My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Hide & Seek (and Cat Tales)

Both Dusty and Red have begun their own versions of Hide and Seek in the last week or so. Red’s is the typical variety for a 13 month old: she covers her face with a towel, piece of clothing she’s stolen out of the dirty clothes hamper, or a pillow case. You say, “Where’s the Baby? Where’s Red?” And she reveals her face and giggles.

It’s very adorable and she especially likes fabric that will cover her whole body so she can be Ghost Baby and stumble around the house, crashing into furniture she can’t see. If only I could get her to say, “WHHOOOOO!” we could all be even more frightened.

Instead, her current word is “Hi.” She says it in this quiet, little breathy way, like she’s hitting on you, and leans her whole body into you – man, I think that baby’s coming on to me! – that you can’t help but just pick her up and kiss her on her sweaty, fleshy neck.

I heart Red.

Dusty’s version is, naturally, a bit more sophisticated. She gathers up all the little stuffed animals: finger puppets, doll house-sized critters of all flavors, and puts them in a bag. Then, she chooses one and hides it. You have to then find it but she won’t tell you which animal you’re searching for. Fun! And, confusing! And slightly frustrating! Just tell me, already! TELL ME what I’m looking for! Once you’ve finally found your hidden animal, it’s your turn. Over and over and over again, back and forth, until...

My word! Look at the time. I believe it’s time to brush your teeth and get ready for bed! Of course, the game continues at bedtime. Her father will play these games with her and I can hear her down the hall, the laughter getting louder and louder, and the harmonica she recently received making its distinctive harmonica sound, whatever you’d call that. When it’s my turn, I get the chore of calmer her down, reading a couple books, and telling her stuff.

“Like what?”
“Tell me about your cats.”
“I did already. Last night.”
“Tell me again.”
Sigh. “Alright! There was Kitty Cat, Sami, Francis, Tripod, Pookie and Oates.”
“Tell me what they did.”
“Kitty Cat. I had him as a kid. He was Siamese and liked to sleep in my armpit—“
“What’s your armpit?”
“Right here. The space between your chest and arm.”
“Kitty Cat would knead me like bread.”
“Like this” and I’ll demonstrate. It tickles. A lot.
“Who’s next?”
“Sami. I used to dress him up: dress, bloomers [pause here to explain bloomers], bonnet, socks. Usually, he wouldn’t mind and I’d put him in my doll carriage and ride him around the house. He’d fall asleep.”
“Then who?”
“Francis. He’s the cat in the big painting in the t.v. room. Wrapped up like a mummy in an Ace bandage [another pause to explain THIS]. He had no bones and was all floppy.”
“No. But, it seemed like it.”
“He really had bones.”
”Yes, he really did. Then, Tripod. She adopted me. She was solid black and only had three legs and when I brushed out the flea scabs behind her ears, she’d bring me dead squirrels as presents. Once, it was half a squirrel.”
“Yeah, it was gross. I had to ask her to stop.”
“You did?”
“Yeah. And she stopped.”
“She did?”
“Yeah. You know, it’s time for you to go to sleep now.”
“But you didn’t finish!”
”I’ll finish tomorrow. Promise.”
“For real?”
“For really real?”
“For really, really real?”
God. “Yes, a thousand times, yes!”
“All your cats are dead.”
“Yes, they’re all dead now.”
“Were they old?”
“Some of them.”
“Were they sick?”
“Some of them.”
“Which ones?”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
“Good night!”
“Misha mush mosh, chigga-ba!”

This last bit is Dusty-speak, a language only she can speak fluently. I don’t know where this gibberish comes from – whether her friends speak it or whether it arose spontaneously from her Amazing Dusty Mind – but often, when she’s unhappy with an answer she receives, she’ll mumble this Chigga-ba talk. She’s an odd one, that Dusty. But she’s non-returnable. So, don’t even THINK about it.


3:27 p.m. ::
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