I wrote the story "Ay yi yi" almost ten years ago when Lulu was a baby. I cannot believe so much time has passed alreay! Just yesterday, Lulu was holding her second niece in her arms. She is now Aunty Lulu to Kaylee and Devyn and I'm a grandma! Where does the time go? I never published "Ay yi yi" on my blog because it was a story from my book and I haven't posted many stories from my book, but I was reading over this story and it reminded me so much of how life comes full circle. I thought it would be a fitting story to illustrate the full circle of life and how we must cherish all the moments and remember that they are just as fleeting as they are precious. So, here is the story of Ay yi yi - dedicated to Aunty Lulu and Kaylee and Devyn.
Ay yi yi
Lulu is now nineteen months old and has hit the terrible twos early. I commented to my friend the other day that I know why God in his infinite wisdom gives babies to people in their twenties and thirties. It takes tremendous energy to endure the temper tantrum stage. You cannot be cranky and going through a mid life crisis while dealing rationally with a toddler who is bent on having her own way. When she throws herself on the floor and rants and raves, you have to maintain the stamina to “redirect her behavior”. Lulu definitely keeps Bill and I on our toes. I know that this baby is the one who will keep us young for many years to come. Amazingly, my knee still holds up during horsy rides and Bill can still figure out how to put the car seat in the car.
The problem is that she requires so much attention. You would think she is spoiled as everyone in this family constantly fusses over her. Perhaps she does have her daddy wrapped around her little finger because he takes her to garage sales every Saturday and Sunday. And it is true that her feet never touch the floor once her brothers and sisters are home. Ok, I admit it. She has the whole family figured out. She knows that one “crinkly nose” will bring Billy to his knees or make Jennifer take her for a walk around the block. When Lulu says, “What’s up” to Katie, she knows that the lollipop meant for Katie’s mouth will be in hers. All she has to do is blow a kiss to Nurjahan and she can have her heart’s desire. I have to say, it is a good thing she has a mother who has some backbone!
Right now I am typing on the computer while no less than 30 toys surround her. She is not playing with those toys. She is pouring her sippy cup on the floor and unrolling all the paper towels. You would think with that pile of paper towels she would at least clean up the mess she has made on the floor! Now she is hollering at me to pick her up as she bangs on my keyboard. My resolve must remain steadfast even though she has resorted to lying under my chair; her big brown puppy-dog eyes have the forlorn look down to a science. Those pleading eyes are staring up at me as I type away. It will not work. I am not like the rest of the softies in this family.
I know it is only a matter of time before she pulls out all the stops and starts doing that “thing”. It is the one thing that makes total strangers in the store stop and laugh. It is the one thing that makes all the soccer moms coo and fuss over her. It is the one thing that brings this whole family running to see her do it just one more time. Here she goes: She is putting both hands to her face and making that little doleful expression. Any minute now she is going to rock her head back and forth between her hands as she says over and over again, ay yi yi! She is doing it right now as I type. She sees me looking at her out of the corner of my eye. She knows I am resisting the temptation to pick her up and snuggle with her. When I was in my twenties, I did not have the willpower to resist such blatant manipulation. But, I am much older and wiser now. I know that if I pick her up she’ll just keep doing this all the time. I have her number! I won’t crack under this pressure. No sir! I am in charge here and I will prevail.
I know what she wants. She wants me to pick her up and hold her close and rock her. She wants me to bury my face in her hair as I sing, “Puff the Magic Dragon”. She wants me to kiss her little body all over making her squeal and laugh. She is going for the grand finale now. It’s the “I am so cute you cannot stand it” look. She’s crawled out from under my desk and is standing in front of me with one finger in her mouth rubbing her blanket between her other fingers. Those gorgeous eyes are looking at me saying, “You’re the most important person in my world.”
Well, maybe just for a moment I will pick her up and hold her. Maybe just for a moment I will bury my face in her hair and smell that sweet smell of baby shampoo. Maybe just for a moment I will listen to her contented giggles while I whisper in her ear. Maybe just for a moment I will read her favorite story to her. Then, I will rock her to sleep while I sing, “Puff the Magic Dragon”. Finally, I will tiptoe into her room and tuck her in for her nap. I will blow her a kiss and, as I do, I will thank God for this cherished baby and for moments like these.