Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"How are you today?"

Felicity is now at the ripe old age of one and half. She has opinions. She has desires. It's almost like she's a little person. (Yes, she is decidedly a tiny human).

Felicity, with her vocabulary of thirty or so words, hasn't quite grasped the subtleties of polite elevator interactions.

Last week:

A woman stepped into the elevator after us. Felicity looked up from her stroller and in a small, sweet voice, said, "Hi!"

The woman smiled at her and greeted her back. Then the woman asked, "How are you today?"

Our downstairs neighbor probably wasn't expecting a response, or maybe she was expecting to hear a tiny, "Fine, how are you?" as is the custom to respond. Not so.

Furrowing her eyebrows, Felicity briskly held a rigid index finger to her bandaged, slightly scraped knee. She uttered a severe sentence or two, which we couldn't much make out besides the word "owee" once or twice.

Today:

Ian and I have been sick with the flu since Friday night. While we are finally starting to recover, Felicity has been feeling pretty miserable today. I took the baby out in the stroller this afternoon to pick up our CSA box, and she bravely sat quietly for most of the ride, only complaining a little when we walked past the playground.

After getting back into the building with the stroller and bags of groceries, I saw one of the MBA students, resplendent in suit and tie, coming into the building after us. Kind soul that I am, I held the elevator for him.

After the doors closed and we'd pushed our respective buttons, Felicity looked up at him and greeted him with a small and serious, "Hi."

He smiled, and said hello back. He then asked how she was. He was decidedly not ready for what she had to tell him.

Bear in mind that... some of what Felicity says is comprehensible to Ian or myself. Like I said, Flick has a small (but effective) vocabulary. It was apparently not large enough (at least in English) to express how bad she was feeling and what a terrible day she'd had.

In her tirade, from the lobby to the fifth flour, she told the young man in great detail about how it was to be a toddler and feel bad, how her (mean) parents wouldn't take her to the playground, expressly against her frequent requests, and who knows what else. Pretty much, a whole lot of baby-talk in an exaggerated, complaining voice. She sounded like a grandmother talking about her sciatica in an alien language.

Exiting the elevator, the MBA student said, "That's how I feel too. That's how I feel too."

I love having a toddler.