Saturday, July 9, 2011

Love is the Underside of Leaves

I can't remember who wrote it or why it meant so much to me, but there was a time when "Love is the underside of leaves" was, in my opinion, just about the best thing ever written. It was actually on a short list of names for this blog. It moved me, it made perfect sense, and it was exactly what I needed at the time. That's what parenting has become these past weeks - a series of moments, one after another, each dethroning its predecessor as the perfect memory - the new queen of the cutest things ever. I imagine it's like pausing at breathtaking views on the long journey up Mt. Everest thinking, "Wow. It doesn't get any better than this," and then finding an even better view just around the corner.

I honestly can't keep up anymore. I had a fantasy that I would keep track of every word Amari ever said in a little journal and be able to tell her later, "And the six hundred and tenth through twentieth words you said were Why the fuck is Dada always writing in that stupid journal. So adorable." Instead, I struggle to get my own words out twice a month. In the spirit of re-commitment and never being caught dead with a Word Journal, however, I will now try to write more often and more briefly about the cute shit Amari does. I would probably call it, "Love is the Cute Shit Amari Does," and it would mean everything to me.

Here are a few catch up stories:

1. HOT!!

Hot is a good word to teach your kid. Long before any words came out of her mouth, Carrie and I agreed that it would be funny to teach Amari the meaning of the word hot (as it pertains to a stove because that's a powerful lesson), and then use the word freely to keep Amari away from things like electric sockets, our television, and food we don't want to share.

This never happened, but Amari did eventually learn the correct meaning of hot and cold and is able to use them correctly and contextually. The other night during dinner, however, I gave Amari a piece of chicken with some hidden hot sauce on it. Amari immediatly began whining her protests, so I went to the sink to get her some cold water. She followed me with her tongue sticking out of her mouth saying, "Hot, hot, hot..." and before I could fill a cup up for her she began licking the fridge door, which she'd already learned was just about the coldest place in our house.


About a week ago, Amari's language development took off. She went from yeah, no, kay, more, etc. to surprising the hell out of us at every turn. During a family meal with Granny C, we let one of her dogs, Emma, into the dinning room to clean up the food around Amari's high chair. Amari can say Emma clear as day and loves doing it whenever she gets a chance, often yelling "Emma! Emma!" when Emma is nowhere to be seen. Yesterday, on a walk in Marin, we passed a black lab on our way down to Phoenix lake. A very silent Amari suddenly perked up and began yelling, "Emma! Emma!"

On this occasion, however, after Emma had licked up all of Amari's fallen pasta, I said, "Amari can you give her a pat?" She obliged, and I added, "Good girl, Emma," and Amari immediately mimicked, "Goo gir, Emma," and gave her another pat. Wow, that's a freakin' sentence we all marveled.

A couple of days and a few timely "Goo gir's" later, Amari had done something I appreciated, so I signed and said, "Thank you, Amari." She smiled, patted herself on the chest and said, "Goo gir." Yes you are, I agreed.


A couple of mornings ago I was so grateful that I no longer smoke cigarettes, drink, or do drugs when Amari picked up my little bottle of nasal spray and began imitating a sniffing sound as she stuck the pointy end up each of her nostrils. Time to start being very conscious of what I say and do.


We're on the road at Babaji's house in Tahoe now. We spent two lovely days in Marin where Amari grew more comfortable with both Jessica and her swimming pool. When I put her to bed tonight, after her ritual bottle she wasn't quite tired enough so she engaged me in a game of Which Part of Your Face is That? She points and says things like, "Nose," "Eye," "Che," until we've covered all the ones she knows and the ones she wants to know. After that, she said, "Bye Dad," expecting Mama to come and take over as she usually does at home. I happened to know that wasn't going to happen, so I said, "No, Dada stay." She looked at me for a moment, then patted my arm and said, "Goo gir, Dada," and snuggled up to sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment