Laurea and I have been reminiscing lately about past trips to other countries—at a time in which cramped transoceanic journeys feel like an absurd sensory luxury—and I think it’s rubbed off on Kina, who now wants to role-play international flights by riding on my shoulders through the house. The flying-through-the-house thing is nothing new—we “fly to California” multiple times a week—but today she wanted to fly to both Italy (for pasta) and the Philippines (for family), and it seemed only right to accept her business class ticket (our fantasy, not hers) for a long-haul intercontinental jaunt. Flight attendants asked her politely to buckle up tight and stow her bags under the seat in front of her, and after a short taxi, we were off. The flight, as it turns out, is not much longer than a flight to California! We made the journey to Italy in just under two minutes, after two gummy snacks and a hearty slug of apple juice; one episode of Daniel Tiger was watched. Upon landing in Italy, she demanded a plate of pasta and immediately fell asleep. Poor thing was just crushed by the jet lag.
Speaking of Daniel Tiger, Kina and I have purloined the young tiger’s classic expression of affection for our own use, adapted for bedtimes to allow for some loving closure and my own swift departure. Background: Kina’s very selective about hugs and kisses—which we fully respect—and deploys them at bedtime only when absolutely necessary. For a long time, we subbed in a nice hugga-mugga (nose-to-nose, wiggling faces), before she decided she wasn’t keen on that level of facial contact either. So we moved onto “hugga-mugga from faaaaaar awaaaaay”, which has me standing five feet away from her as we shake our heads slowly side-to-side—the hugga-mugga equivalent of an air kiss. Before long, though, she decided that some amount of closeness would help her sleep better, asking if we could add a “hugga-mugga from clooooooose awaaaaaay”, in which our faces are five inches from each other instead. So now, if you were to watch our bedtime ritual with the sound off, you’d see me slowly backing away from her bed, both of us tenderly saying “no” to each other until I vanish through the doorway. It is my favorite time of the day.