“What Feelings Does Daddy Feel?”
“What is that, a hope face?”
We bought Kina a board game about feelings, which she has declared is too boring to play (and is certainly too complicated to set up, requiring a Daddy or Daddy-adjacent parent to separate over a hundred cards into fourteen piles). It is also probably accurate to say that this board game is too simple for America’s most facially-observant preschooler. Identify the happy kid? Kina can spot a fleeting shadow of annoyance at twenty paces. Yesterday, she asked me why I was “talking madly” at Mommy, which caught me off guard, because I wasn’t madly at Laurea in the least. After further inquiry, it turned out that what Kina had picked up on was a particular and blustery brand of intense conversation that her parents have at dinner—an intensity often accompanied by a scrunched-up brow and excited, open mouth. One can hardly fault a newcomer to the emotions game for thinking that Laurea and I are mad at each other all the time (though, in fact, we’re often mutually annoyed at something—or somebody—else).
So, in order to better understand the kinds of faces that Daddy makes, Kina asked me to make a bunch of faces, so that she could tell me about all the feelings I have. Here are the results:
Daddy makes a happy face: “Scared!”
Daddy makes a loving face: “Sleepy!”
Daddy makes an excited face: “Angry!”
Daddy makes a surprised face: “Hope face!”
What’s the take-away here? It’s 2020! Who finds it easy to put on a happy face these days? She’s not wrong, she just sees right through me. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that she’s found some hope among the scared/sleepy/angry feelings that hang over most of my days lately. Let’s hope, then, that America’s most insightful preschooler is also its most prescient.
New Smoke Detective Ordered
The freakin’ smoke detective!!!! It started going off—again—in the middle of the day yesterday—again—for no reason—again—at all, waking Kina from a well-earned nap. I had to silence the alarm, rush into her room (where she was sitting straight up and screaming), and hold her in my arms for a good long while to calm her down and put her back to sleep. A failed promise, I thought, furious at the brilliant industrial designers at Google—paid handsomely, no doubt, to strut about in Patagonia fleeces—who had once again terrified my child. After examining the innards of the errant alarm and looking around carefully to ensure that I was not missing a small, secret inferno in my living room, I gave up and bought another smoke detective. If that one fails me, I’m throwing it out the window and adopting a loyal collie instead.