“Mom, you’re pulling.” She says in her high, 5-year old mouse voice, her freckled face squished in a wince.
“Sorry, boo. To be fair, I’m not the one who played in the mud, though.”
“You did it one time.”
“Masha, I played with worms and it’s totally different. Also that was when I was like, 7.”
“No it’s not different and also you did it yesterday.”
“Did not, you beastie!”
“You had dirt under your fingernails yesterday and I saw. Gross.”
“Not the same thing not the same thing not the same thing infinity. Now go finish your waffles.”
We head down to the kitchen; my masterpiece. My beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. It’s full of vases of white hydrangeas and the countertops are white granite with a giant wooden butcher’s block. I cut my fresh organic fruit on said butcher’s block for my smoothie, because in this scenario I have a child and in this scenario despite having a child I am also rich.
“Mom?” Masha asks, loudly chewing her mushy waffles, saturated with butter and syrup.
“Ahuh?” I ask, glancing over my shoulder quickly. I scratch the back of my leg with the toe of my wool sock.
“What is something I should think about today?”
“DON’T say Freddie Mercury. You gave me that one twice last week, and I know you like him and I like his moustache but I want a new something to think about today.”
“Fair, fair. Okay… hmm. Okay. ‘Trust no bitch.’”
“Oh shush you’ve heard me swear!”
“But but, I don’t wanna think about a swear for my something to think about! I have to think about it all day! A swear!”
“Well, it’s not a swear for swear’s sake so it’s not a big deal. It has meaning.”
“Meaning?” Masha asks, rubbing her hand up her little rabbit nose to organize her boogers.
“Yeah! So like, ‘trust no bitch’ means that the some people just are not worth trusting. And a lot of times, you shouldn’t trust other girls.”
“But why! What about Dodi? She’s my best friend!”
“Of course! And Dodi is totally rad! I’m just saying if a girl is ever mean to you, it’s probably because she is jealous and insecure. It’s probably because she can’t handle Masha with the hilarious jokes and the pretty muddy hair, okay? So girls may try to make you feel small or silly. But don’t trust it. Trust me, and your dad, and your friends, and your stuffed animals, and mostly yourself. Trust no bitch.”
“Trust no bitch.” She repeats slowly, and then giggles and covers her mouth with mock guilt.
“You got it, cupcake.”
Masha puts on her purple sparkly cowboy boots and grabs her tin limited edition Wes Anderson lunch box that she loves and completely doesn’t understand. She’s ready to go to school again. Everyday I feel weird about having a kid who goes to school, and I feel even weirder about how excited I am about that, and how proud I am of her.
“Okay, Masha. Unicorn hug before you go!”
We both put our pointer fingers against our foreheads like horns and jog lightly towards each other, weaving our pointer fingers around each other’s, her small finger enveloped in mine.
“Okaybye, mommy. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”