Saturday, November 11, 2006


Arabis and Layla met for the first time when they were less than a year old. Being three months older, Layla was already pulling herself up to a standing position while Arabis was just beginning to really explore the world of the floor.

At a party with friends I've known for more than half my life, I sat in the living room, my daughter on my lap, chatting away happily. Layla was brought in and instantly squealed in delight at the sight of another small human. Her mother (my friend Michelle) put her down and she balanced by holding onto my knees, cooing at Arabis and bouncing in that bow-legged, bent-kneed, in-place monkey dance that toddlers are wont to do.

Without warning, Layla reached up and grabbed Arabis' pacifier out of her mouth and put it into her own. My girl looked down her nose with disdain at the thief, then firmly turned her back to her.

Move forward nine or ten months to last evening. We arrive for dinner while Layla is in her high-chair, her Papa-rah feeding her the last of her dinner. She waves hello and then demands more guacamole (I'm still in awe of a 20 month old with clear command of a four syllable word). Arabis is enthralled by the new toys; toys that blink and light up and make noise. She barely notices Layla in the chair.

While the adults sit around chatting and Arabis explores the world of someone else's toys, Layla finishes her dinner and is released from the chair. She dances around excitedly, showing off for company and being a joyful imp. She wanders over and selects a pacifier from a small pile in the corner, then resumes her play.

Arabis eventually deigns to notice Layla, strides up to her and snatches the pacifier out of Layla's mouth. She pulls out her own and uses Layla's instead, walking away defiantly. Poor Layla stands in shock for a moment, before tottering after Arabis, shaking her finger and admonishing her to "Be nice."

The adults, of course, erupt in gales of laughter. It is only this morning that I remembered the incident at their first meeting and Mojo and I chuckled.

"Boy, that kid can hold a grudge. She sure doesn't get that from me."


boogiemum said...

That is so cute. Smart little girl you have got there.

Great use of words. You always tell stories so beautifully...

Artemis Rich said...

Aw, shucks! You're making me blush.

Michelle said...

Hey, now I remember that, too!
How funny!
They do seem to get along though for toddlers who don't yet play *with* each other.
It was wonderful seeing you all; we have to do it again soon!!

Artemis Rich said...

Hey, Michelle!

I wish we'd remembred at the time. It was very funny in hindsite.

Yes, play together soon. My weekends are tied up until the end of the year though, but WE WILL MAKE IT WORK!

Thanks again for a lovely evening!