She has more dimples than a golf ball and knows how to use them. Two seconds of glancing at her pudgy, beaming face and I’m ready to hand over the amalgam from my molars. She’s a sprite, a nuisance, and I wouldn’t trade her for Double-Stuff Oreos.
She scrunches up her eyes until their lids are little wrinkled raisins and stares at me, her eyeballs barely visible, quickly assessing my body language. I’m at the computer obviously deep in thought. I stare blankly back at her. “Grammy—I want my babies Grammy.” Her babies are downstairs where her mommy is, where she should be—where I shouldn’t be. In the most appealing, velvety fake voice I can muster, I coax her—“Your babies are waiting for you downstairs, Honey.” She’s not buying it. Neither am I.
I try the direct approach. “Grammy’s busy right now, Baby.”
“I WANT MY BABIES GRAMMY!” A shot of adrenalin pierces through my nervous system like that from nails on a chalkboard. The child has the leadership abilities of a drill sergeant. I start to panic. I really, really want to continue working on my book. I am on a roll. Doesn’t she know what a roll is? Apparently she does—she’s wearing remnants of one on her mucky little face.
Two-year-old ‘Baby’ crosses her fleshy arms over her protuberant abdomen and then I know I’m in for it. Her lips are pursed together (at least she isn’t screaming–yet). The only dimple that is visible is the one on her beautiful butt chin. I count the seconds before she belts out “Cry Me a River” and the waterworks flood my bedroom floor. Three—I’m impressed. It usually takes half that time.
I try the psychological approach and cry a few fake canals of my own, hoping her soft, feminine side will take pity on me.
“Stop that Grammy! I’m telling Momma!” No, no, no—not that—anything but that!
“Grammy’s not crying, Honey; Grammy’s just–cleaning out her eyes.” I make the big bad wolf look like a Chihuahua on sedatives.
She reassesses my body language; I assess hers. She’s swaddled in a diaper; her thighs are little ham hocks, her toenails painted neon orange. She’s still got her dimpled arms crossed over her ample belly, and her blonde hair resembles corkscrews. In short, she’s adorable AND she’s not ballyhooing anymore—that’s always a big plus. I open my arms and swallow her up, noting the chocolate stain that has just been transferred to my clean shirt and sigh.
“Still want those babies?”
“Yes. I love you Grammy”.
“I love you too Baby.”
The babies retrieved, suddenly all is well again, and I know my humble place in the universe all because of a munchkin we call Baby who has the most charming dimples in the world. I wonder if my cratered rump cheeks would serve me equally as well. I decide probably not, but it might we worth a try next time I lose something precious to me and need a little help. And I almost did lose something precious to me—the trust of a dimpled little girl who just wanted to find her babies.