Monday, May 5, 2014

Colors of the Rainbow

I am not exactly sure the reason, but right now Clementine is definitely not a Daddy’s girl.

For example, this morning as I am about to leave for work, she calls down the stairs for Elise, “Mooommmmy!”

Elise, wiping off the dining room table, “Yes, Clementine? I’m downstairs.”

“I want you.”

Elise, sarcastically: “Oh, there’s news….”

Yesterday, Elise went on a photo walk. She left before Clementine even rose. When Clementine did wake up, I went into her room and extended my arms to her and whispered, “Good morning.”

She rolled over and mumbled, “I want Mommy.”

“Mommy’s not here. She went on a photo walk.”

Disgruntled, she stood and let me lift her out of her crib. Thinking Sam was still sleeping, I sat in the recliner in the TV room and held her while she woke up. Eventually, I realized Sam wasn’t still sleeping. Rather, he was downstairs making mischief with Peter, so Clementine and I went downstairs and I started making pancakes for breakfast.

I soon realized we were out of milk, so I took some left over chocolate ice cream out of the freezer and put it in the microwave and put that in the flour and in my morning cup of coffee. I cut up a mango and played some music.

After breakfast, I read her a book, and then we all went down to the pool. Clementine and I played in the kiddie pool. She rode on my back pretending I was a train and then a bucking bronco. After an hour, she sat in my lap and ate grapes and cheese crackers while we watched the boys play for another hour. We had a good morning.

Later that night, after we watch two episodes of the Super Friends, ordered pizza, and went for a walk around the neighborhood—sort of a Sunday tradition—I did showers and Elise gave all the kids spa treatments. She put a towel on the floor and asked each of them if they wanted hard, medium or soft pressure for their massages. Pete picked hard. Sam picked soft.

One story later, it was time for bed. Elise was exhausted from the photo walk. Not only had she risen at 5:30 a.m. after having gone to bed no earlier than 11 the night before, she probably walked halfway across greater Chennai in flats and 95 degree heat.

I told Clementine good night, put her in her crib screaming. She wanted her mom.

She has a rainbow night light, and I turned that on for her, but it had no effect. I only let her scream for a minute before entering her room.

She held up her hand at me like she was giving me the Heisman. “NO!” she screamed. “I WANT MOMMY!”

“Mommy’s asleep.” I told her in a calm, but firm voice. “I will hold you, but Mommy’s asleep.”

I picked her up and sat in the rocking chair with her. She was crying.

“I’m going to put you back in your bed if you don’t stop crying,” I told her.

Amazingly, she comported herself enough to hear me offer to tell her a story. Pacifier in her mouth, she nodded her head.

“It’s a story about a little girl named Clementine,” I began in a whisper. “Clementine was a world-famous, super-smart scientist. She loved rainbows, so in her laboratory she invented a rainbow that not only had seven colors…it had seventy colors. In Clementine’s rainbow there was turquoise, silver, hot pink, burnt sienna, robin’s egg blue, chartreuse, gold, emerald, ruby, and sapphire.”

A few minutes later she was asleep in my arms. The same way she had begun the day. She didn’t get her way either time, but hopefully she will be okay with that one day. 

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