One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

February 15, 2011


Last Friday I picked Hannah up and was driving her home from Daycare. On Fridays, Ethan and Rachel’s dad picks them up and takes them home, so Hannah and I just have a quiet drive home together. “Can we listen to Sallam Allay?” She asked me when we got in the car – which she does almost every day because she likes to whistle along.

I prefer to drive in silence – but drives with Hannah are short, and she loves music so much so I don’t usually argue with her when she wants to listen to it in the car. So I put the song on. Halfway through, she started singing the alphabet. And then she got into singing the alphabet. “Turn that off so I can sing,” she told me.

By that point, we were half into the song, and I was grooving to it (I think the big reason why I often choose not to listen to music is because I am so vulnerable to it. Much like how I don’t pick up a work of fiction unless I’m prepared to give up my mind for three days). So anyhow, I said to her, “no I’m listening to the song now. I’ll turn it off when this song is done.”

Hannah didn’t like that, so she argued with me in her kind of imperious way. “No you HAFta turn it off mom. MOM! I am singing.” I demurred with a patient, “No Hannah, you can wait,” and she lapsed into silence.

By the time the song was over, she was looking out the window and had, I imagined, completely forgotten about the argument, but I like to show the children whenever I can (remember) that promises made to children, even if adults think they’re frivolous, are still worth keeping. So I said, “the song’s over now Hannah. Do you want me to turn it off?” “Oh… Yeah!” she told me, returning her attention to the present.

So I turned off the music and we drove another block or so in silence. Hannah began speaking very quietly. So quietly I had to strain a little to make out what she was saying.

“I’m sorry for yelling at you,” she told me.

And I said, “Oh Hannah, that’s fine. You weren’t yelling at me a lot – it’s really just that sometimes you and I will want different things and you can’t have your way every time, right?”

“Yeah,” she said, still very quietly. And then, “I guess I’m not very good at dealing with my stuff.”


“My stuff.”

“…You’re… not… what?”

And then she said, “I just don’t know why things are so complicated with me.”

It was one of those conversations that would make you believe in the idea of old souls. It wasn’t just the big words and the bizarre adult concepts, which she could have been parroting from anywhere, but this really quiet and pensive intensity about her. It didn’t feel like it was just parroting for her.

Anyhow, I was all flustered but also, “kay, waitaminute now. I’m just going to get parked so we can talk about this.”

And when we were parked I turned around and I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re a really cooperative kid and you’re really good at negotiating things.”

And then she beamed at me. And she said, “Mum, I love you.” Which, because things had been so bizarrely serious a moment ago, startled me. And I said, “Oh, well, I love you too.”

“And are you going to give me a great big hug now?” She beamed some more.

And so obviously I did.

“And anyway,” she confided as I unbuckled her seatbelt to get her out of her carseat, “I don’t like the second part of Star Wars because Sarlaccs are yucky to eat.”

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