Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rachel, Rachel, quite contrary…

The other day I told Rachel something completely ordinary, mundane, trite, and unexciting as could be. I don’t remember what I said to her, it was that boring. She made me laugh, though, when she responded, “That is the happiest thing I have ever heard in my whole life, Mom!”

She’s lived a short life, to be sure. As I said, I don’t remember what I told her but I guarantee it wasn’t anything close to being the happiest thing ever heard in her life.

This morning she was grumpy. Again. She’s really not a morning person. It was rather chilly this morning—the air is getting that lovely crisp-autumn feeling to it—but Rachel insisted wearing shorts. I have to pick my battles with this child and what she wears typically isn’t a battle I’m going to fight. It’s not so cold that she’ll get frost-bitten and I figured she would change when she felt the need. So she stubbornly sat, shivering, through breakfast.

“Why is it so cold?” she complained asked.

“Because it’s fall, lovely. After summer the weather gets colder and that’s fall. After fall it will get even colder and we’ll call it winter.”

“I just want it to be summer all the time,” she moaned, “Can we go back to Egypt?”

“We can’t go back to Egypt right now, but maybe one day. I thought you wanted it to snow. Snow only comes in the winter when it’s really, really cold!”

“I just want it to be summer and snowy at the same time so it can still be warm and we can make a snowman, too.”

This little lady is full of contradictions. She’s contrary by principle, in fact, and will refute anything anyone says if it sounds like it even remotely corrects her ideas or behavior.

At dinner a few nights ago the grown-ups were talking and Rachel began to broadcast repetitively, “Hey! Be quiet! Listen to me! I have something important to say! Be quiet! Shhh! I have something to say and it’s very important!”

We asked her what it was that was so important.

“Cats come in all sorts of colours,” she announced, smiling.

Grandpa challenged her on that, asking her to prove it.

“What colour is the Gillespie’s cat?” he asked.

“Black,” she answered.

“Wellington is still alive?” Andrew marveled, “That cat is old!”

“Then all cats must be black,” Grandpa said, bringing the discussion back on track.

“No, no, no, no, no!” Rachel insisted, “Naanii has two cats and they are both white!”

“So cats can be black and cats can be white. That’s only two colours not ‘all sorts’ of colours.”

Rachel thought for a minute. “Well, in Egypt I saw orange cats, so cats can be orange, too!”

“I guess you’ve proved your hypothesis then,” Grandpa conceded.

Indignant, Rachel snapped back, “No, I did not!”

Sometimes, like when she’s hilarious, I can’t wait to see what’s going to come out of her mouth next. Other times, like when she’s crotchety, I can’t wait for her to stop talking. Always when she says “I love you, Mom!” it’s the happiest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life.


  1. So cute. I love it when Michael just spurts out, "Momma, I really lov-a you." And on that note--it's cute when he says, "I like-a this song."

  2. What a funny girl! She sounds so much like my 4 year old!