The 2015 Treaty of Niagara

Posted on: January 26, 2016

The child may be small, but she is mighty. Mighty from the day she was born, entering the world not with a wail, but with a roar. You want to admire the force of her -- to call it strength of character - but the truth is that her ferocity has always overwhelmed you.

Saturdays have become dangerous ground in your home. Too many hours unscripted, not enough activities in the world, and playdates are so fleeting. Your husband hides in the garage while you preside over the day’s activities. You are in attendance at a royal court; one made of glitter glue and pipe cleaners.

You feel her watching you from across the craft table and you know it is best – safest – to avoid eye contact. You concentrate on the badge you are stitching onto her Girl Guide uniform. This one – the Modeling badge -- will be affixed above the Social Media Literacy badge and below the Make-up Application badge. You flinch as the pin suddenly stabs through the dark blue material piercing your finger. The purple marker across the table is still clutched in the soft pink fist but it is no longer moving. The stillness sends shivers down your spine.

“Mommy?” Sweet as syrup. Don’t look up.

“Yes Muffin?” You are squinting at the needle and thread -- all your attention on that task.

“I was thinking we really need to step it up with my YouTube channel.”

“Ya think?” Needle goes in, needle goes out. You avoid the big blue eyes framed in doll-like lashes. You know those lashes are fluttering violently in your direction.

“My subscribers need something…more.”

Another stitch, and only a few more before you are finished with this badge. “Like what?” You know it’s a trap, but there’s no way to avoid it. The question had to be asked or you risk the accusation of being a non-attentive parent. There is no worse thing than appearing to be a self-absorbed mother. You would be shunned from the home and school committee meetings, invites to Jungle Jam Indoor Gymboree would be withdrawn. The shame would be unlivable.

“I thought Great Wolf Lodge could be a super way to get some new content for my fans.” Butterfly flutters, chicklet smile.

“Great Wolf Lodge?” You say it with your voice tight, your eyes squinted as though you have never heard of such a thing. What is this place of which you speak -- this abode of wolves and greatness? The ruse isn’t working, she knows you are false.

“I thought a week at the lodge would be the perfect thing to bump up my views.”

“A week?” There is panic in your voice that should have been hidden. You glance up and see that she heard it too. She shines a beaming smile straight at you, curls cascading over her La Senza girl T-Shirt. She knows she has you. You stare hard at the fabric in your lap. The One Hundred Subscribers badge is coming loose and so you dive on it with your needle and thread. “Maybe just for one night,” you suggest non-committedly but she has you on the run and she knows it.

“I couldn’t do any less than four nights.” Sticky, sticky, honey bees buzzing round her voice like nectar.

“Maybe two nights.” God, can you stand it? Two whole nights with deep-fried foods and mixed drinks in plastic cups. Hysterical moms, always either overweight or weirdly thin and dads with tattoos hidden under blankets of back hair that they have given up waxing.

“Three, and we need a themed suite.”

“Three nights. No suite. One MagicQuest game.”

“Done.” She smiles. Pearly whites peek through petal lips, and she launches at you. “You are the best Mommy in the whole wide world.” Arms around your neck, rosy pillow cheek squashed against your face. She smells as sweet as she sounds; strawberries, peaches, licorice kisses.

“I will let Daddy know and we can set something up,” I say.

“Don’t wait too long,” she says. “We want to get on it before we get too close to Christmas. I can’t have my Great Wolf Lodge vlog interfere with my seasonal toy review

She pulls away and swishes the waterfall of curls over her shoulder. “I will be in the kitchen if you need me. The lighting is better there and I have to record a quick thing on side pony tails before dinner. They’re the ‘it’ hairstyle for grade three girls this fall.”

She caps her marker and snatching her smartphone from the table, she disappears. You return your focus to the badges on your lap. The Cleanliness badge is beginning to fray at the edges; you had that one at her age too. It sat on your Girl Guide sash above your Telephone Courtesy badge and Leg Warmer Appreciation badge. You lost all of the badges of course, and the Girl Guide uniform, too. They disappeared with the rollerblades you used to love, sometime after you traded in your New Kids on the Block posters for Nirvana pictures torn from magazines.”

She is in the hallway now, her hair pulled to the side of her dangerously symmetrical head, golden strands, strawberry tinged, wrapped in a purple kink-free elastic band. Her arms hug the oversized teddy bear to her chest. The fluttery lashes return for the finale as you hear her voice, molasses, gumdrop, candy floss.

“Don’t forget to like this video. Thanks for subscribing and leave your comments down below.”

Written by: Sarah Scott
Photograph by: Garrett Carroll

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
1:1000 The Design of this Blog is All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger