Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The girl that I am and the girl I wanna be, sometimes

I have a new Miss Thing in my work life.

Last summer, I told friends and family about my adventures with sweet little 4 year-old F. I hadn't been seeing outpatients very long when I have an evaluation scheduled with F at the main facility downtown, which is fairly unusual as it's harder to get to and can be a little intimidating to a little guy. So unusual, in fact, the person who registered F put his birthday in the computer as 1903, thinking that it makes better sense that he's really 104 instead of 4.

He was everything that treating a 4 year-old for speech therapy ought to be -- funny, cute as a button, rowdy, and always up to something besides working on his speech sounds. My only hope of containing him in the grown up-sized chair was help from Grandma and the constant threat of her belt. F needed to figure out a way to talk without putting his tongue between his teeth, giving him a Sylvester the Cat quality. He could do it when he concentrated really really hard, but, unsurprisingly, that was rarely. Unfortunately, several of his favorite subjects to talk about were littered with "s" sounds -- "thponge Bob thquare panths ith my favorite" and "I thaw thiperman and it wath really thcary". But I adored him -- I taped recorded him once so his mom could listen to a session, and every 3rd or 4th practice word he would lean next to the microphone and say "I love you mommy". He learned the word "defecate" at preschool and used it liberally, including during an articulation test with a picture of a boy sitting in a bathtub ("The boy defecated in the baftub"). He got a ride around the hospital on the scooter of the hospital president, who was buying coffee at the Starbucks cart outside of the speech department when F ran up to him and asked for a ride. He had a celebratory breakfast in the cafeteria on the last day of his therapy, and when I asked what he'd had, hoping he would nail his articulation, reported (say it with me 'cause you know where I'm going) "pancaketh and thauthage". Doh.

He still discharged, and I miss him. But now I have a new Miss Thing, a 9 year-old who after coming back for her 2nd visit, sat down primly, crossed her legs, smoothed her school uniform and said "You cut your hair. AND you got glathes. Hmmm."

She is more put together as a 9 year old than I'll ever be. I love her.

My car has been in the shop after a hit-and-run in a parking lot, at least I think that's what happened as I definitely don't remember bumping into anything, I swear. It's taking a long time to fix, but I don't really mind as the deductible isn't so bad and I know a guy who knows a guy in the rental car business, who thought I might like something "fun to drive" while I'm waiting for the money metal Saturn to be repaired. It looks pretty hot, I have to say. Last Thursday, my husband and I were stopping into the grocery when a man looked my husband square in the eye and said "Niiiiiice car, man." Of course, I'm too much of a ninny to let him have his moment and said "It's a rental!". It's growing on me -- it's fast, cute, and maybe it's my imagination, but I think I'm being let in to traffic a little more easily.

But, tonight I was cursing it after stopping off at Staples to buy ink replacements for my favorite pen, the grocery to restock our office supply of soda and snacks, then once parked trying to push the seat of the coupe forward to dig out my coat, work bag, bottle of water, and cat food, and squeezing it all out from one of the world's most narrow parking spaces. "Not practical!" I thought as I slammed the door.

And there you have it. I have the spirit of F and Miss Thing and girl-who-drives-hot-car at times, but at the end of the day, I'd rather know people like that than be people like that. I'm glad that I do.

The photo is, of course, Posh Spice playing soccer mom. Bet she never thinks her car is impractical.

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