My daughter, the first-born child in our family, is known to be a little dramatic at times. Okay, that is a bit of an understatement. She is EXTREMELY dramatic. In fact, during one of her “fits” I often find myself saying out loud, “Annabelle would like to thank the Academy….” She doesn’t think it is very funny. Oops.
When Annabelle first started talking and putting thoughts together, I decided to start a continual document on my computer called “Annabelle-isms.” I record every single funny, embarrassing, out-spoken thing this child has said in her short six years on this planet. And I absolutely love going back through them, reminiscing on all the face-squishing moments this little girl has caused me over the years. But one story in particular I feel the need to share because it still brings tears of laughter to my eyes when I read it.
This story takes place when Annabelle was a little over three years of age. I did not have Addison, our son, at this point in time. Just Annabelle-and believe me, she was enough to handle. The day was pretty typical for the two of us, visiting the gym, running errands and getting groceries before heading home. Naptime was quickly approaching, but Annabelle and I had made it all the way through the store without a major meltdown (thanks to me opening up a package of Oreos). Now, I don’t know about your grocery store, but our checkout aisles are junked-up with magazines, candy racks, gum and the occasional cigarette lighter paraphernalia. I pick an aisle that had as little as possible for little hands to grab. Annabelle continues to sit in the front of the cart eating Oreos as I begin to load my items on the conveyor belt. All of a sudden she starts to yell, “Mommy, Mommy!”
Now, for you moms out there, I know when you hear the word “mommy” you let it go in one ear and out the other unless it has that specific “tone.” The one which lets you know the child is hurt or in trouble. It is the difference between a whine and an actual call of alarm. This specific “mommy” Annabelle was saying over and over had the tone of “I want your attention, and I want it now…but my limbs are still intact.”
I glanced up at Annabelle to give her my attention when she started pointing at all the miscellaneous things in our particular aisle. “No Annabelle,” I began. “You can’t have the Pez candy dispenser!” This is where it gets good. “No Mommy, I don’t want that. I need my lighter.”
“Your what?” I ask her, stopping in mid-air with my unloading. “Your lighter?”
“Yeah, my lighter,” she continues in this innocent voice. “I need it for my cigarettes.”
Oh. My. Gosh. The first thing that pops into my head is how does she know lighters and cigarettes go together. Oh wait, my mother is a smoker. There you go…insert literary eye roll.
Now, as the words so eloquently come out of her mouth I notice a nice young gentleman behind me waiting to check out. And I make the mistake of locking eyes with him. I see scorn and judgment in them. Sweat starts to form at the base of my neck. This guy seriously believes my kid knows what she is asking for right now? Has he ever heard the phrase “kids just say the darnedest things?”
I give him a nervous laugh-you know the one I am talking about, right? The kind of laugh you used when you had to explain to your parents why the car had a busted light or why the vodka bottle was filled with water. It was one of those laughs. He continues to just stare and judge-Mr. Personality. Meanwhile, my devil-of-a-daughter is still yelling for the cigarettes and lighter! Oh Lord, help me now! I see a “coming-to-Jesus” session with my mom over this one. Can the floor just swallow me up right now? I wanted to scream at the man behind me, “I don’t smoke, it’s my mom who smokes! Yes, I give my kid high fructose corn syrup, but not nicotine!”
By this point in time I was basically hurling my grocery items towards the kid who was starting to bag stuff up. I desperately needed to get the heck out of dodge. Annabelle’s rants were starting to draw more attention around me. I looked at Annabelle and said in what I hope was a calm and orator-like voice, “Honey, stop. You don’t smoke (oh really?) and you don’t have cigarettes (another genius statement, Samantha).” I continue on as if I’m scolding a teenager caught smoking under the school bleachers. “No one in our house smokes. Let’s go.”
I pushed the cart Annabelle was sitting in towards the bagger so he could load our groceries. Then I planned to pull a Florence Joyner and sprint out of the store. The entire situation was embarrassing and hysterical, all in the same moment. A typical Off-Broadway satire that only a mom could truly appreciate. I am sure anyone who witnessed the entire scene was left scratching his or her head in confusion, wondering what the heck just happened. Oh, and did that kid really ask for cigarettes and a lighter?
And for the guy behind me in line with the dagger-shooting, disdain-filled eyeballs (who obviously didn’t have kids), I have this to say. One day you will have a child, girl or boy, and in your mind you will have a vision of how this child will carry his- or herself in public. And this said child will completely pull that figmental rug from under your feet, wrap it over your head, then proceed to perform a “Dutch Oven” on you (if you don’t know what is, look it up and laugh).
So there you have it, one of my best “Annabelle-isms” to this day. But I am sure as time rolls on and she learns more vocabulary words, witnesses more inappropriate cable commercials and acquires new “habits” from her school friends, my Word document will just keep getting longer and longer.
Now, if I have to compare my daughter to a wine in this world I would have to choose something with pepper and spice. What better wine to serve such a purpose than a red Zinfandel? Don’t confuse this wine with the light pink version on the markets. Yes, that wine is made from the same Zinfandel grape, but it has been mixed with white varieties and sweetened up a bit. The wine I am speaking of is robust, not anywhere close to light-bodied or sweet.
I am new to the world of Zinfandels, but when I had some a few months ago at a tasting I fell in love with their spicy undertones. They completely surprise the palate, hinting at blackberry and currant when you first sip, but then blasting your tongue with a bold spice that could stand up to any meal you serve on the table.
Zinfandels have their biggest presence in California, but you will also find some from southern Italy and even Australia. I would go to your local liquor store or wine shop and try a few different bottles, compare their likenesses and differences. You don’t have to break the bank to find some good labels. If you want to try a trusted name, Rombauer (California) makes a Zinfandel that would cost you around $30. One label I have had is Quivira (California). Their Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel will only cost you about $20, and it held up nicely to this particular grape’s heritage.
Until next time, cheers!