real, and pretend

13 08 2010

A couple weeks ago, Jim, Kajsa, Abby and I drove to Vermont for a week’s vacation at my parent’s house, along with several other family members. The day we drove to VT from Harleysville was a rough day. Kajsa was pretty sick, I was getting sick and in fibro pain, and we were all tired of being in the car. When we finally crossed over the VT border, (from NY state into Bennington),

Kajsa in the "Real Vermont"

I said, “Kajsa, we’re in Vermont! Yeah! Finally, we’re in Vermont!! Isn’t that great?”

Kajsa looked around out the window.. she looked at me and asked, “but where’s the real Vermont?”

“The real Vermont? What do you mean? this IS the real Vermont, Kajsa… we’re in Vermont!”

no, the real Vermont.. where is it?”

“Kajsa, what do you mean?” I asked.

“The house Vermont.. The real house Vermont.”

a-ha..

“Do you mean Grandma and Grandpa S.’s house?” I asked..

“Yes”, she said. And then I had to break the news that the “real Vermont was still an hour away….

Last weekend, Kris and Phil were visiting, and on Saturday we went to Philadelphia on the train. On the way back, on the train,  I was once again tired, in pain.. ready to call it quits for the day. I laid my head back on the seat, and closed my eyes. Kajsa was standing up on the seat between Jim and me, a bit more energetic than either Jim or I felt. Pretty soon, I heard, “Snip, snip.. snip, snip… Mommy!”

“What?” I opened my eyes and looked at Kajsa. She was holding two fingers as though they were scissors.

I cutting your hair, Mommy… with my little scissors.  You like it? I’m being really gentle.”

Kajsa, in Philadelphia

“Oh, thanks”, I said.. hoping she would keep “cutting” without needing much conversation.

“Snip, snip… snip, snip… Mommy! Look at your hair… you like it?”

“Yes, Kajsa.. thank you.” Then I thought I could give her another task. “But Kajsa, now we have a problem.”

“What, Mommy?”

“There’s hair all over the train seat. Look at that mess!”

She looked down at the seat, and there was the teeniest moment of silence before she smiled and shrugged, “I’ll just push it on the floor.”

“oh, Kajsa! we can’t do that! That’s garbage! And we can’t leave garbage on the floor.. ”

“Why not?”

“Because first of all, that’s not the right thing to do, but second, there’s a sign (and there was a real sign..) over there that say, ‘Please take your garbage with you, when you leave the train.”

Again, a bit of silence, then she turned and asked, “Is that real or pretend garbage?”

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