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#46 Family Matters Me n My Little Miss

In These Times by Dr. Jody Kussin, April 29, 2020


I have a friend. Let’s call her Little Miss. She is more than a friend actually. She’s a grandchild I have not had, but who, along with her big sister, let’s my husband and I play extras. They are already blessed with parents, a Grammy, and grandparents, but there has been plenty of room in all the hearts for us to have a role. She is ‘four and three quarters years old.’


Little Miss is full of spunk and energy. She is also full of ideas and VERY full of feelings, which she expresses loudly and at high volume. During ‘story time’ together on zoom or Facebook messenger or sometimes VSee, depending on which app is working, our reading has taken a back seat to her song writing and singing. She may not get the coaches to turn four chairs on The Voice, but, she sure is ardent and articulate.


Most of her songs are about how mad she is at the germs that are keeping her inside and making her miss preschool. Some songs are about her day and how her hair gets tangled up and she does not like it and also, she does not care so why do her parents? Sometimes she sings about missing friends. Yesterday she had four songs about how AGGRAVTIN it is that she cannot go swimming and learn ‘more better’ than last year’s lessons and how she wished she had a big girl pool and not just a pool you fill with a hose. She also had some great lines about how a bathtub is not a swimming pool, even if you wear your bathing suit in it.


She is a beacon of light in my life. I know she is also adored by her parents and she ‘can be a bit much’ 24/7 with no school or playmates. Preschool on zoom, even with the best teacher, which is what she has, is still very limited and is not enough to challenge her or distract her. Her mother builds her a tent in the family room so she can have some private space, but, she often prefers to seek out the rest of the family who are attempting their online 4th grade classes (sister) or teaching for LAUSD (mother) or working from home (father.) Private space is not what she wants. Proximity, attachment, life back in in the uterus, those are more her cravings.


We are practicing some oldies but goodies so she can add in others’ songs along with hers. The Carrot Song is a good one (especially because she can mimic the older brother spot on) and Put the Lime in the Coconut (for some reason we hit on that one) is also fun. My husband, referred to by Little Miss’s mom as ‘the devil’ taught her the diarrhea song. If you do not know it, you are not missing anything. And if you do, I’m sorry! Don’t ask. But of course, it is her all time ‘bestest song’ and often requested. I see ‘The Witch Doctor’ in our future along with perhaps, ‘Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda’ as she has a knack for comedy and the irreverent.


In these times, Little Miss is mastering all kinds of things, although perhaps not on the developmental timeline to which we adhere. She can put all kinds of very funny faces on herself during our virtual visits, able to ‘barf up stars with a unicorn dancing’ and easily able to make herself look like a very spooky creepy alien. She is working on learning more about patience than hopefully she will really ever need. She is quite able to express herself and to identify feelings. She can delay gratification. She can engage in creative play, parallel play, fantasy play. She wears a different princess dress almost every day but also likes her shorts and t-shirts. She can bake and cook and is working on a garden with her family. She is an expert on the scooter and on the two-wheeler with training wheels.

She also can scream for an hour, or two or up to five a few days per week. She tries to put words to it like ‘I hate meatballs’ (not true) but mostly she screams to release all the frustration and confusion. Her mom is a wonderful mom and holds her for awhile and then lets her cry with privacy in her room for a while and then sits with her. If it goes on too long, the parents swap out. They play music sometimes. Attempt to go for a little walk. Try a bath. But sometimes, a Little Miss has got to do what a Little Miss has got to do, and that is cry.

I see her daily but I miss her tremendously. I miss her hugs and how she would run across the yard/room/house and throw herself into one of us to be scooped up and lifted up. While it looked like we were doing the lifting, in fact, it was the opposite.


Her mom says, “It’s like the waves at the beach. Some are tough and knock me out and some are gentle. But I still love the beach and standing in the waves.”


Indeed.

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