On a cold morning this past December, I walked in on my 21-month old daughter sitting on the floor of her nursery reading a book. I sat down in front of her and the following exchange took place (names have been changed to protect the innocent):
Daughter: *eyes on her book* PUP-py
Me: *looking at a book that has no puppies in it* Puppy?
Daughter: Puppy WA-wa.
Me: *eyebrows furrowed*
Daughter: *looking up at me now, more insistently* PUP-PY WA-WA!
Daughter: *frowning at me*
Me: *uncertainly* Uh...Yes, puppy wa-wa...
Daughter: *still frowning*
Me: Do you want some wa-wa?
Daughter: Hi Duckie. *still frowning, then looking back at her book*
Me: *gets slowly up and backs out of the room*
I walked down the hallway to my bedroom and sat at my desk to contemplate the meaning behind this exchange. What do I know, at this moment? There is a puppy, somewhere, in need of water. In the book? In real life? Is my daughter the metaphorical “puppy” in this case? Is she thirsty? My responses to her were met with definite distaste. Am I the “puppy”? Is “wa-wa” a symbol of the thirst for knowledge? She acknowledged my presence with ‘Hi Duckie’. Is there a duck that somehow ties into this?
While I agonized over this exchange, my daughter walked down the same hallway to my room and gave me a stuffed duck, saying “Baby Duck” and then slowly walked back down the hallway to her nursery. Why a duck? Why now? Does it have something to do with the true meaning of Christmas? She is smarter than me, I know this. Was baby Jesus gifted a baby duck in his manger so long ago? Does the receipt of this duck now mean I am Jesus?!? Does my daughter represent one of the three wise men?!?!? Do Baby Ducks have any sort of symbolism in reference to the apocalypse? By accepting this “Baby Duck”, as she called it, do I acknowledge the mortality of the planet? Are we all Baby Ducks? How do the puppy and the wa-wa tie in to all of this?!?!
I crept back down the hallway and peeked into my daughter’s room. She was lying on the floor looking up at the ceiling singing what sounded like the ABC song. “A...F...HJ...MP...QR...V...WXYZ.” I hurriedly wrote down what she sang and ran back down the hallway before she knew I was spying on her. I put my scribbled notes down on my desk and sat down. I had a lot to go over here. Yes, it appeared to be the standard alphabet, but with key omissions. Why did she pick the letters she did? Where did BCD go? Why no S? Why include Q and leave out E? I took the missing letters and tried to form words out of them. The best I could come up with was “DUCK TALK BIG NOSE.” I dropped my pencil and pushed myself away from the desk. The duck again. Something is going to happen with “the duck” that much is clear. Big Nose? I looked in the mirror carefully staring at my nose from all angles. Finally, I decided that my nose must look huge to her, and then I realized that she has been talking about me all along! I AM THE DUCK! I AM THE DUCK! I fell on the floor and crawled into the corner of my office, shutting the lights off on the way.
I feel as though I may be going insane.
Later that night, before bed, my daughter patted me on the head and said to me “Night-Night, Duckie. Puppy wa-wa. Santa bye-bye.”
I fear I will be dead by daybreak.
Blast From The Past!!!
4 years ago