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Move Over, Simon Cowell

Proving once more that she’s
definitely my daughter (as if the c-section scar isn’t proof
enough), Maddie has reached new heights with her lack of tact
concerning her opinions.

As I’ve mentioned before, Madeleine is quick to speak up if
someone’s talents are not up to standard. And by
“someone”, I usually mean me. Many times in the past
we’ve put on music for some Song and Dance time (listen, you
gotta make your own fun), and I’d start dancing around the
room. After a few moments of watching me, Maddie would speak up and
say, “Mama no dance.” It took all my control to not
point out to my then-1-year-old that lots of people used to pay 100
bucks a ticket to see mommy dance, but I tried not to take it
personally. Likewise, we’d start singing songs, and
she’d simply shake her head and say, “Mama, no.”
I’d run through my whole repertoire and nothing was good
enough for this critic.

Maddie’s been much better for a
while, though, and I thought those days of harsh judging were over.
Just the other night, however, Maddie requested a verse of
“Kitty in the Basket” from Gamma. Since this is a song
I’ve often sung with my mother, I came in with the harmony.
After a few moments, Maddie walked over to me, gently placed her
hand on my shoulder, and said in a pitying, gentle, yet implacable
voice, “Mama, can you not sing?”

At least her grammar’s gotten more sophisticated.

Thankfully, though, I’m not the only one who’s not up
to standard. Recently Brian had a popular pop group playing on his
laptop. Maddie walked over and said, “Daddy, what’s
this?” Brian answered, “It’s a group Daddy likes.
What do you think?”

Madeleine listened for a few moments, then shook her head, passing
judgment with a toddler’s world-weariness and the finality of
an American Idol judge: “It’s no Elmo.”

Twenty number one hits brought down to nothing with her swift
verdict. And I had visions of this group’s next world-wide
tour, with all their advertising posters sporting this apologia:
“We’re no Elmo, but we try.”

Guess they’ll have to try harder.


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