Showing posts with label highlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label highlight. Show all posts

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My bellybutton is sick. (So I've been told.)

I'm the doctor, Mama! Your doctor is here to make you all better.

I'm lying on the outer edge of the couch; she's curled up in the choicest spot of comfy and cushiony. I'm a balancing act. But I must hold still: Doctor's Orders.

She has my sweater pulled up so she can conduct her examination. Her baby doll bottle is her otoscope. Her baby doll sippy cup is her bellybutton depressor. One is filled with water, I'm told; the other, with magic medicine.

I'm a good patient; I hold still. She examines and I doze. There's no reason to be any more tired today than any other day, but in this life, when am I not tired? Her actions are sure, but gentle. A measurement here, a drop of magic medicine there. She traces circles around my navel with her bottle tip. I'm getting tattooed. My stomach is a grassy plane and she builds a Stonehenge for the lint people. Her touch is rhythmic and delicate. She's a shaman on the invisible ailments of my first scar. Until she informed me, I hadn't even known I was ill. But all the same, I feel healed under her ministrations. Pin It

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still life with library loan

January 17, 2009 Tiki Tiki Tembo, bedside

One thing I know confidently we're doing well as parents is raising bibliophiles. E carries books everywhere with her, and even snuggles her favorite du jour when she goes to sleep each night. L is obsessed with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, hoarding the daycare copy by day and beelining for the family room edition when we return home each evening. I can't imagine a life without reading and of all the traits we find repeating in our girls this is way up there on the List of Most Satisfying.

A few months ago we realized the collection of books we had was just too simple for E. She was ready for stories that come in paragraphs, not sentences; on pages, not boards. One book we got for her was Tiki Tiki Tembo, whose syncopatic language tantalized me as a child, and whose main character's full name, Tiki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari richi pip peri pembo stayed in my memory from my own childhood, through the years when I couldn't even name a single small child, until now, when my very own child was ready for a story of this degree of complexity. When we first got this book sometime last year I told E that it was one of my favorites from when I was little and she hangs onto that as a stone in her pocket. Every time she pulls it from her shelf she asks, this is your favorite, Mama? as one of those truisms that children love possessing: when the sun goes down, the moon comes up! and silly L, we don't climb in the bath with diapers on! and this book is your favorite, Mama. Having now reread this book probably a hundred times since late summer, my esteem for it has diminished. Critically speaking, it's got some racist undertones that I never understood as a child and as E gets older, we'll have to talk about that but for now she's attracted to it for the sound of its lines, just as I was so thoroughly enchanted that I remembered that name for 25+ years of being away from the text.

A few nights ago we were reading Tiki in E's bed before she went to sleep and I asked her if I should put him down on the shelf or if she was snuggling him. She's been snuggling In the Night Kitchen and Olivia all week so Tiki was about to go on the shelf when E asked me this is your favorite, Mama? And I replied, as I always do, that yes, this was one of my very favorite books when I was little. She then said, bursting with love as well as the seriousness I would momentarily see was due the gravity of the offer she was extending, Mama? You can borrow him if you want. You can take him to your bed with Daddy and read him before you go to sleep when it's your sleeptime and you can snuggle him. Because he's your favorite.

For moments like that: that's why (responsible, full-grown) people should have kids. And that's why Tiki is next to my pillow. Pin It

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9 on 9/11

L, you don't know the difference, but you're nine months old today.

If hope really is the antidote to fear then today is a perfect day to turn nine months old.

It took my body nine months to form you. Today is a commemorative day, not just for the stories that are looping on CNN, but because today you are as much a product of society as of my womb. You're a woman of the world now, my baby. It's an imperfect world and your job is to turn it a little more perfect.

In the wake of that 9/11, we heard so many murmurs, so much rhetorical questioning: how could anyone bring children into such a world?

How could we not? Pin It