April 4, 2011
Nurture or Nature: The Great Debate
(First of all, I must apologize for the total lack of paragraph breaks in this & the previous posts. Blogger is eating them. I promise, I do have some minor grasp of paragraph structure.) After reading my last post, my father called me to lodge an official complaint. "I refuse to take responsibility for Bitsy acting just like her mother!" So I promised to tell the real story of our trip to The Hotel. ***This was Bitsy's first stay at a hotel. She was over the moon excited about it because I mentioned the words "swimming" and "pool." Past that, she couldn't have cared less about the trip. At one point she wasn't even sure she was going to grace us with her presence. The thrill of getting to ride in H.T.'s car seat in Grammy's HHR combined with the promise of a swim was what won her over in the end. Forget the fact that we were going to visit her great-grandparents or that there was going to be a special church service honoring her great-grandpa's years of service as an elder. This trip was all about the hotel. ***Upon our return to the hotel the first night we were met at the pool by a horde of 12 year old boys in town for a national wrestling competition. If you've never been in a 30 foot by 15 foot swimming pool with 45 pre-teen boys, you haven't lived. I nearly fainted from all the testosterone in the water. But it didn't phase Bitsy. She was going to swim. And suddenly her Pa was her favorite person in the world. ***I was a bit relieved. You see, the two had spent the past 8 hours arguing over her name. About a year ago, Bitsy officially changed her name to "Bitsy Bee Coconut Middlename FarmHand." About a month ago, her Pa added to it making it "Bitsy Bee Coconut Middlename Bubblegum Applebee FarmHand." She's not too happy with his additions. I was pretty sure she was going to wash her hands of him entirely. ***At Montana Mike's Saturday night, she got rather vocal with him about what her name really is. Between her grandfather's pestering and the fact that her grilled cheese wasn't ready within seconds of us ordering, she was a bit put out. ***Sunday morning, she decided to sleep in. Not surprising after her big day of travel, arguments, elevator riding and swimming...but also not really possible since we had to be at church well before 9 am. Pa knocked on the door shortly after seven to see if we were ready for breakfast. He sat on the edge of the bed & said, "Bitsy, wake up. Do you want to go downstairs with me and get a waffle?" Bitsy promptly popped up, put on her socks, and headed to the elevator with her Pa.*** At breakfast, she got very quiet. When I asked what was wrong, she started crying and choked out, "Me miss my daddy." Poor thing. ***When we headed back up to our room, she started jabbering away. "Me was sleepin' and Pa comed in and waked me up. Me was sleepin' and me was going to dream to my daddy when Pa comed in and waked me up. Him said, 'You want to come eat breakfast?' and me was going to dream to my daddy and Pa ruined my dream!" In the car on the way to church, she chewed him out for ruining her dream. ***Church was rather trying for her. Bitsy doesn't talk to strangers. Heck, Bitsy rarely talks to people she knows. At home she's a chatter box, but in mixed company, she's silent at the grave. Now here she was, surrounded by people who'd known me since I was an infant and they all wanted to talk to Mini-FarmWife. Bitsy was having no part of it. She started holes through most of the congregation. ***At lunch with the family, Pa continually stole Bitsy's chicken leg off her plate. She had been very worried that she wouldn't get a chicken leg, and that man wouldn't leave it alone. Add to that being talked to by her aunts and uncles, and I think Bitsy was nearly at the end of her rope. ***Before the evening service, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit and get dressed. Pa told Bitsy, "I was going to dream about Grammy and you woke me up." Her head snapped around and she said, "You waked me up when me was gonna' dream to my daddy and you ruined my dream. Dat's why me waked you up and ruined your dream." She didn't notice he wasn't sleeping. ***In the car on the way back to church, Bitsy asked where we were going. When Pa told her she said, "To church again?" Yes. "Two times?" Yes. "In a row?!" It was practically torture. But in the end she was rewarded with a piece of cake at the reception afterwards and another, much less crowded, swim at the hotel. ***By Monday morning she began referring to home as "my old house," and trying to convince me she wanted to stay at the hotel forever....until someone mentioned her daddy. ***Oh, and I forgot to mention the constant back & forth she and her Pa had over money. Every time we'd get somewhere (hotel, restaurant, store) he'd turn to her and ask, "How much money do you have?" To which she'd roll her eyes and sigh before saying, "Me don't have money, Pa. You hava' pay." After all, what are Pa's for? ***So, now it's up to you to decide. Is Bitsy's new found attitude a result of genetics (my fault, me being the snarky Prima Donna I am) or of the endless pestering by her grandfather over the weekend (Pa's fault by way of irritating and aggravating her)? You may settle this debate.