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Beautiful Maisy, who is barely nine, wants things. She is the THINGIEST member of the family, though this may be just because she is the youngest… Still she is the only one who gets excited when catalogs come in the mail, and she picks out everything from Hannah Andersson backpacks to pink-ingfested bedroom suites from IKEA, to American Girl Doll outfits and pets and friends by folding down the pages. Then I sneak around the house behind her and “disappear” the catalogs, and she forgets. Until the next ones come.

Right now what she wants is a cell phone. To which I say, “What have you been smoking, oh my dumpling? Your brother, who is 14, JUST got one this year.”

Even so? Beautiful Maisy? Wants one now.

She is the baby-est of all the grandchildren, and so she is very PUSHY FORWARDY. All the grandkids get luggage when they are 12, and a trip to Washington DC with my parents. Maisy found some “MOM! TO DIE FOR!” luggage at Marshall’s (black and cream floral exterior, violent purple lining) and pestered at my parents until they decided 9 was almost like 12, and indulged her conspicuous consumerism.

Now she thinks they should go ahead and take her to Washignton NEXT year, when she is ten. Since she has the luggage and all. AND THE IRASCIBLE LITTLE POOTERHEAD actually said to my mother, “You and Papa are not getting any younger…”

To which I replied, “None of us are, sweet-cheeks, but some of us are about to get a little spanked-er.”

On the home front, it is all about the cell phone, and my brother Bobby, at beach week, convinced her that the REASON she had yet to prevail was that she had not applied for a cell phone in the proper fasion—-she had not gone through appropriate channels.

They spent a solid half hour crafting the following letter. Here it is in all its 3rd grade spelling glory, with a transcript below.

To Whom It May Concern:
It has come to my attention that those in authority to take decisions with bearing on matters such as these, have failed to be cognizant of my pressing need for modern communication technology. This lack has been demonstrated to be an active causation of preadolecent distress. My wellbeing, as well as the normative progression of my childhood development has been placed in severe jeopardy. The sole immediate solution to this dire circumstance is the prompt procurement of a modern telephonic communications device and it’s immediate delivery into my custody.
Sincerely, Maisy

Cute right? And yet…ultimately ineffective. I think where they lost me was the salutation, because I am NOT the whom it may concern that the letter is addressing. I am no more concerned about Maisy’s cellular telephone needs than I am, say, her navy fighter jet aviation lesson needs or, perhaps her un-housetrained, biting pet monkey needs.

It. Ain’t. A-happnin’. But I WILL absolutely take HILARIOUS photos of the sign-toting, marching back-n-forth, front lawn mother-picket Bobby said she should try next, should her letter fail to yield the appropriate results.

26 comments to Precocious

  • Aimee

    It almost looks like the greeting says “To Womb It May Concern,” which would have been a nice touch considering how you carried here there and all.

    I remember a long time ago you wrote something about Maisy and how you thought you had birthed a belle. I think you’re right! Eep.

  • Beth Still

    Boy, do you have a lot of fun/challenging/ultimately hair-pulling-out years in front of you with this one. I simultaneously envy and pity you!

  • JulieB

    Wow! Fabulous on all fronts. I look forward to the picket line photos… 🙂

  • Barbara

    My oldest – who is now a nice adult-type child of 25 – was somewhat “high maintenance” at this age. I like that “thingy” term. He liked his things. We live “out in the country” with no sidewalks, streetlights, or neigbors – even though we had acres and animals and other recreational type entertainment for the kiddos. This little angel let me know when he reached that social stage of life (at about age 10) that our choice of residence was – and I quote “stunting his social development”. Because he couldn’t run outside and find friends to play with at a moment’s notice. To which I replied “God help us if your social development was any more developed or nurtured”. Hang in there mama. Your work will pay off!

  • HAHAHAHA! That letter just made my day.

  • Kathy

    Wow! This sounds so…lawyerlyish. Had me laughing! Thanks!

  • Petunia

    Oh. My. Word. That? Is hilarious. And what a helpful brother you have.

  • JMixx

    Methinks your brother Bobby has a WICKED sense of humor. My father’s expression at such times was, “Don’t egg her on!” Have you enquired sweetly of your brother why he has not responded to the dire threat facing his niece by purchasing said modern telephonic communications device, and opening an account for her with a reputable telecommunucations provider which he will pay for in perpetuity? Really, it’s not much to ask of a good uncle (who must not have kids of his own, or he wouldn’t be coaching yours thusly, and therefore he must have plenty of disposable income!)

    That is the kind of writing I would have done as a kid. Except my petition would have been for a horse, a dog, or some similar fuzzy expense producer. And (don’t let Maisy read this!!) my tactic was to emphasize the benefits to be gained by the individuals who would be paying for the fuzzy expense-and-poo-maker. Oh, the rapturous free time without worry that my parents would have if they knew I was safe from all forms of childhood and teenage vices, because I was busy being loved by my fuzzy! The peace of mind to be had, knowing that their darling child was protected by the ferocious fangs of a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler, or able to leap upon her horse and gallop fleetly from all who might otherwise do her harm! The convenience of never having to mow the lawn again, since the horse would keep it cropped and fertilized! In the end, really, the critters weren’t really for me at all; they were only to make my beleaguered parents’ lives easier. Heh.

    Oh, and by the way? Your response to the IRASCIBLE POOTERHEAD comment about her grandparents “not getting any younger”? Priceless. And so *you*.

  • Heh. I’m impressed with her vocabulary. I do believe the “soul” appropriate course of action is to get her a prepaid phone that she can use only until it runs out of minutes, that is locked and call only one number: Bobby’s.

    You have birthed a belle indeed.

  • I say GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Hold that line. I think high school is early enough. But I would LOVE to see photos of the picket. I wonder, in this heat with her coloring, if she will ask you to help her apply sunscreen before she goes outside to picket you.

  • Brian

    If you ask me, Maisy is way out front on this challenge of wills – you should yield while your honor is still intact. If the picket plan fails, I would anticipate her next move to make a pleading, heart-rending YouTube video and post it to your website (using your account so that all your followers would take it viral). Suddenly you’re the ‘before we go cute/funny/happy’ feature on the nightly news or worse, Tosh.0.

    Think of the advantages if she had a smartphone (a pink one surely preferred). You both could save time and energy because she could just ‘text’ you stuff rather than write it all out. And the knowledge base at her fingertips!
    “Mom, what is ____?”
    “Google it on your phone, honey.”

    Win-win. Get it with the full data plan because she’ll find out that Disney has mobile game apps.

    You will open a whole new world of mother-daughter texting back and forth, which I am told by my daughter and wife is ‘remarkable, enjoyable and enlightening’. Plus, Scott can put a GPS tracker program on it NOW (another opportunity you will not have) so you can tell where she is later. You don’t think you need this now, but you will… you will.

  • JulieB

    Oh yes, the phone as a nark. Nice feature. 🙂

  • Beth R

    I don’t want pictures of the picket… I want the video! All I can picture is that little pitiful baby standing in her window yelling “help help! they’re making me nap!” and I’d love to see her in all her Southern Belle glory 🙂

    Not a parent, so I’m not even going to pretend I have any advice, useful or not. Just sitting back and giggling.

    Been meaning to ask: is Bobby single?

  • D

    Tell her you have to save the money for her Lawyer’in degree.

  • Em

    Best. Letter. Ever.

  • “Spanked-er”. Ha. Indeed.

  • Natalie

    This is so funny which is exactly what I needed at 5 o’clock in the morning when sleep is alluding me whilst I’m on VACATION! Her valiant effort certainly must earn her an A for effort, although I applaud your fortitude. I’m one of those people who have the luxury of judging other peoples’ parenting decisions while I sit childless in the corner, so perhaps I truly don’t get it, but it must be said that the whole phenomenon of 1st graders carrying around cell phones mystifies me!

  • Jill Sturgeon

    Girls! SO funny! That letter is a keeper.
    Our daughter is 14 and just got a cell phone – she will be entering high school this fall (sigh….). I do that that age is the right one for most kiddos.

    Hang tough!

  • Jill W.

    Love this!

  • Elizabeth J

    tsk tsk on Bobby, but very funny. what brothers are for, no?

  • Elizabeth

    Hmmmmm. The spelling in all it’s third grade glory looks suspiciously like the spelling my teenagers use when texting. Coincidence? Is Maisy ahead of the curve because she already knows how to text (mis)spell? Or are my kiddos behind because they ONLY know how to text spell? All those hours spent quizzing for spelling tests wasted. Sigh. U r rite to wate 2 git her a fone!

  • You are not alone! My nine year old son has been wanting a cell phone for well over a year now. When we go to a store, especially when he has his “own money” he always stops and inspects the go phones. I tell him no. He looks very sad.

    I remind him that I didn’t have a cell phone when I was going into the fourth grade. He says, “Uh. Mommy. You didn’t HAVE cell phones way back then.”

  • Scottsdale Girl

    “disappeared”! All Hail “Room” the novel.
    Also I giggled incessantly at her comment to her grands, even if it was a twee wicked.

    Love every bit of this post and also? I read Good Hard Look (KINDLE I LOVE THEE) in two days. Yes I did.

  • linda j

    I went out to get the most wonderful paperback Backseat Saints the other day and I am happy to report that I got the last copy my bookseller had!! Don’t worry she will be safe here

  • linda j

    I just saw on Amazon that A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty is available for pre order. Will the audio be released the same day?

  • Yes! The audio will release the same day. 🙂