Suspiciously Quiet

be like mommy

Photo: Pinterest

 

The quiet lingered enough to have the mother lift her head from the small screen of the phone.

“Emma?” She inquired.

A longer silence returned no response.

She rose and walked toward the child’s bedroom. The three-year-old was outgrowing afternoon naps but sometimes still could be found slumbering amidst her toys.

The door was open. The girl’s room was empty. She peeked into the bathroom. Empty, too.

“Emma!?” Her voice rose. This time in alarm.

A faint shuffle came from the direction of the master bedroom. Nothing more.

“Emma, where are you?” She demanded.

“Here …” The extra pause and small voice held suspicious hesitation.

Urgency made the few steps feel oddly prolonged. The woman felt heartbeat pulse in the space between her tongue and throat. She pushed open the door …

The child’s cheeks were mascara blotches, her mouth and chin bloomed various shades of lipstick. She had a second set of eyebrows. Her little feet sported rose hues that merged into the floor. The room reeked from a cacophony of perfumes, nail polish, and something that smelled suspiciously like aftershave.

“Hi,” the little girl managed, guilty as they come. “I … I was getting pretty so it be your party.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Mnemonically Challenged

 

teachingmomser.com

Photo: teachingmomster.com

 

“I failed the test,” she sighed and let her book bag slump to the floor.

“What test, and I’m so sorry.” I responded.

“Social studies. History stuff. I studied so hard!” She plunked herself into the chair. Dejection personified. “Who put all those stupid names and dates in there, anyway?”

“Names and dates can be really difficult to remember,” I noted. “I find it helpful to connect them with the story of what happened, or with something else to remind of what the name or date relate to.”

“Yeah, well,” her eyes rose to meet mine, accusatory at my not understanding she just needed me to let her vent. “But you are not mnemonically challenged!”

 

 

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Life, Simplified.

draw a baby

Photo: King College, London

 

“It’s not hard,” she said. “Here, I’ll show you.”

“You make a circle …” she demonstrated. “Then you make eyes and mouth and little bit of hair and hands and legs. See?”

She held the drawing up to show me. Lines for arms and legs sprouted out of the crooked circle ‘head,’ topped by a few smaller lines of a sparse mohawk.

“Then,” she planted the paper back on the table, “you go to the hospital and the doctor makes magic and it’s a baby.”

 

 

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It’s a Puzzle!

snake ef-e AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

“Can animals be naked?” he asked, his little forehead creased in perplexed concentration.

“Naked how?” I responded. “Animals don’t usually wear clothes. People may dress their dogs with coats or booties if its raining or snowing, but even that only sometimes.”

He waved me off. “I’m not talking about dogs, even.”

I smiled. The kindergartener’s contenance was a smaller version of adolescents’ exasperation at the ‘know-nothing-adults’ they are somehow expected to live with.

“Oh, okay.” I conceded, “I guess I misunderstood. What did you mean, then?”

“Other things. Like, um … snakes.”

“Snakes?!” I repeated.

“Yeah.” He moved his head up and down for emphasis. “Because I think maybe a snake took his clothes off and ran away and now he’s naked.”

Comprehension slithered in to lift my confusion. “Was this when you went to visit your grandma in Arizona?”

He nodded again. “It looked like a snake but it was only snake clothes.”

I grinned. “I think you saw a snake skin shed! How cool! But don’t worry, it still has skin on its body. You see, when a snake’s skin is too small for it, it grows new skin underneath and then it wriggles out of the old skin and sheds it inside out like a sock.”

The little boy narrowed his eyes and inspected my expression to see if I was perhaps pulling his leg. What he saw in my face must’ve reassured him.

“Good,” he said. “Because I didn’t want everyone to see his privates.”

 

 

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Tooth Booth

craftgawker tooth

Photo: Craftgawker.com

 

“I have a cavity in my mouth!” she announced, elated.

“You do?” I couldn’t suppress a smile. The contrast between the child’s delight and the mom’s anguish was too funny.

“Yeah,” the girl expounded, lisping all the way. “It’s a hole! The dentist has a special magic mirror for my teeth and she looked all over and she said I have a cavity.”

“Wow,” I managed and raised an eyebrow at the mom, who nodded solemnly.

“Next week,” the mother sighed. “I’m not looking forward to it …”

I understood why. This little girl could raise roofs at the mere sight of needles. Just ten days prior the mom had shared with me her mortification at the horrified looks people had given her when she’d emerged with her child from a routine blood draw. “Everyone in that waiting room must have been convinced we were slicing her in pieces,” the mom had vented. “I can’t believe they hadn’t all called Child Protective Services or 911.”

“Laughing gas …” I mouthed.

The mom inhaled and shrugged and nodded all in one. Skeptical and perhaps a little hopeful.

“Not next week,” the child pointed out. “Tonight!”

The mom and I exchanged looks.

“What do you mean, tonight?” the mother asked. “Doc Dee said she’ll see us after lunch next Tuesday.”

“Yeah,” the little girl waved this information away. “But I have a cavity,” she stressed. “So the Tooth Fairy is going to get it first.”

She opened her mouth to give us both a good look before turning to me. “I don’t know why the dentist needed a magic mirror,” she added and her voice rose in puzzlement. “I can see my cavity right away already.”

She held her mouth agape and pointed to a newly lost incisor. “See? It’s right here.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Know Everything

 

child in water fountain

Photo: Atara Katz

 

 

“How did you learn how to know everything?” she asked.

“I don’t think anyone knows everything,” I responded, only half-attending. A siren from a fire-engine distracted me. The driver leaned on the horn. Someone must have not given the emergency vehicle the right of way.

“But how did you learn how to know everything?” she insisted.

The First Grader’s tone brought me back to full attention. She hung her big brown eyes on me.

“You mean, how do people work on knowing more and more?” I tried.

A shadow of a frown passed over the small visage, then the girl seemed to decide this not-at-all-what-I-asked-about-reframe is as comprehensive as this adult in front of her can probably muster at the moment. She nodded.

“Different people may have different ways of learning,” I replied, “but for me, I like finding out new things. So I observe and try to listen. I read a lot, and I ask plenty of questions …”

“… you do ask a lot of questions,” she interrupted. “But sometimes I think you already know the answers.”

I grinned. “Sometimes I do … And sometimes,” I teased, “I think you know the answers to your questions, too …”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Winsome Puddle

puddle play OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Irresistible

To poke a stick

In

Prepossessing

Pond of mud

There is little

More delightful

Than puddle frolic

To be had.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Kind of Allergic

Dessert InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

He didn’t want to have his dinner.

Only dessert.

“I’m kind of allergic to the salad,” he proclaimed.

“And the stew?”

“That, too.”

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

It’s a Zoo!

its a zoo

Photo: Pinterest

 

“It’s a zoo over there!”

She exclaimed. Out of breath.

Cheeks still red from the stairs

And the cold evening air.

“It’s a zoo in the store.

It’s a zoo in the park.

It’s a zoo … at the zoo,”

Her smile grew.

She cracked up.

Couldn’t stop.

Her delight

Only matched

By the first time she ‘got’

“Slipped my mind” meant forgot.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post