Saturday, May 3, 2008

Elena's smile; Isabel's reach

Originally posted March 20, 2005

Good evening (37 minutes to "Good Morning") and hello!

A couple of stories to share about our daughters. A thought just hit me up-side the head like an iron skillet: "new daddy sharing kiddie stories" -- how prosaic! I guess I'm turning out to be a caricature of a stereotype.

But I forge on, not bravely, because bravery is action in the face of fear, but fearlessly, 'cause I'm that kind of guy.

Elena Marie, and forgive me for writing this, has a smile that would melt snow in Antartica. Yesterday, Diane dressed her up in her purple corduroy dress (with large pink and blue flower prints), pink tights and pink, pink shoes. Now, I demand an answer from you: how could anyone supress a scream of delight. I certainly could not contain myself, and that's when the special smile of hers was framed by eyes squeezed shut with delight and pink cheeks all aglow (she hid behind herself, if you can imagine that, as there was no closet to duck into nor coat rack to hide behide).

So, later that day, Diane needed to deliver something to me at work (ummm, don't ask about work: just when I thought it couldn't get busier, I find out ON FRIDAY that all the other people like me (don't ask) are going on vacation next week, so I need to maintain their systems while they are away ... next week's Holy Week, but our international partners decided it was a good time to turn on a new system that one of those lucky vacationing folks maintains, so ... I feel like I'm holding the bag, but the bag is three stories tall!). Isabel was sleeping, peacefully, like a little baby llama nestled into the crook of her mama's belly on Noah's arc, but Elena Marie was quite pleased to see her papa so she could play, quietly, with him.

The game was a simple one: she would extend her shoe out the car window, and I would spider my hand toward the enticement until, she judged, that the spider was close enough to be a threat to her covered foot. She then would rapidly retract her leg; I, my hand, until she extended her foot again, demanding: "Papa, sommore!" And, with that 1500 watt smile of her's, who was I to say no?

We also played a variant today. Isabel was asleep again, and Elena Marie was constructing an Africa lion-head mask, with a modicum of help from her mother. Between burst of activity, she indolently extended her leg to rest her foot on the table top. Which would cause me to run, full speed to grab that pink, pink shoe. My action elicited her immediate response: her giggles covered her quickly protected footwear. She would then, cautiously extend her leg, and I would attempt to ninja up to the table (it's hard to ninja up to a centralized, well-lighted area with an alert target watching one the whole time, but it was worth an attempt). Her smile and laughter would grow as I futilely attempted to draw closer. *Zwhoosh* Away, again, went her foot, hidden safely again.

It was a pretty head-mask she made. I have her previous opus, a Zebra head-mask, at work.


Isabel Marie is growing into her own (very strong) personality. She loves bouncing onto the balls of her feet (she's dancing with joy), she loves "running" (stomping along at twice the speed but covering half the distance), she loves "crying" (she really is unhappy, but it's difficult not to laugh when she raises her hand to cover her mouth in an "oh! Woe! woe is me!" gesture that would make pros ask for her autograph). She's recently been acquainted with a new game that she's very fond of doing, and then repeating.

Her Tito Mike lifted her up to the ceiling for her to extend her tiny-tiny hand to touch. That has got to be the coolest thing in the world for her. The cost is not so bad either: a big-ole smootch on the cheek (with she loves receiving and, when called on, delivers with the utmost dignity and care). I watched this game for awhile, and then when asked, obliged.

I am so happy I caught her when she slipped from my grasp.


She thought it was part of the game and a hoot, so asked for a replay. Again, I obliged, but this time set myself up a little better to prevent another near-hospital-visit incident (the hospitalization would've been for me: I get tunnel vision just thinking about it again!)

She's also so smart! She gets weepy when tired, so Diane asked this disconsolate 25# bundle: "Do you want to go to bed or go see the puppet show?" She, with the utmost gravity (Jupiterarian: when a toddler's crying like that, everything seems more serious), pointed to the bed. You know, I wish I was that smart: when she's tired, she asks to sleep. It will be amazing to hear what she has to say when she starts talking more than "Mama, mahma, mavah, mama" (that's this guy writing).

Okay, all, good morning!


beki said...

Hi Doug,

What wonderful emails! I have read the one about the library, but not the other Halo one yet, and I of course had to rush to read the email about my nieces.

I love that I can perfectly picture Elena's 1500 watt smile. It pops right into my head when you write about it. Especially the squished up eyes that still glow in the dark with joy. How wonderful!

And little Ms. Isabel is such a daredevil. Today, touching the ceiling, tomorrow skydiving. Its all basically the same thing, right?

I went to see Nana for her birthday yesterday and she gave me the BEST present! Four hours of just me and Nana! No dad, no other cousins or Aunts and Uncles. I couldn't believe it. Howland is away, visiting a vendor, so it really was just me and Nana. She let me take her out to lunch, then we went shopping for a little bit. After that, we got back to her house and each had a little of the pineapple upside down cake I had made her. (Even that was a miracle. I called her up and asked her to tell me which cake she wanted for her birthday, adding that everyone should have cake on her birthday. And she called back and said, "As far as cake is concerned, anything goes, really, but I haven't had upside down cake for a long while..." I'm thinking, gosh, if she can even suggest something that she wants, I'm making it. My next question, to myself was, how do you make upside down cake?) Then, it was time to say goodbye. I dropped her off at church for five o'clock mass and droves straight home from there. Ok. I could die now. Now I am truly happy.

But anyway, I digress. The whole reason for telling you about seeing Nana was that I brought my "Doug and Diane's kids" photo album for her to look at and she LOVED it. It has photos in it from the time that Diane was pregnant with Elena through your trip to the Philippines. She loved, loved, loved it. So, if you ever want to get a gift for Nana or to do something nice for her, give her photos of you and your kids (isn't it so annoying how in English we have the same word for you (singular) and you (plural). See, if I was writing in Russian, you would know just from looking at the word that I mean you and Diane and your kids, because I would use the plural form of you, but not in English. So now you're left wondering if I mean photos of just you and the girls or of all of you.... "Orcses don't taste very nice, do they Precious..." You (singular) get the idea.). She said she loves looking at photos of them, and she seemed so happy that I had thought to bring the album. PHEW.

So, now I'm just facing the music, cough, with my taxes and thinking about packing to go to Chelsea's for a month. Busy, busy, busy.

But first, dinner. I'm going to marinate some chicken thighs and make mashed potatoes and shredded cabbage. Should be good.


Rolene AuClaire said...

Lucky children to have such a verbally talented papa, among other things. I smiled with sweet memories of you, Doug, when you said "a thought just hit me up-side the head like an iron skillet."

Aunt Rolene
PS: Please stop working non stop.

geophf said...

re: iron skillet

*blush* Thanks. I put that line in, especially for you.

RE your PS: yes, ma'am.

geophf said...


Still at work, [editted], and probably going to be here until tonight's choir practice drags me away from my desk. Sorry about your taxes; I'm in the midst of mine and don't know if I owe a lot or will come out on the plus side ... ? So, I'm feeling the pain in the taxes along with you.

ANYWAY, I really enjoyed your email! Your visiting Nana for her birthday was wonderful and so sweet! Nana and the children get along so well, it was an inspired stroke that you decided to share pictures of the neices with Nana -- it sounds like she had a really great, stress-free, birthday; which is amazing thing to say for anyone, but, for Nana, your birthday for her was miraculous.