Monday, May 16, 2011

Trip to Chicago

Kai accompanied me on a work trip to Chicago this last week, which we also made into a mini-vacation and chance to see Katie and Becca. Kai has gotten to be a really great traveler. I quizzed her leading up to the trip. The first time, our conversation went something like this:

“Kai… on the plane, do we use loud voices or quiet voices?” “Loud,” she answered hopefully. “No, quiet.” She looked bummed by that answer, but nodded.

“And do we poke people or keep our hands to ourselves and not bother our neighbors?” “Poke?” she ventured. “No, keep hands to yourself.”

And finally, “do we run all around and jump and climb or do we sit still and watch videos and be patient?” Kai was definitely getting that the right answer and the answer she preferred were not the same, in this case, and got a glint in her eye as she yelled, “run around?!” I laughed and told her she had to sit still.

Then we did it again and she answered everything correctly. After that, every time I’d ask her the questions she’d say the wrong answer first and then yell, “noooooo, we have to be QUIET,” yelling the word quiet for dramatic effect.

When the day came, she was great. Quiet voices, no poking, and sitting still. When we finally got to our hotel (after taking the two trains and walking a fairly long distance that involved me going up and down multiple staircases – with Kai on my back and two roller bags in two) she was ready to burn off some serious energy and spent most of the evening running around like a crazy person. But, the flight was good (and I am writing this as we fly home… two hours to go… so far so good, but she is getting restless).


Kai calls Katie, “my Aunt Katie”. Always the “my” and the “Aunt” before Katie. It’s funny because we don’t refer to Katie as her Aunt. At least not usually. We have on occasion, and Kai seems to like the title for her. She would tell everyone that we saw that “my Aunt Katie is going to watch me while Mama works.” If you ask her if she has other Aunts, she’ll tell you she does, "Becca and Amy". But, despite the fact that she knows who all her aunts are, she only Katie gets the distinction of the full title - “my Aunt Katie” - in conversation.


For this story – you need a frame of reference. Imagine Nathan Lane in The Birdcage. Or a Jewish mother.

We spent a day at the Children’s Museum, which is quite a cool place. We all did an art project together where we drew a design on a piece of plastic, cut a hole in the plastic, and then baked it in the toaster oven for a few minutes in order to shrink it. After it was shrunk, we put a chain on it and turned it into a necklace. I made a necklace for Kai, turning the square piece of plastic into a circle before we shrunk it, and when it came out of the oven she added beads to the chain. Then we also turned the square piece she had colored into a necklace for me.

Later that evening, Kai noticed that I wasn’t wearing the necklace (it was sitting next to me on the desk at Katie’s house). She came up and asked, “why aren’t you wearing the necklace I made you?” “I said, “oh… I took it off. It’s a little pokey.” Kai got this look on her face – Nathan Lane/Birdcage look – of utter sadness and despair and said, “But I maddddeeee it for you” in her absolute saddest voice. I immediately felt guilty (and this from someone that generally feels guilty about very few things). “Oh… sweetie. That’s true. You made it and I love it. Here, I’ll put it on.” I said to her, reaching for the necklace that she had grabbed off the desk. Kai turned her shoulder to me, shielding the necklace from me as she cusped it in her hands and saying, “no… no. It’s pokey.” Katie and I started laughing so hard we were crying. She’s going to be a fun teenager!


And, of course, pictures!

1 comment:

Robin Lowy said...

Oh both look so cute in the pix. Really wish I could have been in chicago when you were..maybe next time. Kai is just such a beautiful little free spirit and you and Eric can take the credit for that...what a great gift to give a child.