When outside, Viola runs for the sun and Zuzu talks with her hands.

The rain has been coming down in our part of the world and we have spent the last few days huddled in our little house as the downpour sings us it's splish splashy songs. After two whole weeks of sun we were a little rusty on the whole  find something fun to do inside bit of family life. Also? Netflix has gotten rid of all of their Nick Jr. programming. No Blues Clues, no Wonder Pets! and no Dora. This new development combined with the lack of outside fun left the two girls feeling bereft.

Ah. Life is so hard.

The other day after a few dance parties, tea parties - really so many different sparkle attended parties - we decided to play restaurant. Viola and Zuzu sat at the table with cookbooks and I took their orders from the pictures they found the most appetizing. Viola really got into the game and started actually eating the pages. She is a bit old for that kind of behavior so I decided in my heart she was really just the world's best method actor rather than a nearly two year old that likes to tear up mommy's favorite cookbook and eat it for kicks and giggles. Zuzu was taking the whole thing very seriously in her own way. She ordered only the most adult items (Mommy, is there a picture of steak in here?) and made sure I took care of her imaginary children as well (For dessert my five year old prefers ice cream with no toppings. My two year old prefers gummy bears).

I am really trying to think of any time she has said she "prefers" something when asking for a want or need. Apparently excessive politeness is only present once one reaches faux adulthood.

By the end of the meal both girls were nearly completely satisfied after pages and pages of pretend. (Well, in Viola's case the page consumption was a more literal endeavor. What great performance art! I am sure she was being ironic in some brilliant way, not just destructive for destruction's sake.) Zuzu however had just one more request,

"Chef? Chef? Please come over here one more time."

"Yes, ma'am."

"I would like for just one more dessert. And for this dessert, I would prefer this salad."

"That salad? The one with beets and goat cheese?"

"Yes, and as big as you can make it please."

"Alright, ma'am. I will have that right up. What dressing would you like on the salad?"

And here she looked a bit confused, it was a question she wasn't ready to answer. I could see her little brain working. What is dressing? And what kind should I ask for? Suddenly her eyes lit up. She had found a good answer.

"Chef, for the dressing I prefer...Roast."

Ah, yes. That french provincial classic salad dressing everyone knows as Roast.

I smiled and prepared the imaginary salad as I imagine a real chef would have prepared it. She daintily ate from that bowl of air as I thought about all the times I still pretend to be a grown up. The settings where I feel out of place and use words that are unfamiliar to my vocabulary. And I laughed at myself for every time I have pretended to know what the hell someone older, more accomplished or more pretentious was talking about. I wonder how many times I have answered a query or entered a discussion with my equivalent of "Roast". How many times have people hid their smiles and nodded their heads knowingly while I stood there thinking I had passed the test of sophistication. Probably more times than I can count.

I guess I am not too worried about it. Not as long as I get dessert.

For the record, I also prefer gummy bears.

Into the Storm

Yesterday, we sat in a parking lot waiting for a fast food feast. The sky was dark and the thunder rolled over the mountains and into our small valley. Zuzu’s window was down and Viola clapped as the sky broke open. The rain fell and the wind blew into our world on wheels. A tree full of pink flowers swayed and sent its’ blossoms out into the weather. They flew across the parking lot and dashed against our car. When I looked back at my girls they were smiling into the storm, their faces and clothes specked with petals as pink as their skin.

I smiled with them.