When my children were little, I had this sense that I was going to have small children in the house forever, that I would spend the rest of my life picking up toys, wiping noses, telling a frustrated toddler to "use your words" or explaining to a bunch of energetic little ones that basketballs are "outdoor toys." It's a still a shock to me now that when my daughter comes home from college, and I realize that the little girl who once throw vegetables from her high chair tray is a mature, poised young woman.
Yesterday, I went with my older two children, two nieces, and an extra to see the movie Rent. We bought a large popcorn and a large soda, which we shared amongst the six of us. I ate a big handful of popcorn just before the movie started. Thirsty, I looked back at my daughter in the seat behind me and made hand motions to indicate that she should pass me the soda.
She gave me a smile and pretended not to understand the hand motions. I motioned again, exaggerating to indicate how thirsty I was. By then the gestures were attracting the attention of people around us. My daughter leaned forward and spoke quietly, in the kind of voice you use when you are talking to a small child: "Use your words."