My brothers and their families drove many hours through rain, wind and ... more wind this last weekend to help me work on my house. The place was a zoo. Not only were there five dirty guys running around, but wives and children were all here, too.
Toddlers were pushed by babies, babies pushed by toddlers, my niece bit by a dog in the cheek (she's OK), a pillow was urinated on by a chiwawa, and Rampage World Tour was won by my brothers and I late, late, late on Friday night.
We're all just big kids.
Oh, and a lot of work got done. Can't forget that.
So today I was doing some more work outside (scraping, fixing, and painting the trim on our house) and I had my respirator and goggles on because the coat of paint that's currently on the house (and as far as we can tell, has been on there since the house was built 105 years ago) is lead-based.
Anna and mom were outside (not near the house, of course) and Anna saw me and got all scared. She got scared this weekend too when she saw my brothers out the window scraping and wearing the same get-up on their faces.
It looks sort of like this (I would have taken a photo of myself today to show you just how frightening I looked, but my hands were full of lead dust and window glazing):
So I took off the face gear to show her that it was me underneath. She seemed to understand until I put it back on again. She immediately lifted up her hand and seemed to summon The Force in an attempt to make me show my face again. She kept saying "no" and seemed really distressed.
We've heard about this before. Toddlers don't get masks. they don't understand that it's still the same person underneath. But we've never seen it in action and it sort of broke my heart. As many times as we explained it to her, she didn't quite get it.
As they walked back into the house later on I heard Anna say "guy" in the way she does when she sees someone she doesn't know. I honestly think I'm going to have nightmares tonight about my daughter not knowing who I am.
Later on I was still outside and Anna and mom were inside. Anna said, "Daddy. Mask. Off. On."
Jen laughed a bit. To which Anna replied, "No. Not funny."
Can you believe that? That's awesome! She's starting to get in touch with her feelings and understand what's funny and what's not. And that we laugh when something's funny. And that we shouldn't laugh when something's not funny.
Anyway, it just blew my mind. Every day she grows up and changes and becomes her own person.
And just to remind myself how much she loves me when I'm not wearing a freaky mask, here's a photo: