There are dragons behind our garage that can only be tamed by tree branches and "sweet chocolate milk," according to the bedtime story. Of course, these dragons must be hunted every afternoon now. You never know when they might swoop down for a snuggle. I am that insane woman at the park, running in circles, roaring, and flapping her arms in pursuit of the almighty giggle.
Ren has not stumbled upon too many experiences or people we haven't curated ourselves. It is a pretty potent mirror when he latches on to a thing like a book, toy car, lipping the glass door. Makes us think more carefully about the contents of our lives. Experiences happen at home or in libraries and other places with small furniture and primary colors. We have a toddler. We don't do much. If it we didn't have to show up to jobs, Ren would think the world was limited to a queen sized bed, bad wallpaper, and child-proof cabinets. This must be how we managed to cultivate some very specific (and unusual) obsessions that have taken over our child's life. Here are three:
Each night at dinner, we ask Ren his favorite thing about the day. He always serial-killer whispers, "GAAARAAAHHH." (The garage.) He can list every item inside, including and old Shepard Fairy poster of Barack Obama. For him, it’s like a kid visiting an amusement park. For us, it’s like a kid visiting an amusement park.
Torn and taped flash cards of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Dwight “IKE!” Eisenhower, and the almighty bestie, “BARAK MA-MAMA!” are akin to an entourage. They go down slides, have sips of milk, join in running circles around the kitchen, or oversee festivities from bookshelves. They go night-night in a dining room drawer until they come out to say hello to the dog after breakfast.
“Vaya! Vaya! VAYA!” means all members of the household, including an eleven year old dog, plus a book about Barack Obama, must stand up and twirl to Krishna Das’ Namah Shivaya, a kirtan we give in to playing at least once a day. When Ren asks to do it again, and again, and again, sometimes he is satisfied if mommy or daddy sings a few verses. Then Ren quickly spins for a few minutes until he stops and walks into a wall.
It would be funny if Ren could go where ever he wanted. He mostly just gets to go in the yard. We can't sustain daily visits to the White House these days.