Sometimes Ricki seems almost schizophrenic, not in personality or mental state, but in the erratic nature of her maturity. Thursday was a perfect example.
I was incredibly busy on Thursday. Expecting extra guests on Friday night and Saturday morning, I darted out of the house, planning to combine my hour health walk with a trip to the cheapest supermarket sandwiched in the middle. But I did not take into account my nature to be an exacting comparative shopper, nor the crowds that are normal on Thursday in the grocery store, especially in the month after Passover. I reached the checkout counter rather late, and the lines at all the cashiers were absolutely huge. When I finally reached the cashier, an old gentleman from the line next to mine swooned in a near faint, and naturally all business ground to a halt as the staff of the store took charge of the situation. Finally I got out of the store and home, but by then the morning was shot. This meant that my tasks for the day had not gotten done, and if I wanted the house to look normal for my arriving guests on the marrow, I would have to be organized, and exert maximum effort and time. The problem was, Ricki had a swimming lesson scheduled for that afternoon, eliminating another good chunk of time. Thus the idea was hatched.
What idea? I decided that Ricki, having been prompted by me several times to undress/dress on her own before and after class (my having done this in order for her to be able “some day” to go swimming on her own) - was ready to attempt it in real life, without Mommy hovering in the wings. I took her by taxi to the pool**, sent her in alone, and continued by taxi to do a few necessary errands.
I returned to the pool a few minutes after her class ended. The teacher was full of praises for my daughter. She had behaved admirably, and had managed entirely on her own. Such maturity!
Then from the pool, Ricki joined me as I ran to do a final errand in the shopping district. As we were walking to my destination, Ricki requested that I purchase a cassette tape from a store just ahead of my destination. I refused, having decided that Ricki really needs to learn that not every trip to the shopping mall will result in a purchase of extraneous items for her. We reached our destination, and when my back was turned, Ricki disappeared. I was not really that scared. We were about a seven minute walk from home, and Ricki knows the way back perfectly. I figured that she was bored, and went home, but I would of course call home in a few minutes to check (and to inform my husband to talk to Ricki about leaving without notifying me….).
Than my cell phone rang. A woman called me, saying that she had found Ricki. Ricki had given her the phone number at home, and my husband had supplied her with my cell phone number. Within moments, Ricki had rejoined me, and we started the walk to home.
As we strode forward, Ricki inquired if I had any special activities planned for the evening, and stated that she had some nice tapes she wanted to hear. Then she added “I don’t want to show you.”
Sudden realization of what had transpired over the last few minutes hit me with a thud. Ordering my daughter to open her swim bag, I discovered three cassettes and two CDs. I had to return them to the store, only glad that I had not only discovered the theft, but had not returned all the way home before doing so.
My "schizophrenic" daughter: so mature/immature. It simply floors me…..
**This is a private pool with a private teacher; there was no chance of her running into strangers without women who know her being present.