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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

keeping a straight face

Annika has declared that I am no longer allowed to laugh at her. Ever. I tried explaining to her that I laugh at the things she says and does because she makes me so happy. "And when you're really happy, sometimes you just have to laugh!" Unconvinced, she is standing firm in her "Don't laugh at me" rule. I know that enforcing this type of rule is her way of asserting her developing maturity, and I'm also guessing that there might be some dynamic from preschool that she's picked up on (like maybe Mrs. Val told the kids it wasn't nice to laugh when a classmate was having difficulties). But, still. It's somewhere close to impossible to keep a straight face when your kid says things like this: 1) Annika is sitting on the toilet at Lincoln Park zoo. As usual, she approaches the job with a leisurely attitude. I'm leaning against the stall door, studying the ceiling to fend off boredom. I hear the sound of ripping toilet paper, and look down, eager to finally make an exit. Instead, Annika is holding a tiny square of nearly transparent toilet paper aloft. "Look, mama!" she exclaims breathlessly. "I'm going to save this for my Memory Book!" 2) Annika talks her grandma into letting her wrap up in her favorite jacket, a blue fleece number with flowers appliqued on the pockets. As we sit in silent companionship around the kitchen table, a very audible fart is heard from Annika's corner. A few seconds later, Annika buries her nose her grandma's jacket, wrapped tight around her. "Phew! Grandma, your jacket really stinks!" 3) Annika hops onto my lap and gives me a big hug and kiss. Snuggling in, she spreads her hand right over my chest. "Mama's breast." She sighs. "It's the best!" 4) On her way into the hospital this afternoon, Annika holds up her index finger, drawing my attention to the hangnail that developed last night. "Could you tell the doctors to take care of this for me when I am asleep for surgery?" I tell you, I think I have done some serious cheek and lip damage in the past few weeks trying to respect the "No Laughing" edict. But then there is parental difficulty of another kind altogether. This afternoon when I announced it was time to go check in to the hospital, Annika tried every stalling tactic imaginable. I finally got her out the door, but as we headed up the familiar hill leading to the revolving hospital door, she held my hand and pulled me back. "Not yet, mama! Not yet!" I hear you, little girl. p.s. Annika has loved getting her mail! The address I gave below is still good, even though she's in the hospital. Plus, wow! Her good friend, Natalie with the Addictive Laugh, is being featured on Make a Child Smile this month!


Blogger Coralee said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Shelby's prayer group will also be with you as I will alert them of tomorrow's surgery. Thank you for your real and touching writings.
Shelby's Grammie Cori

11/29/2005 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Becca, Jason, & Natalie said...

Oh heck, Moreena, you have once again made me cry. And in response to your previous post - this will work. Period.

We love you. Our prayers are with you.

11/29/2005 8:38 PM  
Blogger Jenevieve said...

joining in on the hugging and praying action!

11/29/2005 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thinking of and praying for Annika and your entire family...

11/29/2005 10:05 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

Oh I would definitely bite my tongue off. That kid is hilarious! Precious! I am thinking about you for tomorrow.

11/29/2005 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made me cry too, but I've been crying off and on all day so it's not hard at this point. We may be looking at surgery soon too, for a possible bile stricture. I'm feeling overwhelemed today at the whole unfairness aspect thing, for all of our kids.
You're right on target with the whole leaving the hospital or picu thing when your child is sick or not doing well. It's almost offensive to see everyone else going on about their business like nothing is wrong.
Anyhow I'll br praying for Annika, and the rest of your family and waiting anxiously to hear how things go.
Kristen (Havalah's mom)

11/29/2005 11:29 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

We're all thinking about you and praying for you tonight!

11/30/2005 2:46 AM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Praying for successful surgery and a full recovery. You write beautifully and I can see just how much you love Anni, thank you for sharing your little girl and her sister with us! Love and hugs, Emma

11/30/2005 5:08 AM  
Anonymous Robyn, Emma's mom said...

I will say many prayers for Annika and family today.

11/30/2005 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

Thinking of your family and Annika today - and praying for the best.

11/30/2005 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

As always, you're in my prayers!

11/30/2005 8:32 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Me, too, praying and thinking good thoughts. Love to Anni.

11/30/2005 10:02 AM  
Anonymous moirasmom said...

Sending positive energy with lots of prayer! Get some rest Moreena.


11/30/2005 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Moreena, waiting for the good news is somewhat like torture, too. We are with you. Alles Gute, Annika! Herzlich
judit, miklós und martin

11/30/2005 10:22 AM  
Blogger Mieke said...

Lots of love and good thoughts for you today! I love the breast comment! Love it love it love it.

11/30/2005 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that kid! We're thinking of her today, sending positive vibrations her way. Thinking of you too.

xo Catherine

11/30/2005 11:13 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thinking of you today. Prayers for Annika, and her surgery to go smoothly.

11/30/2005 12:55 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Prayers from across the Atlantic...can't imagine how you cope with this, but admire you all hugely.
Every blessing

11/30/2005 1:26 PM  

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