For some reason, I didn’t realize you were old enough to appreciate stories. I mean, even though I read you storybooks every night, I had never actually just told you a story. I guess I thought the pictures in your books were an essential element. Then, a couple weeks ago, I told you the story of “Little Red Hoodie,” and you were absolutely enthralled. Even after the story was over, you kept coming back to it. The wolf in particular seemed to capture your imagination. “A wolf, Dada? A wolf?” So now stories are a part of your bedtime routine. We’ll read some books, then I’ll put you in your crib and turn out the light and tell you a story and then a sing a few songs. Problem is, I’m running out of stories. Red Hoodie, The Three Pigs, Goldilocks — that’s about all I got. You’re still a little young for Cinderella — and Snow White? That story is twisted.
Lately you’ve been protesting when I leave the room, even though you’re clearly on the verge of falling asleep. You’ll point to the bed and ask me to sleep there. I tell you that I’ll come back and check on you later and that seems to console you. Sometimes.
Speaking of bedtime routines, the other night when you were picking books to read, you pulled Pomegranates by Ann Kleinberg off the shelf. “That’s my favorite book,” you said. It’s a cookbook. But it does have lots of delicious pictures.
At the dinner table one night you declared the salt and pepper shakers to be your “friends.”
You’ve lost a few friends recently. First Folds, then Nicky, the Archer. I showed you Archer’s body and explained that she had died. I’m not sure you understood; after all she just looked like she was sleeping. We didn’t allow you to watch her burial though, as it seemed like that might be confusing.
It’s not your first encounter with death, though. We see the occasional dead frog or what-have-you when we’re out walking around the neighborhood. The other evening you picked a flower and brandished it proudly, like a scepter, when we made a trip to Brocato’s. The next morning you found your flower all wilted, and you held it in your hand on our morning bike ride. When we got to school you said, “My flower died.” We left it at the foot of a larger living flower outside the door.
You are entering your representational phase as an artist. They (mostly) still look like scribbles to me, but you will indicate that what you have drawn is in fact a dinosaur or a butterfly.
And of course, no update of your activities would be complete without mentioning your debut speaking role in Geuxjira. Michael Homan came by with a DVD and we screened it last night. You were a little frightened of that big goofy monster suit. We told you it was Dada and you calmed down. I think this little cinematic excursion may yield a new nickname for you: “Hot Sauce.”