Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Two Lucias

Yesterday, I planned to write a blog post discussing my and Andrew’s decision to search for some sort of boarding daycare for Lucia. She’s too young for sleepaway camp or boarding school, but surely there’s someplace we could simply…send her. This idea took root at approximately 5:00am Monday morning, when Lucia decided it was not only time to get up but also a perfect time for FUSSKINS (no teething required this time). It was a trying morning. Boarding daycare seemed like the thing to do.

But as the day went on, Lucia came around. She took a good morning nap; we had a playdate with a new friend, and she and the other little girl played happily for almost two hours; and she had a good afternoon nap. Because she had this nap, we were able to go out to dinner at Brooklyn Fish Camp with two friends, where Lucia, seemingly knowing that these friends are expecting, put on her “perfect baby” act—the one that gives as-yet-childless people the idea that having a baby is easy. She sat in a high chair and ate sweet potatoes, mangos, cantaloupe, and puffs without a peep, giving everyone lots of dimpled, toothy smiles. By the end of the day we’d decided we’ll keep her around after all.

It was such a 180 from the Lucia of the morning that I was reminded of a children’s book called The Two Carolyns. We never owned this book, but I remember reading it many times in the waiting room of either the dentist or the orthodontist—some tooth-related place. The premise is that Carolyn, an elementary-school-aged child, is an absolute terror at home. I don’t remember what she does, but she’s surly and unpleasant, a more grown-up, speaking version of FUSSKINS. At school, however, Carolyn is a charming, model student. One day, her beloved teacher shows up at her house unannounced and, I believe, witnesses the “other” Carolyn, shaming Carolyn into good behavior foreverafter.

This morning, Lucia woke up at the much more decent hour of 6:30 and was pleasant from the moment she opened her eyes. But in the future, when I hear her little cry at 5am…I’m going to know that a day of two Lucias just might be in the cards.

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