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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Friday, January 13, 2006

Today's Special

My niece came over on Friday night and every time I hang out with her, I'm forced to remember how completely non-maternal I actually am. It's sincerely difficult for me to relate to her just because I don't have any idea what 7 year-olds are into or even what they're cognitively capable of. I always forget that I'm talking to a child and end up asking stupid questions like "hey, do you like Law and Order?" The answer is no.

To make matters a little more complicated, this kid is smart, sharp-tongued, and not afraid to tell you how she really feels. While playing soccer, she asked me what I wanted my team name to be. Trying to think like a 7 year-old girl, I pondered the question long and hard before finally saying, "I'm going to be The Glitter Ponies." I mean, what's not 7 year-old about that? I personally wasn't into either glitter or ponies when I was 7, but I was a weird kid who once told someone that she wanted to be "the first waitress in space" when she grew up, so I don't assume that other kids are bizarre like that. Instead of excited approval, there was just silence until my niece said with a completely straight face, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Loser name for a loser team." Oh. Well then. It takes a moment to realize that you just got schooled by someone who still believes that fairies pay her for teeth. Not knowing really where to go from there, I asked her what her team name was going to be and she just got this deadpan look and replied, "The ravagers...Because I plan on ravaging you."

I don't know where a 7 year-old learns the word ravage or why she can know the word ravage and not know a damn thing about Law and Order, but vocabulary notwithstanding, The Ravagers did just what they set out to do (hey, her goal was one-eighth the size of mine). When the final goal was scored, a well-deserved itchy victory dance was performed and as she ran up and down the driveway, ponytail flailing, I saw a little, tiny version of me screaming to the neighbors about how she should probably be called "Queen of the Universe" for her mad soccer skills. Walking inside, I told her that she reminded me of myself to which she replied, "yeah, but there is one big difference between you and me." "And what's that?," I asked. She took my hand, and pulled me in close before whispering in my ear, "I'm not the one eating loser soup tonight."

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