Saturday, May 3, 2008


Originally posted Feb 4, 2005

It's been snowing here in D.C., on and off, for the last three weeks, and I couldn't be happier! Perhaps it's the New England in me (Mike would say CT is not part of New England, but he's been wrong before, too): I love it when it's cool, wet and windy (perhaps because it gives me justification to get a bowl of Pho).

"Yesterday" was lovely: Diane and Isabel met me and two colleagues (Bill and Sumit) for lunch at a Thai place. I had the drunken noodles, of course! Isabel was a pip, of course: once she experienced sitting in my lap, the high-chair held absolutely no appeal to her. Perhaps it was my bouncy-bouncy knee, or perhaps it was my frequent but unexpected and intense shaking hugs -- whatever it was, there was a pleased grin affixed to her lips that wouldn't go away (she also liked the chicken-coconut-cream soup mixed with rice, maybe that was it, because she made great pains, once she obtained the spoon, to keep possession of it and to demonstrate to all who watched that she could feed herself very well, thank you -- the audience was appropriately rapt).

Then I also came home from work in the evening to help Diane settle the children into bed. When I entered the house, Isabel ran up to me with a very concerned look: "MAMAH! MAMAH! MAMAH!" reaching up in supplication.

Yes, I'm Isabel's "Mamah!"

Elena Marie was very pleased to tell me what she had just done, so the three of us sat down to eat Pho noodles with our fingers (much to the delight of the children, who, I guess, had never seen their papa drop noodles into his gaping maw, and so felt the need to assist in this laughter-inducing operation). Diane, meanwhile, got a much needed break to prepare the house for bed: while I played "spider" and "knock Papa's slippers off his feet" games with Elena Marie (her favorites, along with "chase me" and "tickle me" and, when in bed, "Papa, you read"), Diane prepared Isabel for bed.

But not before Elena Marie saw my (her?) plastic mah-jongg set ... we (EM, Isabel and I) played "turn the tiles over" and "move the chips around" games. Great fun was had by all.

But Elena Marie was getting sleepy, so with promises that Mama would read to her after Papa prepared her for bed, I ended up reading three books to her after we brushed our teeth. Every night is Elena Marie's birthday party (I was informed that she's now "five" (she celebrated her 4th birthday party yesterday, don't you know)), and tonight she had gifts for Auntie Beki and Uncle Howland. Yesterday, it was "where is Jasmine? Is Jasmine malayo [far]? When can we see Jasmine?"

I kid you not! She was very insistent about this; I eventually connected this desire because I was mentioning "Auntie Cybele" to her ... the sweetie kept saying "Autie Isabel" [Hey, Cybele, how come you picked a name so close to our daughter's name? :-)], so I had to mention that "Auntie Cybele" was the Aunt to Jasmine and Jessica. That got her started -- I guess she really enjoyed the Christmas visit up North.

Well, Elena Marie was very tired and insisted for her Mama to come to her room, but Isabel was still tossing in the big bed. Hm! So we prayed an Ave Maria and then we recited our "God bless"es. "God bless Tita Malou; God bless sino [whom], Elena?" I asked. The poor girl looked at me through drooping eyes: "I want to go to Mamzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

My cue to make a hasty exit, and here I am writing you an email.

Beki and Howland are coming for a visit this weekend ... yes, in February. Do you know that the last three February visits that our VT relations ended with delayed flights back to VT ... we're talking days here. Very brave of Beki and Howland to be come, and they are very welcome here indeed -- I wonder what adventures we'll have on this visit ... I can't wait!

Okay, y'all I'm going to sneak home and see if I can catch a few 'z's myself.


Rolene AuClaire said...

Lovely story as usual, love to all.

cybele said...

Doug, thanks for the lovely note, sounds like you al are having a fabulous time. It is 70 degrees today and big, blue skies. Much love, Cybele Please give a hello hug to all of your girls.