This morning I am leaving for Japan.
The flight leaves in five hours. We are leaving the house in two. Taylor will drive us there and pick us up when we arrive home on June Sixteenth. I will continue to update as much as possible, as well as document my travels in a specially purchased Too Expensive Hardback Journal, pages of which I will be scanning and posting on my return.
Last night was spent in a flurry of late packing and I got to sleep at one thirty or so. This morning at eight thirty I was woken by plaintive wails and screams from the hallway.
Bella was melting down.
Bella, I will explain, is my sister’s one and a half year old daughter. She is very bright and quickly learning all of her words. She is extra fascinated by other babies.
Yesterday Bella came home with a new toy – a soft-bodied baby doll with eyes that closed and a bottle that empties when you put it in her mouth, and ‘ticklish sides’. Ticklish means that when you squeeze that baby her head rolls around like a possessed muppet and she utters a high, repetitive cackle.
I have made no secret of my feelings towards this doll.
Bella, however loves it. It is her baby and she has not left it anywhere without her since its purchase. Routinely she walks into a room to proudly show it off, or barks out instructions for the rest of the family.
“Are you going to feed the baby?”
“Mamba baby bottle.”
“Oh, do you want Grandma to feed the baby?”
“Baby…bck. Bck bck.”
“Are you going to rub the baby’s back? Is it night-night?”
“Dess baby back.”
“Ohh. I’m supposed to rub the baby’s back.”
I do, and the doll, overcome with the sensation, wriggles and cackles in delight.
“Creepy,” I say. Bella nods solemnly.
“Dee dee,” she replies.
This morning, though, something went horribly wrong, apparently. Taylor recounted it to me later.
Bella went to take a shower with Mama, but the doll? The doll didn’t come in the shower.
The world promptly ended. Chocolate immediately lost its flavor. Houses crumbled into domestic rubble. Kittens everywhere began dying and birds ceased carving low lazy circles across the early morning sky. Society would never be the same again. The baby doll was not allowed in the shower, and all was lost. Bella, obviously the only one who was aware of the link between the baby doll and the State of the World At Large, lost her shit.
When the shower ended, Bella was allowed to rejoin her baby, and the world was saved. The planets realigned, slowly, and Bill Murray ceased living the same day over and over and over again. Bella calmed, knowing that balance was restored, and promptly began to feed the baby.
Her creepy, creepy baby.