One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Falling down is also a gift

File under: The Poetry of Childhood Tonight Anni was holding the ribbon of a balloon left over from her party and twirling around the kitchen. She was singing another of her little made-up songs, interrupting herself every once in a while to proclaim, "It's my gift!" Dizziness finally set in and she kerplopped onto the floor, where she dramatically flung herself onto her back and began flapping her arms and legs like she was making a snow angel. Which was when she observed, "Falling down is also a gift." Oh, I love it. Today we went over to the house of a new friend from preschool, Poleena. Poleena has a little sister, Anita, and they are both as sweet as can be. Their mom is Russian, and we had some nice talk in between attempts by the 4 girls to make sure that our undivided attention was focussed like a bright shiny light on their every movement. It turns out that she was a doctor back home in Russia, so we talked a bit about Anni's transplant. Annika had insisted upon bringing along her latest fave toy, baby Jack Jack--a McDonald's Happy Meal toy gotten during our weekend excursion to the apple farm. To my surprise when we were getting ready to leave, she decided that she wanted to let Poleena "borrow" baby Jack Jack. This toy was a big hit with the 2 sisters, so they were pretty psyched. I was sooo impressed at my little one's giving spirit. Of course when we hit the car, Anni decided that the "borrowing time" had been quite long enough and she had to have it back. And....cue tears. Smart mommy figured that hunger had a lot to do with the latest emotional breakdown, and sure enough a few goldfish were all it took to dam the floodgates. It probably didn't help that we were leaving a fun time to head to the Dentist, but again her behavior was exemplary when it counted. She held perfectly still for the whole session, and her teeth were again declared 100% healthy. By the time we got out of the dentist, the weather had turned truly nasty, with one of those horizontal non-stop winds that we have around here sometimes, blowing snow like sharp little spikes into our faces. The car was already covered with snow after our quick 20 minutes in the office. Driving home we saw an electrical transformer ahead of us explode with a blinding flash and hum of current that we could feel through our chests. Why oh why do we run our power lines above ground in this country? Electricity is some scary stuff. Back home we settled in to watch the storm, and count the seconds each time our electricity flickered off, wondering if it would come back. It did every time. Half of our neighbor's beautiful pear tree blew down, and then the other half joined it on the grass an hour later. Anni and I went out to explore the new snowy terrain, and threw a few celebratory snowballs, and then came back in to bake our favorite whole-wheat banana chocolate chip walnut muffins, the ones that Anni loves to make because she gets to go crazy with the cinnamon. I just let her shake the bottle like a monkey with a rattle until she decides it's "enough." They are some seriously cinnamon-y muffins. Frankie said "Anni" for the first time tonight. Previously, she's called her something that sounded like "NaNa." Tonight was a perfectly clear "Anni" as she stretched up her arms to her sis, who was running past to go jump in bed after bathtime. Frankie will also say "Thank you" when you hand her something, which sounds like "Dink doo." Annika has already declared that she is uninterested in Thanksgiving tomorrow. She's ready to get to the weekend so that she can at last see her friends Riley and Shelby, which is our trip planned for Saturday. Anni probably won't try most of the food tomorrow, picky little eater, but Frankie will get her first taste of red cabbage. We'll see what our little eat-anything baby makes of that, if maybe the German genes will kick in.


Blogger Don in CA said...

I'm curious---what brand/model dishwasher did you buy? What did you have before? How old was it when it "died?"

11/25/2005 12:32 PM  

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