I am pretty sure Olive is in the midst of a profound identity crisis at the moment. On one hand, I was expecting this, we all go through it – I remember vacillating between wannabe Spice Girl (Scary Spice if you must know, complete with the tiny buns in the hair, natch) and awkwardly self-aware pre-teen. The pre-teen won out and has now evolved like a caterpillar into an awkwardly self-aware WOMAN!
On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting this so soon for Olive. I thought I’d have at least ten years before helping her choose an identity to latch onto, but here we are. Kids today grow up so fast!
Anyway, the identities currently competing for supremacy? Poverty-stricken, 60-something European peasant woman, or contemporary American teen boy.
Hear me out.
In my opinion – which is pretty important because I am her mother after all – the evidence is weighing heavily in favour of the peasant woman. Everything about Olive’s demeanor suggests that in her past life she had little to no material comforts and would prefer things to stay that way, thankyouverymuch.
[Tangent: Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole of reading about kids past life memories? That shit is WEIRD.]
We’ve already discussed how she loathes clothing, but that can just as easily be attributed to the influence of my hippie sensibilities. The bigger indicator that she is a poor peasant woman incarnate is that she eschews any sort of warmth or coziness. The kid prefers to sleep without pajamas or even COVERS for christ’s sake. When I tuck her in to read at night, nine times out of ten she will impatiently kick the blankets away, “I not NEED covers” she scolds me. If I wake up during the night I’ll check on her and draw them up over her little shoulders, but by morning they are on the floor again.
No covers?? We live in CANADA! But to her it’s like , who cares? I mean Canada is positively balmy compared to the gulags, yes?
Then there’s the porridge situation. I used to make her eggs for breakfast, and it’s one of my most told anecdotes that one morning during a growth spurt Olive single-handedly ate six (6) scrambled eggs. Six!
Not a word of a lie. Get it, girl! But then she discovered porridge and it was all over. She became obsessed with steel cut oats. At first I prepared it like I remembered eating it as a child, warm with a bit of milk and maple syrup. This was adequate for a while until one day she insisted it was “Too hot. Too HOT!” and I so put it in the freezer for a second to cool it down.
From that day forward she still insisted on porridge for breakfast, but cold porridge. So every morning I would get up, make a nice bowl of warm porridge, and then put it in the bloody freezer until cold, to feed to my bizarre daughter.
These, to me, are the major clues. But there are smaller indicators too, like how much she enjoys marching. Or how vehemently she screams at us if we engage in unsanctioned singing or dancing. Or how she sometimes sounds like she’s speaking Ukranian.
Oh, and there’s this.
BUT then there are the other moments. The moments any self-respecting middle-European 60-something wouldn’t be caught dead engaging in. The moments that scream adolescent teen boy.
When she casually tries to cop a feel, then denies it. Or the other day when she called me into her room, farted, laughed maniacally, then told me to leave like I was bothering her.
Or how she is consistently angry with me for not letting her drive (seriously every time we are in the car. WHY won’t I let her drive??God, mom.)
Or this morning when she told me to put my hand out. I did and she put something in it and asked, “What is it?” I stared absentmindedly at this small piece of something and couldn’t figure it out, and said as much.
“It came from my nose!” she crowed triumphantly, “It SNOT!”
Duuuuuude! Not cool.
Can’t wait to see which one will eventually triumph. I’m crossing my fingers for peasant woman, my borscht recipe needs some work.