Wednesday, June 6, 2007


My littlest (so far), Isabel, and I have this little game we play, called "toesies". How this game works is that she is resting in bed or on her chair eating, and she flashes me her toes. This compels me to stalk these self-same objects ("stalking" meaning "looking in that direction and uttering: 'toes'" or "taking a step in her direction" or, even, "thinking about looking or stepping"). When I begin my hunt, she cries out "NOOOOOOO!" in abject fear (you really need to see this). This halts my advance right away. I back off, simultaneously offering sincere reassurances.

My retreats are more than a balm; in fact, they embolden her to demand my reengagement: "Toesies!" she demands as she wiggles the objects in question. This requires we repeat the game.

If I happen to be sitting next to her (which, I'm happy to report, happens quite often), the game has evolved into a new species. At first it was:

Isabel: "Toesies!"
Me: "I'm gonna get'm!"
Isabel: "NOOOO!" followed by a scrunching of toes into her feet.

But, nowadays,

We interrupt this blog post for a Muppet News Flash!

Dateline: Mt. Laurel, NJ --

A hot-air balloon just lazily passed the office where I'm working; vertically striped orange and indigo, it couldn't have been more than 1,000 ft above ground.

... I wonder if they pick up hitchhikers?


But, nowadays, to minimize the risk of foot cramping, I've explained to the little one that I wouldn't actually take her toes away from her, as they're stuck onto her feet.

Me: "See?" as I gently pull on a toe, demonstrating that it doesn't come off.
Isabel: "It's stuck!", said with wonder.
Isabel: "... try to pull off the other ones!"

So we repeat the game for each toe, as I very gently "try" to obtain a toe for myself, and at each attempt, she explains that I cannot take her toe:

Isabel: "It's stuck! *smirks*"

However, she's a delicate one! We'd be playing "monsters" or "giants" or "toesies" or "catch-me-papa", and if there's a bit too much excitement the pretend emotions become real, uncontrollable, ones. We, Elena Marie, Isabel and myself, were playing "catch-me-papa", which is a game where we run up and down the hallway, sliding into home-base (the fireplace -- hardwood floors with gym socks make for some good, long, slides) or leaping onto the big-bed ... don't ask how Diane tolerates this game, because I just don't know. Well, I uttered my battle-cry/warning to start the game off: "I'm comin' for youooouuoooouuuoouoouu!" Elena Marie screamed with excitement and ran off, but the scream frightened Isabel so much that she slumped to the floor, crying.

Oops! Game over, and new rule: "No screaming". Recovery time consisted of consolation hugs, calming, soothing reassurances, and, it now being late, time for their favorite, favorite, activity: Papa reading bedtime stories.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Oh, my poor nerves! (or as long as you make the bed again and catch kids that fall off, then my nerves will be fine)