The power of a princess

By Mir
September 8, 2010

You may recall that I visited Kira last year, too, and it was a wonderful trip and I had a hard time leaving. I was just getting to know her boys, and while I’d been allowed to freely snoogle the baby, I knew that she would be a whole different person this year, and it was hard to leave her sweet babylump self knowing that that she would change so much before I could see her again.

What I hadn’t anticipated—despite Kira’s stories in the intervening year—was that when I returned it would be to boys who had grown a bit, yes, but also to a tiny, adorable tyrant who has effortlessly wrapped the entire household around her chubby little finger.

You might think I’d find this strange or wonder if little Sophia is being spoiled, but all I can tell you is that this is clearly How The World Is Meant To Work. That child had me vying for a spot on that finger before I’d been there for an hour.

For one thing, Miss Sophia is tiny and adorable, of course, with eyelashes approximately a foot long. If you can resist that little face and those lashes, clearly there’s a lump of coal where your heart ought to be. And for another thing, Sophia can do it herself, thanks, whatever “it” is, nearly all the time. But the main issue, of course, is that she is a toddler surrounded by Big People who adore her, and she knows it. She knows it is her due, and that we all pretty much exist to make sure she gets what she wants, and to admire her while she does.

So on the one hand, every single morning I was greeted by the slightly-puzzled Sophia expression that I’m pretty sure was meant to convey, “You, AGAIN? You’re STILL HERE?” But on the other hand, it didn’t take long for her to figure out that I was more than happy to be yet another indentured servant to her whims, and that was alright by her.

Other royalty may rule with an iron fist, but Sophia rules with a pinchy hand.

You see, generally all Sophia is going to stop to ask for is food. And while doing so (in an adorable squeaky voice that gave me phantom ovary ache: “Nummy? Nummy? Nummy?”), she holds up a hand and does a pincer grasp to demonstrate that Hey, buddy, you can just put whatever you’re eating right here in my hand, thanks, I’ll take care of it for you, and by “take care of it” I mean “smear it all over my face with relish.” If she wants something to drink—most likely, wants YOUR drink—she does the pinchy hand while similarly chanting “Wawa? Wawa? Wawa?”

[Of course, if you have the misfortune to leave your glass of water sitting at the table unattended, you may just come back to find her standing on your chair and guzzling it, which is also adorable, right up until she sets it down with a larger-than-seems-possible “AHHHH!” from such a small girl, and then dunks her entire forearm into the glass for good measure.

Her: Wawa!
Me: *drying her arm off on a towel* Yep, it’s your water now. I prefer mine with fewer babies in it.]

I thought the pinchy hand was just for food, because that’s all I saw her ask for, the first day or so. But it turns out that if she wants to look at pictures of herself on Kira’s computer? Pinchy hand, along with “Baby? Baby? Baby?” And if she wants her hat? Pinchy hand, and “At! At! At!” Time to nurse? “Noms! Noms! Noms!” Etc.

The pinchy hand is powerful, is my point.

Now, I imagine Kira and her family have been living with the pinchy hand for quite a while. Months, at least. But because I’m a bad influence, by my second day I was following every request with, “I COMMAND YOU BY THE POWER OF THE PINCHY HAND!” and the necessary accompanying hand-pinching gesture with a level of freneticness appropriate to the current situation.

So, if one of the boys was talking (read: tormenting one of his brothers) and was told to be quiet, that’s easily followed with the POWER OF THE PINCHY HAND declaration and a firm and rapid pincer demonstration, say. And of course I only had to do this a couple of times before the boys started doing it, too, which I’m certain Kira just LOVED. They’d ask her for some food or something, and then follow it with, “Come on, I have the POWER OF THE PINCHY HAND!” and the flapping pinch-grip to demonstrate that compliance was mandatory.

When we were out to dinner, eating fondue, just the two of us? We were waiting for the waiter to bring us our wine and I started doing pinchy hand in his direction, but for some reason it didn’t seem to work. I’m pretty sure it very nearly got Kira to hide under the table, though. If she hadn’t been laughing so hard I’m sure she would’ve done it.

The pinchy hand isn’t Sophia’s only power, though. It also turns out—brace yourself—that she has a REALLY BIG MOUTH. I know! Crazy, right? Whenever she wants your attention or has done something she shouldn’t and wants to divert your attention, she just opens up her mouth really big. It gives you an unobstructed view of all six of her teeth, as well as her belief that she truly is all that, a bag of chips, and probably a Snickers bar as well. And the only thing funnier to her than opening her mouth like a cod for your admiration is… if you do it right back to her. And the only thing funnier than THAT is if you preface it with, “Oh, look! I have a really big mouth, TOO!”

(When I open my mouth that big, you can see all of my teeth, as well as the fact that I will do absolutely anything to make a toddler laugh at me.)

What I’m telling you is that in a matter of days I had managed to reduce Kira’s entire household to a cacophony of “I COMMAND YOU WITH THE POWER OF THE PINCHY HAND!” rejoined by “YEAH? WELL, WELL, I HAVE A REALLY BIG MOUTH!”

It caused a standoff that may well have ripped a hole in the very fabric of the space-time continuum, and I’m sorry about that. Sophia isn’t, though. She would like some of your water. And she’s also available to lick the butter off of your toast.


  1. elz

    God, I love little tyrants. I’m sure Kira appreciates all the pinchy hands you created!

  2. Lynda M Otvos

    Love it, Mir, thanks.

  3. Crista

    LOL, I’m sure Kira is loving you so much right now :D. Did you also happen to leave behind any noise-maker toys? I’m sure that would be the icing on the cake.
    I just got back from visiting my niece (2 1/2). She helped my brother set up the double (tall) airbed for me, then came and got me (“I show you, I show you”) so we could test it out. She thought “testing” meant “jumping” and after one warning, I kicked her off the bed. She slid down the bed, quietly, turned around with her back to me, turned back around to face me, gave me what she thought was her cutest smile ever, and put her knee on the bed, so as to climb back on. I told her, “I said no, and I actually mean it. Just how many people do you think you can fit on that finger anyways?” And she answered!! “Bubba (brother), sissy, mommy, daddy…” ROFL!!

  4. Megan

    Marvelous. Of course, it’s the job of the guest to do SOMETHING that will linger forever and ever after they leave. With me it was teaching my young niece to speak Valley Girl.

    My Sister in Law still hasn’t quite forgiven me for that…

  5. Big Daddy

    I too would have fallen prey to the power of the pinchy hand. The big mouth – not so much.

  6. midj

    My sister thought the “pull my finger trick” was funny when my kids were young… I was not amused…

  7. Momma Chaos

    ah ha ha!! My 2yr old does the exact same glass thing.. He has now progressed to simply tossing the cup away from himself if you catch him with it in his hand.. That makes for even more fun clean ups. We have all learned to quietly sneak up on him to get the glass before he can stuff his hand in it or pour it on the floor :)

  8. Katie in MA

    Such a fun age! Gracie was 2 when Bee was born. When she came to the hospital to meet her sister, she kept yelling, “I HOLD IT! I HOLD IT!” Heaven help anyone who tried to have a turn holding the baby! I’m sure Gracie would have invoked the Power of the Pinchy Hand! if she had thought of it. :)

  9. dad

    So, will Kira ever invite you back to her house or are you now persona non grata?

    I’m glad you had a good time.

  10. jwg

    And then you rode off with a hearty “Hi oh Silver”, your work done. Nice job Lone Ranger.

  11. Em

    I remember a post where Kira described her by her nickname “Tinkerbell the Hun” which I loved. I guess she is still working her Tinkerbell magic.

  12. Jan in Norman, OK

    Oh, I dearly love the pinchy hand gesture.

  13. StacyQ

    I love that you recognized for what it was, and could give a name to the super power which the toddler wields.

  14. KG

    I just have to say that is so amazing you & Kira got together. Thanks for introducing me to her blog. You two are so talented, and utterly hilarious! You capture your kids in words perfectly!

  15. Amy

    I once spent a lovely afternoon with Max and a glass full of ice cubes. Of course this was way back when Max was the tiny prince who commanded all the attention.

  16. Lady M

    Pinchy, pinchy – so cute! I visited a couple of Norwegian daycares last week (picking up, dropping off with colleagues) and was surrounded by little blond dolls lurching around adorably. I’m sure they could have added the pinchy hand to their arsenals.

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