sounds escalating to the furious “MMMMMM!!!!!” sounds that issue forth from her little mouth? Is this most primal of communication over our heads? Should she be forced to learn how to do everything herself? How then shall she attain sufficient height to reach Those Things That Were Placed Out of Reach for a Reason?
She wants to play with the camera. She wants to eat “Hello Panda” for every meal. She wants to dump her beverages on the floor so that she may point to the spill and then, aid us in the critical mission to clean it up. She wants my laptop to link her to entertaining people via video chat instantaneously. She wants to nurse whenever it crosses her mind. She wants to kiss the cat. She wants to read this book, no this one, no that one. She wants to be pushed in her cart. She wants both of us to get up and dance. She wants my phone. Oh, god she wants my phone. She wants to look at pictures of leopards in the May edition of “Vogue” and WHY ARE THERE ONLY THREE? THERE SHOULD BE MORE LEOPARDS IN THIS LEOPARD CATALOG.
But most of all, she wants to watch videos on TV.
It starts early in the morning with refusal to eat breakfast if someone doesn’t turn on something. We appease her by putting music on through the Apple TV, so there’s sound and a screen saver slide show of my husband’s flicker photo-feed. By mid-afternoon she has usually had one or two minor fits about the lack of quality programming. And at dinnertime, she will also refuse to eat and point mercilessly at the TV making whining sounds.
Oh the pointing.
And if you try to explain WHY she can’t do a particular thing right now, you get the index finger of “just one minute” or “shut up,” whichever seems to fit best at that moment. The best you can do is to distract, distract, distract. You just come up with random things and hope that something else will temporarily exceed her laser-focus on her current fixation.
Yesterday, she was sitting next to me on the sofa having a moment because I wouldn’t let her press random buttons on the camera. I was therefore able to capture this brief sequence that I call:
“A Study in Disappointment and Distraction”