I swear, sometimes Melanie gets so worked up giggling and acting up -- doing the sistah dance and shaking her head -- that it seems like she's drunk! You know, the slack jawed laugh as if you just told the funniest joke on the planet ... and be honest! Haven't you ever had to help your soused roommate put on her pajamas ... complete with limp body and flailing arms & legs? That's exACTLY what it's like with Melanie sometimes. The other night we ate at Olive Garden (blech) and she had a few sips of tea -- spiked with caffeine -- and it was as if she had been on a two-day bender. Squealing and laughing, throwing her head back. I swear if she could have, she would have called all her old boyfriends in the middle of the night and told them she loooooovved them ... well, you get my drift. It's too funny ... she's such a tornado.
It's gotten to where I purposely don't go places with her because I know she'll be out of control. No amount of preparation or discussion beforehand helps. She doesn't want to ride in the buggy at Target any more, and she says, "I won't run away!" By the time we get to the first aisle, she's disappeared, and I have to put her in the buggy (or cart, whatever you people from different geographical regions call it!) and then she proceeds to cry at the top of her lungs. I try and try and try to just ignore it. And I do ... talking quietly over the din, saying, "well, I'm sorry, you said you wouldn't run away, and you ran away, and now you're in the buggy" ... Eventually she quiets down, but boy are her mood swings dramatic.
Another thing I've noticed is how she is with people who come to the house. Be it the carpenter, or Heidi the designer, or the cable guy, she always tries to take their hand and lead them somewhere, or act up and start being silly in front of them. She'll beg them to pick her up (sometimes they'll comply, thinking aww, isn't she cute?) but part of me doesn't know how to nip this in the bud. On the other hand I don't want to dampen her enthusiastic, happy and personable spirit! She will go up to complete strangers in stores and get in their face and say "HI!" really loud.
Maybe it's my age. Why didn't someone take me aside when we were pursuing her adoption and just do the MATH? I will be S-I-X-T-Y (60) years old when she graduates from high school! Six-freakin'-ty. 46 year olds aren't supposed to have 4 year olds! Our joints can't withstand the constant hammering! Our geritol-deprived blood is too tired! We don't think Dora the Explorer is cute any more! With one hand I'm helping my oldest child fill out college applications and with the other, I'm saying "What color is this, Melanie?" Goodness sakes alive.
I know all you grandmothers and friends are nodding and thinking, "Uh HUH ... I could have told you that!!" Okay, well, go right ahead, but don't do it in front of me! And of course, you understand that I would never in a zillion years trade her for anything. She is a joy and full of beans and a great sparkle in our lives. She is God's way of telling us that our family is complete. Finished. My cup is overflowing. I am blessed. But I am tired.