Friday, July 30, 2010

The Mutant

The other night, Lucas and I stayed up and watched the movie X-Men after the twins had gone to bed. For those of you unfamiliar with Charles Xavier and his X- men, the premise goes a little something like this. Humanity has reached a point in its evolutionary development that genetic mutations are beginning to take place, giving some humans...mutants...extraordinary powers. Some use their powers for good and others for evil. After watching the movie, I have come to the conclusion that my daughter is most definitely a mutant. And I am afraid she uses her powers for evil.

Case in Point

A few days ago, I decided to take Sophie outside to ride her bike. We bought her a brand new, shiny pink and purple princess bike for her fourth birthday a few weeks ago, complete with sparkly streamers for the handlebars and a bright pink Disney princess helmet. Sophie absolutely adores her bike. Not surprisingly, she is quite adept at riding it. Sophie has always been our one and only hope for an "athlete" in the family. As a matter of fact, she has already far surpassed her seven-year-old brother Lucas' riding skills. Typically, Ruanita will take her outside to ride her bike most mornings, weather permitting. However, she's been begging me lately to take her out riding in the afternoon so she can show off her newly developed skills. Finally, I relented on Thursday afternoon and out we went. I have to admit that Sophie was a sight to behold. Not only did she ride amazingly well, but she could already ride standing up and even ride with no hands. I was completely in awe. Even more endearing than her obvious exuberance was the way in which she would yell "Charge!" every time she took off on her bike. I have no idea what exactly she was "charging," but she was pretty dang adorable flying down the sidewalk at full speed, her dishwater blond hair blowing beneath her helmet, giggling with glee the entire way.

We rode from one end of our block to the other...back and forth numerous times. Nicholas, who also has a bike, but is much less adept at riding, chose to ride his tiny little red Radio Flyer toddler tricycle instead....the one his older brother was given as a gift when he was barely able to walk. Needless to say, Nicholas' four-year-old frame was a bit small for the tiny trike. He pumped and pumped those pedals, but was barely able to keep up with me walking at a leisurely pace...much less keep up with his sister. She would fly past him laughing and yelling "Get out of my way! I'm passing you!" He may not have great athletic skills, but he is a determined little boy. He did not get discouraged. He just continued pumping those pedals, moving down the sidewalk at a snail's pace.

So all sounds well and good, huh? You are probably wondering why I have taken to name-calling and referring to my lovely daughter as a mutant. What about her is mutant? What powers does she possess? I believe my daughter is not the beautiful, happy, little girl she appears to be. No...she is part happy little girl, part screaming banshee. And she can transform from one to the other in the blink of an eye. After riding happily on her bike for about half an hour, Sophie and Nicky were getting tired...and more importantly, I was getting I told the kids that it was time to put our bikes back in the shed and head in the house. It was at this point that Sophie announced that she wanted to ride her big wheel. The pink and purple big wheel she got for her 3rd birthday. The big wheel she rarely rides. The big wheel that is stuffed way back at the very rear of the shed behind bikes and a wagon and a lawn mower and multiple gardening utensils. I told her that I was not going to get the big wheel out for her because I didn't want to pull all of that junk out of the shed right before we were going in. I promised she could ride it the following day. However, I offered to let her ride her bike for a few more minutes before we had to put it up, if she wanted. At that point, Sophie suddenly, and quite of the blue, screamed "I hate my bike!" Huh? I responded, "Sophie, you love your bike. And you are a great bike rider." At that point, Sophie walked over to her shiny new pink and purple princess bike and kicked it with all of her might. Again she screamed, "I hate my bike!" At that point, I told her that if hates her bike and is going to treat it that way, then I would find a little girl who would like a pretty pink and purple princess bike and I'd give it away. "Perhaps Mattea across the street would like it? I don't think she has a pretty princess bike." For those of you who have had minimal dealings with mutants in the past, threatening a mutant banshee is pretty ineffective. Sophie responded with, "I don't care! My bike is DUMB!" At that point, I had had enough. I turned to Nicholas and announced that it was time to put away his trike. He had been sitting on the trike, with his knees practically touching his ears, staring at Sophie in awe...his mouth hanging wide open. I could see the fear in his eyes. Yes, his sister scares him when she transforms from little girl to mutant banshee. He immediately hopped up and, without saying a word, obediently began pushing his trike toward the back yard. The mutant, on the other hand, was not going down without a fight. As I pushed her bike toward the back yard and the waiting shed, she followed behind me yelling. "My bike is dumb!" "I don't care if you give it away!" "I don't like it anyway!" When I finally had the bike and tricycle safely stashed in the overflowing shed, I turned to Sophie and told her it was time to go in the house. Sophie was standing right behind me with her arms crossed, shooting daggers at me with her eyes. She responded calmly and simply, "No." "Yes, Sophie. We are going in." At that point, Sophie sat down crossed-legged on the sidewalk and again responded with a firm "No." I could have picked her up and dragged her into the house. I could have jerked her up and carried her out of the back yard. I do have a few pounds and a couple of inches on her. However, I simply did not have the energy for a physical altercation. Sophie may be small, but she fights like a rabid wolverine. Rather, I looked at her calmly and said, "OK. Nicholas and I are going in. Feel free to sit in the backyard by yourself, if you want." I turned, holding Nicholas' hand...Nicholas who was still staring with wide-eyed wonder at his twin sister... and walked out of the gate toward the front of the house and the front door. As I glanced back, I saw Sophie getting up from the ground. I could see the wheels turning in her head. Wait a second....where are you going? What's the point if no one is here to listen to me scream? Where's my audience? Within a few minutes, Sophie was in the house. She seemed to have forgotten about her big wheel. The venom she had been spewing at me and her bike a few moments before had all but dissipated. She was Sophie once again. As quickly as the screaming banshee had appeared, it had disappeared into the recesses of Sophie's being. She looked at me calmly, grinning from ear to ear, and asked, "What are we having for dinner, momma?"

See.....mutant. What other explanation could there possibly be?


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