(a six leg elephant for elijah)
i am elijah’s personal entertainment device.
i read books to him from dawn to dark, and even later (it gets dark at 5pm these days). i’ve read some of his books so many times i started reading them back to front, for variety. i make sure to read the credits, publication date and all the small print just to keep myself informed about the world. elijah says ‘book, yomu [read]. hon[book] yomu. etto~ [hmmm], atta! [found it]. tech, okay” [he means a book called ‘iggy peck, architect‘ ]’. he grabs a book or two from his bookshelf and tells me, ‘mama, sit!’. he climbs onto the sofa and points next to him. as a japanese citizen i’m naturally obedient, so i sit and read to him as much as he wants. whenever he finds one of my books around the house he grabs it and pretends to read it. then he says “okay, okay” meaning i’m supposed to read it to him. if i start reading, he gets bored right away and goes off somewhere else. sometimes he tries to take the book with him. i tell him ‘that’s mama’s book’. he firmly assures me, ‘mine!’.
i’m also his jukebox. all day long, he asks me to sing. he’ll say, ‘zoh-san [elephant], okay~’ or ‘abc, okay!’ etc.. i sing ‘zoh-san’ in japanese and the alphabet song in english. as soon as i finish he says ‘okay!’ and he wants me to start singing again. this continues even when we’re eating supper or when he’s nursing or when i’m driving the car. he doesn’t care that i’m behind the wheel and it’s icy and i have to concentrate. he says ‘mama, cookie, okay!’. i used to think he was asking for a cookie and i’d give him a cracker (i told him crackers are cookies). then i figured he was wanting me to sing ‘c is for cookie’ from sesame street (he saw it on youtube) again and again. i start singing and crash the car into a ditch… mentally. it won’t be long till elijah finds out i’m tone deaf, maybe then he’ll start listening to different music.
finally, i’ve been appointed as his personal toy maker. i made him a panda scarf the other day since it’s been awfully cold here in saskatoon (-25 during the day, -35 at night). it’s not as bad as it sounds — the sky is blue and everything is covered in white snow. it is very beautiful and painful, nice to sit inside and look out the window. anyway, as soon as elijah saw the scarf, his mouth opened wide and he said ‘OH~! PANDA~!’. it was almost as exciting for him as the time we had supper near the yellowhead highway on the way to edmonton and he spent 20 minutes pointing at every single truck that drove by (‘OH~! TRUCK!’). i was touched that he liked the panda scarf, even though he didn’t let me put it on him at first.
ever since then i’ve become his personal toymaker and i’ve been sewing away while he is playing and sleeping. he likes elephants very much, but he didn’t have an elephant plush toy. so i made one for him out of felt. it’s flat like a pillow and has six legs. i don’t know why it ended up with six legs. i just started making legs and kept going until i reached the end of the elephant. elijah’s first reaction to it was enthusiastic (‘OH~~~ ELEPHANT!’) and i was happy he noticed it was wearing socks. but since then my elephant is only played with occasionally, but at least it makes it into the lineup of the favorite plush toys that elijah wants to say goodnight to before he goes to sleep.