04. May 2013 · Comments Off on Daddy’s Little Girl · Categories: C. 1 to 4 years · Tags: ,

It is my daddy’s birthday.  My sister and my nanny dress me up before I come downstairs to the party.   I wear a turban with pom-poms, bunches of grapes, and a banana on my head.  I sing and dance Mama eu quero.  Everybody claps and claps.   When I hear them call out Encore!  Encore! I know that’s my cue and I sing I, Yi Yi Yi Yi, I like you very much, just the way I saw Carmen Miranda doing it in the movies.


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 Like in the movies

I get kisses and hugs from all my parents’ friends, and I am feeling pretty.  One of my mother’s friends, a large woman, pushes her way to me and wraps me in her arms.   She says you are just too cute as she pinches my cheek, hard.  The sharp pain surprises me.  She is looking at me with a cunning smile to make sure that I understand she does not like me.

But my daddy is claiming me, his little girl.  They bring in the cake with so many candles on it I have to help him blow them out.  Then they are asking him to do his Charlie Chaplin act that always gets them laughing so hard even the amahs stand at the door to watch.

When I have to go upstairs I can still hear my daddy playing the piano and everyone singing Show me the way to go home.

My daddy has a song he sings only for me.  When I am sick and fussing, he carries me in his arms back and forth on the verandah to get the cool night air.  I lean my head on his shoulder and he sings to me.  There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do, for you, for you.

I’d make a string of pearls out of the blue, for you, for you.  Over the highways and over the seas

I don’t remember any more of the words.  The last phrase would always linger in my mind.  It has an echo.  It is prophetic.


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My father


01. May 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: C. 1 to 4 years · Tags:

My brother and I love to listen to our daddy sing at the piano.  When the songs end, he gives us each an English toffee that he keeps in a jar on the piano. The toffees are from England where he once sang on the stage.

One day, he said that we should learn to dance.  The carpet is too rough, and we roll it up.  The floor is still not slippery enough, so Daddy runs upstairs and brings down the box of face powder that sits on our mommy’s dressing table.  The powder makes the floor easy to slide on.

We are dancing and singing louder than the gramophone until we notice that our mommy is standing there with my sister at her side.  She is angry.  She sends my brother and me upstairs.

My sister takes piano lessons.  I want to learn too.  Mommy says no.  I am four years old, how old do I have to be?  Mommy says that it is not my age.   Playing the piano is my sister’s thing.   Later, I can have something else.  I don’t understand.  My mommy says that my sister has a lazy eye.  She is slowly going blind.  I feel bad.  I don’t want her to go blind.

My sister does not go blind.  She wears glasses for her lazy eye, and later they invent special contact lenses.  At school, she is still First of the Class.