Tuesday, November 27, 2012


2012-10-31_1351648169 2012-10-31_1351664547 

When I talk to Amaya I can actually see my words spilling off her ear lobes.

“Amaya, don’t go in your room. Mozely’s sleeping in there.”

“Ok,” she’ll nod, and then turn around and walk down the hallway to her room.

Usually my words are full of “don’t”. I think she has trouble keeping tabs on negatives.

She has the best self esteem. It makes her so articulate.

“Mom, would my tush look good in that uniform?” she said as we drove past some construction workers.

“What are you talking about, Amaya?” I laughed.

“I’m TALKING about my TUSH!” She thinks I am so daft sometimes.

“Well, you do not have a fat tush, so I’m sure it would.”

Everyone has a fat tush, Mom.”

Where did this girl learn the word ‘tush’? And why did I see her shaking her bare tush at a neighbor friend through the fence yesterday?

After school I was sweeping the floor and she flew in the back door. “MOM! Do you know what a pre-hunting rally is? That’s what wolves do!”

While I was considering what to do with this information, she ran out the front door, back to her friend’s house.

Just now she asked me if I would take her outside to the car, because it’s dark, so she can claim her goggles. “Because I want to pretend to be a scientist. Please, please, pretty hugs and kisses please.”

She lies about anything, prefers green vegetables above any other color, loves hard enough to hurt people, and dreams during group assignments in kindergarten. She always forgets what comes after 29 and still won’t look at the letters long enough to learn to read, but she’s figured out that pretending to pause makes it seem like she’s considering what the word is before she just makes something up.

If she isn’t good at something, she acts like she doesn’t care at all about it. She has no desire to do anything that doesn’t come to her naturally.

After she fell once while learning to ride her bike she didn’t want to practice any more. We backed off for a year, because people told us that she would want to again, on her own.  Any time we asked her if she wanted to ride her bike, she didn’t, and would say that she was just fine with only riding her scooter and she wanted us to sell her bike. We finally forced her to practice, last week, under threat of no t.v. During the very first ride I wasn’t even touching the seat, just pretended. She turned all the way around the culdesac on her own. After five more rides I made it obvious that I wasn’t holding on and she stopped immediately and threw her head back and cried. She couldn’t hear any of my words above her wailing.

She told me that “Glum” means ‘sad’ and ‘unhappy’, which she learned on “Word Girl”, a favorite show. “Redundant means you talk to yourself and you put your finger on your nose,” she said. She has more vocabulary than any kid who reads books.

I run after her, trying to gather up my words so they won’t get lost in her costume drawer. I hold on to them while she’s jabbering, but there’s no pause in her conversation. I try to organize what I’m going to say first so that she won’t forget what she has to do next.

I guess she figures she has enough words for the both of us.

2012-07-16_1342464499 2012-06-18_13399850312012-11-24_1353784121


Hershinow said...

I so enjoyed reading about Amaya, Mariko. Am in New York with Ruby, who went out skating with friends and her parents while I baby sat Star this afternoon, and when she comes in I will enjoy having her read your blog entry. I miss you. Your picky eater is looking terrific, for all his taking in little more than air. My warmest regards to your reader-artist husband. There are not many such.  

Mariko said...

Thanks, Lorna. I'm sad to hear you're in New York because it has been so long since I've seen you. But I know ruby and star are getting the best possible attention. Let's get together when you return!
Sent from my iPod

Carol Yuen said...

I love your writing. Just wanted to let you know :)

love the imagery of you trying to catch her words.