Since the walk was on Sunday, and all of our attention (and Mama’s emotional energy) would likely be focused on all things Brooke, I made a point of sneaking out for an hour on Saturday with Katie. I desperately wanted some Mama and Katie time, and it was important to me to show her that our life is not all about her sister.

We hit our local coffee shop and ordered up a cinnamon scone and a couple of decaf lattes. Yes, she’s seven. Yes, she drinks coffee. It’s decaf. It’s a treat. Shut up.

We carved out a little space for ourselves among the coffee shop dwellers and began chatting.

I love talking to Katie. I could spend hours bathing in her laugh, her raw, unfiltered enthusiasm, her generosity, her spirit, her utter Katie-ness. I am in awe of this amazing little person who calls me Mama.

She wants to know everything. Not a single thing in her universe makes it by her without inspection and dissection. We made our way from “How many boyfriends did you have before Daddy?” (I’ll buy you a pony of you never ask me that again.) to “What did you do with your boyfriends?” (Oh Lord, seriously?) to “Why does the ocean look blue when you look at it when the water is really clear?” (Huh?)

We thought about it for a while and we each offered up our best theories. I loved her attempt to explain that it must be because the water is reflecting the sky, so it picks up the blue. She even offered wonderful evidence – on hazy days when the sky is grey, so is the water. “Get it, Mama?”

I tried to come up with a plausible explanation of my own, but I ultimately did what I always do when faced with anything related to science. I said, “Let’s ask Daddy. He’ll know.”

Luau is Mr. Science. The way I see it, when we got married we each essentially doubled our collective store of knowledge. We have almost no overlap in our individual spheres of reference. None. I may be able to sell ice to Alaskans in the winter, but I can’t answer a science question on ‘Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader’ to save my life. He can engineer a weight bearing bridge out of twine and a paper clip, but negotiate a contract or pick shoes to go with an outfit? Not so much.

So I commented to Katie that I think it’s pretty cool that her Dad and I have such vastly different kinds of knowledge. “Don’t you think, baby? That it’s neat that Daddy knows some stuff like science and Mama knows totally different stuff?”

She scrunched up her little nose and licked steamed milk foam off her finger.

“Yeah, I guess. Like he knows math and science. And you know, um…”

Her voice trailed off. As she searched the room for clues, I started to get a little defensive. I know stuff! Lots of stuff! I do!

Don’t I?

And then she said it.

“You know that you’re really short.”

Yes, Dad, I know. You live for these stories. And I deserve every last bit of it.

11 thoughts on “payback

  1. P.S. Katie kind of laughed when I told her that since she was my grandaughter and very bright then I must be very bright as well. Did you put her up to that?

  2. I suggest you immediately switch Katie to caffeinated lattes, along with any other steps to stunt Katie’s growth. If you think the short jokes are bad now, just imagine how it will be if she gets taller than you. (We called my mom The Dwarf for years, and I’m pretty sure she’s coaching my boys for some major payback now that they’re towering over me.)

  3. I can’t believe you already have to take shit from your kid about height. and she’s only going to get smarter and smarter. I also like that she is saving all the artistic kids. that’s very thoughtful of her.

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