Saturday, January 3, 2009
It's a Boy! (And she IS a girl)
The ground could have opened up and swallowed me and I wouldn't have been any less shocked.
My daughter woke up New Year's day and began to play with her doll. My husband had taken the clothes off it when he was cleaning her room, and I had washed them. I sent her to put them back on the doll.
This doll has sat untouched in the corner of her room for four years. She played with it briefly only when she was 18 months old. It did play a part in one of the more tense situations we had on the field, so I had hung on to it, but it only sat at the bottom of the closet.
She went up to her room, dressed the baby, and then proceeded to wrap it in a blanket and sing to it. Then she carried it around and informed everyone that they could only whisper since the baby was going to sleep. She burped it, fed it, and cared for it all day. By evening, she had decided that the doll's birthday was tomorrow, and carefully whispered in our ears not to tell him, but that she would have his party tomorrow. At night, I had to kiss the baby good night.
For the last two days, she has faithfully cared for the baby doll. She wants me to make clothes for him, since all her doll clothes are dresses and "boys do not wear dresses". You could sweep me off the floor, I am so shocked. She is really a girl.
Now, to be honest, she did put the baby carefully to sleep and run off to grab guns at a friend's house and chase their girl through the house shooting wildly.... but, she does have three brothers!
Today, she picked up another doll and has decided that her baby has a sister, and it is her birthday today. I guess I need to sew another baby blanket from scraps for a birthday gift for today, but hey, I'm happy to do it!
This one doll's former adventure was a sudden plunge into cold fear. It started out as a simple trip, simple enough, into a country near ours where it is always tense, but if you have a good cover and nothing forbidden on you, it was not too unsafe. Only this was a quick trip for two reasons - to say goodbye before we moved here and to carry in "stuff". The trip's "stuff" was more delicate and a larger quantity than other trips since we had to pass on things we were not taking with us.
We flew that time. Much faster and easier. Safer, too. Except that when you fly, they inspect bags both getting on and getting off the plane. I left my boys, but brought my daughter since it didn't cost any more to fly with her. My husband was detained with some paperwork in the airport, and I stayed near the bags, so he was nowhere near enough to see the crisis develop. As our bags went through the long process to go on the plane, they X-rayed them. Then they stopped the X-ray machine. I stood there watching our bags go back and forth in the machine while two guards discussed them. I knew that if they opened those two bags, our chances were not good.
Please, Lord, no.
Running through my mind, over and over again, was one constant refrain, "Why did I bring my daughter? Why? Why didn't I leave her safe at home?" Lord, no. Not with my baby here. I stood there knowing I had to look nonchalant and bored, so I jiggled my daughter who would not even have the decency to start to scream so I could indignantly insist that they were taking too long and she needed feeding. So I just jiggled her and began to squeeze the doll's feet and hands. This doll had four different sounds it made: a giggle, a cry, "mama", and "dada". We cycled through them several times quickly while I nonchalantly watched guards discussing my bags. I kept squeezing the doll's foot for the giggle like my life depended on it.
After an endlessly long few seconds, one guard looked up and called to his supervisor at the other end of the baggage area. Oh, no! My prayers changed from, "please, Lord, no." to "Let me get my baby out of here, please, just keep her safe." The supervisor wasn't looking, so the guard called again. Just then, an employee of the airline we were going to fly (a small charter) walked by the X-ray machines on his way to the bags, glanced at the machine and the worried guards, shrugged, and said, "it's just school books".
The guard's faces cleared immediately. They looked at each other and repeated, "oh, books", and hit the green button on the X-ray machine again, and the bags slid off into the loading area. (It wasn't even books at all this time, that is what made the comment funny.) Just then my husband came up smiling with his paperwork done, and said, "all set! Let's go."
All I could do was smile. I couldn't even tell him how close we came until we had landed and gone through another check and were safely in our coworker's home. I gave that doll's foot a few more squeezes on my way out to the plane to calm my nerves and followed out into the blazing sun on the tarmac.