"Elbows? ... Whatever!"
Actually, contrary to the title ... "Elbows? ... Whatever!" is a lullaby.
My step-daughter's daughter - my step-grand-daughter? - is as cute as can be. She is a doll. And brilliant. (I may be a bit biased.)
Soon after she started talking, her mother started teaching her the names of body parts. One day I was quizzing her (in devoted step-grand-dad fashion):
"Yesssss." She said drawing out the "s."
"Yesssss." (Didn't I tell you she was smart?)
Not wanting to get into the really cool stuff, I scanned my brain for a safe body part and blurted out "Elbows?"
Shocked, and a bit delighted, she blurted back - "Noooo!"
Really? Hm mm. She's witty as well.
"Elbows?" I asked again encouragingly.
"Noooo!" She answered making the "o" really big.
So, like a good devoted "Pop-Pop" I went through it again:
Hm mm. No "Elbows."
This, of course, became a ritual for us every time we saw each other - even on the telephone.
"Elbows?" I would say into the receiver.
"Noooo!" She would answer over the static.
This went on for about a year, until ...
"Elbows?" I asked gleefully into the phone.
Silence. Pause. Then a soft - "No."
Really? Was something wrong?
"Elbows?" I tried again with a little more "Pop-Pop" emphasis.
Silence. Pause. Big sigh. "... Whatever."
"Whatever?" I got "Whatever-ed" by a three year old?
Wow. I was crushed!
I had to teach her four new things the next time I saw her - including throwing out your arms as wide as they will go and imitating a loud opera singer "Laaaaaa!"
"Laaaaaa!" She would pipe in her small soprano voice, arms outstretched.
"Laaaaaa!" I would intone as loudly as I could.
This is now a particular favorite of ours in a packed grocery store in the middle of the produce aisle. Nothing clears out those lines at the register like a little opera.
This little lullaby is for Katie.
My thanks to Mike Durig on guitar and Spencer Swan on 'cello. Thanks to Terry for coming by on such short notice and tuning the piano.
Tomorrow? Some opera stuff. Really. Whatever!
Robert Ian Winstin
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