This is how she sounds when I think her

03/31/2008 By Shawn Burns

Ever since Erin was born I’ve been talking to her in my head. And she’s been talking back.

“Hi daddy.”

“Show me how to pick up cheese.”

“Can I drink bubble bath?”

“I love you.”

She has a particular style of speaking when she is telepathizing with me; and sometimes Emily and I will vocalize those thoughts we are certain she is expressing with her infant ESP.

“Tryin’ real hard to stand up here, guys.”

“Sleepy now, guys.”

“My foot tastes pretty good, guys.”

She is always referring to the two of us as “guys”. This is a correlate of her also insisting that both Emily and I are “da da”. But it’s just so damned cute that we don’t correct her. She can call us “guys” all she wants.

Sunday afternoon we were waiting for her to nap. She had already insisted that she was “Hungry now, guys” and “Sleepy now, guys.” So we gave her a bottle and settled in to enjoy our popcorn.

Oh. Right. We were at the movies. Together. I think the last movie Emily and I saw together was “27 Dresses”. For some that might seem pretty recent; for me, who has seen every movie between then and now, it was a lifetime ago. So we had really high hopes for this afternoon out, with a baby who needed a nap and a well-timed film about to start.

But Erin wouldn’t sleep. I think she hates to sleep in her fancy Mclaren umbrella stroller (something about her legs hanging down in front of her, I suspect). So, since I’ve seen many many movies, I took Erin out of the theater so Emily could watch Miss Pettrigrew doing something to help Amy Adams with her life.

I rolled Erin around, took her out of her stroller to play, put her back in to potentially drift off, studiously ignored her while I won 4 free games of Lord of the Rings pinball. Nothing. This kid was not going to sleep.

An hour and a half later Emily exited the theater and met us in the mezzanine of the cineplex. Erin was starting to fuss a bit in her stroller, so Emily took her out and let her crawl around. Erin apparently had had a mission in mind the entire time she was stuck in her stroller, because she crawled behind it, stood up against it, and started pushing.

Emily grabbed the handles and walked behind her so that Erin couldn’t push the stroller too far out ahead of herself and faceplant. And after a few laps she picked Erin up so we could leave.

But Erin insisted, quite vocally, that she needed to get back to business.

“I have some deliveries to make, guys.”

I walked behind her, holding the stroller handles as she pushed through the mezzanine; into the elevator, out of the elevator; through the lobby; out the front door; down the sidewalk; into another elevator; out of the elevator, through a parking garage; and finally to the car.

“Just needed to control a bit of the universe for a while, guys.”

I love that kid. And I love that she delights in both controlling the world and being surprised by it.