Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hell/CEC and back

Hannah is two. She’s a bright, independent kid who likes cats and running laps around the dining room table. Two hours at Chuck E. Cheese was more than enough. If I never go there again, it will be too soon. Bad pizza, too much noise, too many flashing lights, and a giant mechanical mouse wearing a football jersey. Surely, this is hell.

Fortunately, there’s a small area set aside for toddlers with a couple of slow, small rides and a platform/slide designed to resemble a schoolhouse. It’s quite charming, and it’s perfect for small people like Hannah. As with most slides, children attempt to climb up the slide rather than the stairs or ladder. In this case, the kids who did this were either relocated by their guardians to the proper slide ascent end or they figured out that other kids were coming down and being at the bottom wasn’t such a great idea.

One boy, substantially older than the toddlers, moved in on the slide. I was standing near it when he began to swing his leg onto the slide and climb up. “That’s not a good idea,” I told him. He looked at me as if to say, WTF-ever, lady, but instead held up four fingers, palm facing himself and said, “I’m four.”

Well, then.

Back to Hannah. Recent tidbits follow.

My brother had a bat in his cave, spied by Hannah. She reached in, plucked it out, and examined it. Saying, “Ucky,” she wiped it on his face.

Three cats live in Hannah’s house: Indy, Maggie, and Shady. Hannah calls Shady “Kitty,” but she refers to both Indy and Maggie as “Maggie.” When either of the Maggies comes into the room, she coos at them and tries to lure them near her so she can pet them, kiss them, and tickle them. Indy runs. Maggie (the real one) hisses. Hannah says, “Awwwww! Maggie! Ducka, ducka, ducka*.”

Hannah counts from one to seven. After seven, she says, “All done.”

Hannah calls me by name, but her L’s and R’s are absent from some words, so it sounds like she’s calling me Emmy. (This is fine. My father and brother calling me Emmy, as they chose to do after Hannah started, is not fine.) Brooke’s a bit bitter that Hannah doesn’t say her name. We spent a few minutes Sunday afternoon doing this:

Brooke: Say ‘Brooke.’
Hannah: Emmy.
Brooke: Brooke.
Hannah turns to me and waves.

* Ducka is Hannahspeak for tickle.


At 5:04 PM, Blogger alice, uptown said...

If Hell is Chuck E. Cheese, does that make Disneyworld Hell on Steroids? I think you must have to love your child very, very much to suffer in the land of Mickey. I personally favor restaurants that are suitable for children but have alcohol for the adults -- since I am never the one driving, it works well as a survival technique.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Jen said...

I think we told you this already, but when several of our toddler friends were learning to talk, they tended to start with "Cait" as the name for either of us. A later iteration was "JenCait"...

At 3:53 AM, Anonymous Nella said...

Aww, i was hoping a word with duck in it meant 'how cute'!


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