Little Miss Waterworks

posted Monday March 8th, 2010

Sophie wasn’t at all disappointed that she didn’t receive a blue ribbon for her school science fair project.

But she was devastated when she saw Annabelle’s purple one.

She didn’t mind that she got second place (maroon), while Annabelle’s project received a first. Sophie wanted purple — her favorite color.

(An aside, regarding the science fair: I credit Ray and blame myself; I forgot to put the all-important “hypothesis” label on Sophie’s project, which cost her points. I rather liked hers this year — she chose the topic herself, “What Do Crystals Smell Like?” and worked really hard putting it together. But as I’ve noted, the Science Fair is really neither “science” nor “fair” — more like a way to see how hard the parent will work. Ray was more successful with Annabelle’s project, which he spearheaded. And it must be noted that Annabelle worked hard, too; she deserved top honors place for her project, about how light is refracted through (by?) a crystal. I suppose Sophie wasn’t helped by the fact that she thought her crystals — formed by one of those Magic Crystal Gardens — smelled alternately like chocolate, Propel, Mommy, mint and Annabelle.)

Anyhow. Back to the waterworks.

It starts slowly, yet happened instantly — the wide-then-scrunched eyes, the red face, the open mouth and finally, the kind of sobs we adults reserve for, oh, something along the lines of the pain you’d endure if someone were to chop off your foot.

I’m sure we’ve already been through a phase of this sort of crying, I just don’t remember it — though as I type this, I’m having deja vu. (Should have made a blog category for “crying” or “emotional outburssts.”)

I recall it with Annabelle, but not with Sophie. It’s sudden, like a tidal wave, and over quickly — luckily leaving no visible destruction. But it’s embarrassing when it happens in public, and impossible to stop. (OK, sometimes a Weight Watchers fudgsicle has been known to help in a pinch, but I hate to use food in these situations, and anyhow, I can hardly carry those in my purse.)

The crying thing is a terrible habit to fall into.

The worst part is my reaction, which tends to be stifled laughter. The crying jags are never over anything serious, and Sophie offers a performance that certainly gives Sandra Bullock a run for her Oscar.  

Maybe if I let her see me laughing, she’d stop. But I don’t want to risk hurting her feelings.

This, too, shall pass. Right?

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