Fifteen minutes have passed since I wrote that post.
I am on the couch, swearing under my breath at Candy Crush. Brooke is doing some seriously fancy vocal gymnastics while bouncing on her peanut. Her guilt-gift from the Tooth Fairy, Dora’s Return to the Mermaid Kingdom, or something with some equally pithy title, plays on the giant screen in the den.
In a flash, she’s on the couch with me. She’s perched, birdlike, on my thigh. Her right arm is wrapped around my neck. I’m in a delicious headlock.
Her eyes never leave the television as she declares,”You will be the crying kitty!”
I prompt her to ask, rather than tell me, to do what she would like me to do.
“Mama,” she says, as she starts anew, “WOULD you like to be the crying kitty?”
“Sure,” I say, “I’d love to.”
I meow plaintively, and try to look hungry.
“Do the sign for hungry,” she says, showing me, despite the fact that we’ve done this hundreds of times, how it’s done.
I oblige, opening my mouth and, with my thumb and fingers pinched together, point into it. I’m still meowing, in what I imagine is a hungry-kitty meow.
She gives me some pretend kitty food. “Here you go, kitty,” she says. She then wraps herself around me in a hug as she says, “Mama Cat is here.”
I purr happily, hugging her back.
“Now we would switch!” she says.
She scrunches her eyebrows and lowers her eyes into droopy saucers, then begins to meow. She opens her mouth and, thumb pinched to fingers, points into it.
As I give her the pretend kitty food, I recite my line, “Here you go, kitty.” As I add, “Mama Cat is here,” I wrap her into a hug.
She snuggles into me with her entire being, not just like the little kitten that she is pretending to be, but like … well, her.
And as we cuddle together for that brief moment before she’s off and running again, I marvel at the lengths that my girl can now manage to go to get exactly what she needs, in precisely the way that she needs it, and just how extraordinary it is when what she needs turns out to be exactly what her Mama Cat needed too.
And I was never even a cat person. Go figure.