The Promise and the Plea

“Mama, are you going to blog about this?” asked my daughter.

 Through clenched teeth I murmured, “Oh yeah,” as I kicked another pile out of the way. 

 “Could you make it sound a little better then it really is?” she asked, wisely pushing yet another pile out of my line of sight.

 We had an agreement.  I was finding it hard to manage my end.  The original conversation occurred after she spent her extra chore money at a garage sale buying a shag area rug and a hot pink beanbag chair.  Excitedly she pronounced that this was going to become her reading area. When I asked her where she was going to put it, her answer was that by pushing the bed against the wall it would create an open area that would be PERFECT for her new accessories.  Okay.

 Once home she ran inside. Bang!  Crash!  “Don’t come up here, it’s okay,” she yelled down.  A few more minutes and I heard, “Uh…when you do come up here can you come through the bathroom door?  You won’t be able to get through my bedroom door,” uh, not okay.  My husband wisely said, “I’ll go.”  He returned a few minutes seconds later slightly green around the gills.  He slumped into the couch and simply said, “Don’t go.”  So I didn’t.  I am not sure what he said to her but she didn’t ask again.

 The next day, on the way home from the store my earnest daughter did ask again,” Can you help me move my bed to make my reading area?”  Her eyes were bright and begging behind her white glasses.  I answered, “Poppy said I probably shouldn’t come up there.”  Her mouth contorted.   The little lawyer in her began formulating a strategy.  I could see her mind racing.  I waited. 

Like a defense attorney making a closing statement she took a deep breath and in a suprisingly calm and mature voice said, “I’ll make you a deal.  DON’T SAY ANYTHING and I PROMISE, promise, promise I will clean it.  I will.  But…I can’t move the bed by myself.  It’s on stilts and you have to move the brown things (rails) and the box things (risers) at the same time or it falls apart.  I need your help.  BUT PLEASE…don’t say anything,” she was so adorable.  Glasses too big for her face, cute little hair with the blunt edge swinging at chin level.  I am not often weak when it comes to this child but I couldn’t resist those big, brown, doe-like eyes.  I agreed to hold my tongue.  She made me shake on it.  That should have been an indication on just how bad things were.

 The next indication should have been when she darted upstairs the second we got home.  I heard some more bangs and crashes as I was unloading the groceries.  Finally I heard, “Okay.  I am ready.  BUT DON’T SAY ANYTHING!” 

 I made my way upstairs.  As I shouldered open the doorway and saw inside I gasped, “Oh my….”  But was quickly interrupted, “DON’T SAY ANYTHING, DON’T SAY ANYTHING!  You promised.  Just move the bed.   I’ll handle the rest.”  She held up her hands, palms up, in the universal symbol of surrender.

 I literally had to bite the inside of my check as I kicked the closest pile and made my way to her.  A raised eyebrow was all I could do to express my displeasure. “It helps to be able to get to the bed if we are going to MOVE the bed,” I mumbled picking up a mound of something and tossing it over my shoulder.

 “Mooommmm,” she wailed, “You promised.”

 “I am just saying…”I gave the teenage retort but then went back to biting my tongue. Literally.

 We shove and maneuver until we can actually get close to the bed.  “We need to lift off the mattress so it’s easy to move,” I instruct.  She throws herself onto the bed. “NO!”

I raise my eyebrows (again) in question.  Her words tumble out of her mouth, about as fast as those stuffed animals tumble off the top of the pile she knocked down as she hurdled over it to jump onto the mattress.  “If you lift the mattress you will see under my bad and it’s not good. It’s really not good and you promised you wouldn’t say anything. You promised but I know you will. I know it and all wanted to do was move my bed so I have more room to make a reading area but I need your help but if you help me I know you are going to be mad and if you are mad you won’t help me and then I will never, ever get my bed moved so I won’t be able to create my reading area which means I can’t use my beanbag chair which means all those chores were wasted, just wasted,” her words become wails, “and I worked really hard to earn those dollars!!!  And I am going to bring up a trash bag and vacuum.  I am.  I really, really am but first I have to move my bed but you have to help me and you promised not to say anything!”  Thank goodness she ran out of breath.

 “Whoa! I won’t say anything but you WILL clean this up and we HAVE to move the mattress or we won’t be able to move the bed,” I say.  She stared at me while she weighted her options.  Slowly and without breaking eye contact she moved.  We picked up the mattress.  Heaven help me.  The air sucks out of the room.  She’s holding her breath.  I can see it.   In a low voice I simply say, “you are going to need more then one trash bag.”  And to my surprise, and hers, that is all I say.  All I can say.  This prompts the question about the blog. 

 We moved the bed.  It looks stupid but it creates room for her ‘reading area’ and her beloved shag rug and beanbag chair.  We didn’t see her for the rest of the afternoon.  Doubt we will see much of her this evening.    Thank heaven for blogs.

This is the face I saw in my mind when I made the 'agreement.'

This is the face I saw in my mind when I made the ‘agreement.’

This face is the face I saw pleading with me to remember said agreement.

This face is the face I saw pleading with me to remember said agreement.


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