Saturday, July 26, 2008

Motherhood, again: the Dolphin

As I said, I can see that I’m getting better at this motherhood thing, 5 ½ years into it, but I still get tripped up. The latest comedy was down in Great Aunt Mary’s pool with her grandson (11) and a bunch of his friends from across the bay.

The deep end was full of big kids, noodles, floaties, yelling. I was in the shallow end supervising my little life-jacketed darlings. I watched their fascinated gaze upon children doing cannonballs, pencil dives, and playing Marco Polo. Visions of future mischief danced across their little faces. Then, one of them found a little plastic dolphin, about the size of a small squirt gun.

“Fish,” said the little one.

“Dolphin,” I supplied.

“Do-fin,” she repeated.

I took it. A fine toy, a realistic dolphin. I squeezed its belly. The valve in its mouth was cleverly made so that the usual squeak was replaced by a realistic dolphin noise. By varying the pressure and duration of the squeeze, you can make it seem to speak. A veritable Flipper.

I showed the girls how to do it. The loved it.

The noise was earsplitting.

They were delighted.

As we left, I asked the little one to give the dolphin back.

“Oh no, I gave it to her. She can have it,” says the mother of the 11-year-old.

“Really? Thank you.” SQUEAK. SQUEAK. SQUEAK. “That noise sure is loud.”


Maybe when I have an 11-year-old, I will be able to fob off the dolphin on the unsuspecting mother of young children with equal aplomb…


Anne Camille said...

Oh this made me laugh. When my son was little, my mother as a warning reminded me how a classmate once came over with a "present" for being invited to play. The present? In my mother's words: some sort of rat (a gerbil, actually, I think). I didn't fall for this trick, but did for plenty others. I was amazed at how long it took my smart child to figure out that when the batteries 'ran out' it was because I had placed them backwards when my noise tolerance had reached its limit. I know that every toy for boys squeeks, rings, flashes, blares, buzzes and/or howls. Guess it isn't gender-specific.

Appreciated your comment, btw, on my recent Obama post. That most of that map is of Indiana 5th Congressional district -- about as Republican as you can get -- is amazing. What is even more encouraging to me is how many people I know who are vocally speaking out about the war and the Bush admin policies and are vocal about not wanting McSame. Jan 20, 2009 can't get here soon enough!

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