Sunday, 10 December 2017

Nibling Stories

*****

You saw that your cousin was upset. He was sad and all the big people were either trying to find out what was upsetting him, or where pretending that nothing was happening. You were playing quietly in the other room, and suddenly you realised that someone was opening a pomelo. This is a fruit that you love and makes you very happy, so you wander over and grab a piece. You decided that you weren't going to eat this first piece, instead, you silently stepped around the dining table and quietly deposited it into your crying cousin's hands, with the words "It's okay". This is as much comfort as a 2.5 year old can offer, and your Auntie Zan was very proud of you right there in the moment, and glad that you didn't throw your comfort at him like you did last time.

*****

You were given a paper plane and it was exquisite. Pointy in all the right places, with wings! Your cousin had one too and she was doing something complicated with her fingers and throwing it. That seemed all too much for this simple object. All you wanted to do was make it fly, so you did! You raced around the room with the paper plane in your hand, making all the right noises and pointing your whole self into the shape of an aeroplane, zooming along and having a great time. Who cares if the plane was sometimes facing the wrong way, or if it didn't fly independently. As far as you were concerned, you were gifted with a plane and now you were the plane whooshing back and forth across the house. Look at you go!

*****

I managed to slip into the room as you closed the door. In the dark, 4 little feet stomped on the floor, laughing hysterically: you were having the best time. One idea followed another as the play evolved, from stomping with the lights off to stomping with the lights on, to jumping, to sliding, to laying and then you both pretended to sleep. And then one of you found an imaginary spider and then one of the daddies came in and a new play frame was created. Both little people would cuddle me at the top of the stairs while we summoned Daddy Spider. We would wait until the moment he rounded the corner and lurched up the stairs. Instantly everyone would scream - a sound that was a mixture of excited fear and joyous alarm - and then run into the room and shut the door. This lasted a good half an hour and Daddy Spider dutifully lurched up the stairs every time the tiny little voices asked for him. I was so pleased that Daddy Spider played along for so very long and was genuinely impressed at how long these two little people sustained this play frame. Everything stopped quite suddenly when one little person became overwhelmed with emotions, but both niblings talked about Daddy Spider for a while after they had parted company. No, they probably weren't going to remember Daddy Spider when they were bigger, but yes, this was a big thing for them right there in that moment. I'm so glad that we were part of it.

*****


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