“Gentle pushover” is a game Kina invented because I was being lazy one day and wouldn’t engage in more active games like “chase me, Daddy”, “swing me upside down, Daddy”, or “come, Horsey, eat in the kitchen”. It involves my sitting on the edge of the bed and allowing her to tip me over repeatedly, as long as she pushes me by a different part of my body each time. It’s a good way to teach basic anatomy and the names of various tiny parts of your face, and you can sit on your bed the whole time (quite nice, as games go). We haven’t played it in a while, which is the kind of thing she always remarks on—even if it’s only been a week. “We haven’t readed this one in a long tiiiiime!” she will say, or “Daddy, it’s been a long time since we played this game!” Her greatest thrill, though, is reserved for those moments in which we listen to songs she hasn’t heard in months or years. On the occasional break from the Moana Official Motion Picture Soundtrack, we will bust out a classic from one of the thousands of Sesame Street albums, or “In The Mountains” by Sarah Siskind (a reliable source of instant calm when Kina was a screaming newborn). When she was younger, songs filled an aural space that would otherwise be occupied by crying, but her relationship with music now is more nuanced and emotional—she knows that some songs are funny, while others are sad, and her sad dance is different from her funny dance. In her brain are lodged errant strands of lyrical DNA from random kids’ gospel songs that Spotify used to autoplay, and which Laurea and I would scream for Google to skip from across the apartment; now we play those songs for her out of nostalgia, and Kina absentmindedly mouths random syllables from them, like she’s dusting off old scrolls. If you want to hear the music of her youth, you, too, can dust off this poorly-sequenced Spotify playlist that we haven’t really changed since before she could walk (except to replace songs that were removed). Maybe it will keep you from crying, too.
Notes on the other two headlines: We were surprised yesterday to learn that remote school, recently ended, has simply become remote camp—an unexpected craft and dancing reprieve; it’s nice to have the teachers around again. And Kina came home yesterday saying that she’d met a boy in the park and that he was not quite big and not quite small and that, while he was capable of using a scooter, he was probably a baby. As it turns out, some of them can walk.
As always, our reporters and editors will be working through the holiday weekend, though my commentary here may be less elaborate. Remember that the safe thing to do this weekend is not to have too much fun, living instead vicariously through Kina. Hello, hello!