Tomorrow, Lizzie and I will hop on a plane and end up in Pittsburgh, PA, where Mom lives. We'll meet her and niece Abby, 4, who is staying with her for a few days while her mom, my sister, Erica, attends a veterinary conference in Washington, DC. Should be good times.
That is, as long as Lizzie and Abby manage to arrange a princess diva detante. Both of them are strong willed, imaginative only children who like to be the center of their own self created dramas. The rest of us are bit parts in the pagents of their lives. Last time we visited Erica and her family, last Christmas, Lizzie complained (after only an hour or two) that Abby was driving her crazy with her (then) 3-year-old demands. Suck it up, we told her. You don't remember how you were when you were that age, but we certainly do. And isn't payback a bitch?
This will be Abby's first time away from home without Mommy, too, so we need to be extra solicitous. "Let's go through all the books you have that you've outgrown and see if there are any princess numbers we can take with us to Grandma's," I suggested, casual, breezy, yesterday.
Lizzie shrugged. She hates to divest herself of anything. Even the wrappers from old suckers still litter her shelves--treasures, she proclaims. Once, when she was 5 or so, I found myself saying, "Lizzie, this scares me. This is not normal." But that's another story.
Today, I dredged up a Borders giftcard Erica gave me for that last Christmas in Boston and announced that we should go to the mall today and use it, get some books for the trip.
"Great," Lizzie said. "I'll get a Roald Dahl book and maybe we can get a few princess books as well."
Nice. Deft. That's a quality diva move there--spending MY giftcard on another princess because the original princess is too stingy or abnormal to get rid of her old books.
So tomorrow we fly off with our new books, whatever they happen to be, and two suitcases, and two carry ons, and the best of intentions. Wish us luck.