In a Child’s Mind…

When Madison graduated from Cornerstone last year, she was gifted with a package of goodies, pictures, and other fun stuff. One of the items I never got around to looking through was a booklet featuring focusing on two main ideas: Madison’s interests and God. Even though I am a nostalgic person myself, I don’t understand how a 5-year old can be nostalgic. Yet, it seems Madison is wired this way. She keeps a few picture books from her time at Cornerstone and flips through them from time to time. That’s how Lynnette came across this awesome booklet.  Madison’s come a long way in a year.

3This is the one I found the funniest and I did not hesitate to post it to Instagram last night. There’s so much to love about this. You can trace Mad’s thought process right here: she basically decided to throw everyone she lived with under the bus. Look, Al Higa is my father, I was a coach. I can yell. I’m quicker to yell than Lynnette is, but even I only raise my voice to Coach Phil-levels under two specific situations.

The first is if Madison isn’t listening to me. Example: Madison’s on the couch watching something Disney Junior. “Madison, what do you want for lunch?” I say. No response. “Mad,” I continue, voice a little louder. Nothing. “MADISON! I’M TALKING TO YOU!” Sometimes, I like to think I sound like Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight when he says “LOOK AT ME.”

The second situation is the worse of the two, when Madison disobeys a direct command or request. There is usually no build-up. “I TOLD YOU TO STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN UNTIL THE FLOOR DRIES!

The most laughable part is that 99% of the time, Madison probably deserved what she got. Even Abby rarely nips. She only ever bites Madison if Mad’s bothering her. It’s like one of those high school fights where two guys are screwing around and begin by shoving each other while asking open-ended questions of each other like “What?” and “Why, what?” and eventually, “Whatchufaka?” That’s right around the time where it stops being fun and games. Madison and Abby are just like that, but since Abby can’t talk, she nips. And that’s when somebody shouts “Mom! Abby bited [sic] me!” Whining and bad grammar. Ugh.

1“Who is God?” is the kind of question that made my want to rip my eyes out, roll them around in my hand like stress balls, then replace them sockets, hoping I put them back in the right place during my lower-level philosophy class in college. Madison, apparently, sees no such difficulty. “God gives us food,” Madison wrote back August of 2012. Well, this is kind of hurts because as far as I know, God’s never stood at the stove watching a pot of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup or opened a thing of M&M’s because Mad’s tiny hands weren’t strong enough. I mean, as much as I am taken aback, Lynnette probably feels worse considering Lynnette used to be a vending machine for Mad back in the breastfeeding days.

I wonder, though, if her answer is a specific callback to a biblical story. It’s entirely possible. She might have had the multiplication of fish and bread on the mind. Maybe she was told about  Manna from Heaven. I don’t know, but that is how Madison’s mind works. She has her daddy’s knack for forgetting the big picture, but holding onto the more personally interesting details. In this case, God did not send down his only son to die for our sins, but gives us food. Also of interest to me is the picture. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with God or food. I suppose I’ll have to ask her later today.

2I have to hand it to Madison, she’s a smart cookie. I know for a fact that even a year ago, ladybugs weren’t her favorite animal and balls weren’t her favorite toys. But I can see what she did here. The ladybug and the ball were simply the easiest things for her to replicate by hand.

The is my favorite by far because it made me feel like I understand my daughter. “Did you make the ladybug pink because it’s a girl?” I asked Madison. “Yeah, it’s a lady,” she said.

As for the ball shaped like Wisconsin? (There’s a ball on the worksheet) “I made it orange because the Mets,” she said. I knew it. Once during a Christmas party, Mad was decorating a bag at an arts and crafts table for kids. I was there but not really paying attention. “Look, dad,” she said. She affixed a baseball, a baseball bat, and the number 8 to her bag in the same area. “Do you like it?” she asked. “I love it,” I said. This kind of stuff is better than just about anything I’ve ever known.

4Finally, the favorite food and drink section. I don’t know how grape juice ended up as her favorite drink when the only viable answer is fruit punch. We never have grape juice in the house, we never order it while we’re out. Maybe she just had a purple marker handy and the rest took care of itself. But the salisbury steak part is absolutely true.

We introduced Madison to the Stouffer’s salisbury steak and it was the first meat she ate without whining. She loves it. Whenever she sees the red box come out of the freezer, she shouts “salisbury steak!” and when I tell her it’s lasagna, she enters a momentary depression. Arms flail. She dives face first into the couch. I have to admit, however, that Lynnette and I have used Madison’s love of salisbury steak against her a number of times in order to get her to eat things that are not salisbury steak. Lynnette and I have told Madison that loco moco, hamburger steak, and meatloaf are all salisbury steak. I think my crowning moment came when I told her that a cheese burger was really just “salisbury steak with cheese on bread – all of the things you like!” Madison gamely replied, “But I don’t like it when they’re touching!” Touche.

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