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Forty-One Months


Dear Persephone,

You are forty-one months old today. You are developing into an amazing person. Here are some indications.

Your favorite phrase over the last month is, “I changed my mind.” For example, after much deliberation, you changed your mind about your favorite colors. For at least a year, you’ve maintained that your favorite colors are purple and black. But about a month ago, you announced that you changed your mind. Your favorites are now purple, black and blue.

You often wish that your hair was purple.

For a couple weeks you reported having dreams of a dragon. A nice dragon. The dragon was, of course, purple, black and blue. This phase seems to have ended a couple weeks ago.

Speaking of phases, you went through a period of wanting your sandwich crusts removed. I think you learned this when you were in Fishville in June. Personally I found this very annoying, and I didn’t want to indulge you, but your mother didn’t see any harm in it. I’m not sure, but I think this phase may be over now.

One day you said, “I want to move to another planet.” I’m still not sure why.

One of your most endearing traits, to me anyhow, has been that you’ve started to sing nonsense songs. Funny, you used to babble nothing but nonsense, but it was because you didn’t know any different. Then slowly you learned to speak and all your efforts were focused on communicating. But now you’ve reached the point where you can babble nonsense for the sheer joy of the sound. I love that.

Once after dinner your mother remarked that some food could be saved for later. You asked, “Is that a leftover?” And when Mama confirmed, you were beside yourself — overjoyed — ecstatic. “I was right! It is a leftover. I was right!” I guess you take after me in some ways.

Another day you complimented my shirt. “I like your shirt, Dada.” Then you schooled me about how one should say “thanks” upon receiving a compliment.

On yet another day, our departure to the park was delayed slightly because you wanted to say goodbye to all the furniture first.

Your latest fixation is being first. You’re into racing to an extent, but your main concern is the order of procession. You are constantly asking, “Why did you get ahead of me?”

You went through a phase of wanting bedtime stories about rocketships.

What if our friend Daisy had a sister named Whoopsy? You thought that joke was just about the funniest thing you’d ever heard.

One evening you said, “Dada, I like the smell of your drink. What is it?”

Whiskey, I said.

You asked for a taste, and after that you decided you did not like it so much, not at all.

And then there was the day when you asked me, “Dada, do you still love me even when I do something wrooooong?” You’ll stretch the last word of a sentence out like that, sometimes.

Yes, I said, we all make mistakes. I make mistakes too.

You followed my logic. “But even when someone has dood a mistake, we still love each other.”

That’s right. Even Crybaby.

Last night, as I was putting you to bed, you asked, “Why can’t people be something they’re not?” Huh? That’s not the case, baby. You live in New Orleans. People can be something they’re not at least once a year. That’s why we have Mardi Gras.

Tonight I offered to tell you the story of how Barack Obama got to the White House. Turned out to be a tough story to tell, as I had to explain things like nation-states and voting. I explained the White House is where the president lives. “Is that you Dada?” No, that’s not me. “But you are the president of something aren’t you?” I was amazed to realize you know about FOLC.

Midway through you asked me to work you into the story, as you now do every night. (“I don’t want to be in any plain stories, Dada. I want to be in the special stories. Only tell me special stories.”) So I told how you ran for president. “But,” you protested, “I don’t want to be president!” Can’t say as I blame you. I started to rig the election so that you would lose. But then you changed your mind. You decided you could govern if you had help from your friends Lily and Lala and Malaysia, and of course your parents.

Published inLetters to Persephone


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