Elizabeth has not been feeling well these last few days. A sore throat, turned into fever, turned into some sort of croupy nightmare.
Last night she took a hot bath to alleviate all those symptoms.
Afterwards she wanted to change into totally different pajamas. I told her to forget it because I didn't want her rifling through the laundry baskets destroying the delicate order of the clothes just to change unnecessarily.
About a half hour later she tried to convince me to let her change again.
"Mom," she croaked. "There is a spot on my pajamas. I better change."
"No Liz," I said. "You will live with a tiny spot on your PJs. You do not need to change."
"Mom," she said in her 'OK here's the deal' voice.
She motioned to me "That is your body."
She motioned to herself "And THIS is my body. You're in charge of your body. And I am in charge of my body. So I can do whatever I want."
"No no no little girl," I said.
I pointed to her.
"That body's existence is SUBSIDIZED by this body," I pointed to myself. "and THAT body," I pointed to her father.
"So until you start paying rent, half the utilities, buying your own food and cooking it and driving yourself around town, WE are in charge of THAT little body and YOU will do what WE say you will do, not whatever you want to do. You got that?"
She shook her tiny head as if to say, "Oh mother, you really do not know anything" and tried to rekindle her opposition but I cut her off.
"You are NOT changing because there is a speck of a spot on your PJs. End of discussion."
And as that familiar phrase spilled from my lips, I became my mother.