Yes, I have a daughter. In my fantaserye days. Heh. Kidding aside (not to be mistaken as serious talk), the Sims2 loving, persona in me has ‘this child’ by the name of Stella. Not her complete name, of course. She’s close to turning four, hates the idea of going to school, and likes to tag along whenever I travel for my field research. I don’t think it’s because she’ll miss me or anything, it’s just that she takes after her mom—she loves to go places, and explore. I tried leaving her with the Mangyans before, but these friends of mine had to run after me when they found out that she’s got an appetite enough to feed the village. Stella is the quiet type (like her father)--your typical kid who like toys and running around, but smart enough to give you 101 reasons why she can play instead of take her naps in the afternoon. She invents words, and has a sketch book full of ‘invented words with pictures’. She said she’s bored ‘to (the) d-word’(yes, the d word is banned), and has been too comfortable to sit around in my office she felt like it’s her second home. Im beginning to wonder how, on earth should I explain them creatively: milo stains on some of the department's maps, mini, plastic cooking pans inserted in expensive books, butterfly drawings on my claim form.
Anyway, our department held a family outing at the zoo last weekend, so you can imagine how excited she was, and well, how things turned out.
While at the 'Animal kingdom' show...
Host: whats your name?
Host: okay, stella—can you give me one of the ‘r’s to help save the environment?
S: Oh. Okay—reduce--
Host: Very goo—
S: Reduce carbon monoxide and other gas emissions
Host: oh...okay... thank you, here’s a fridge magnet..
Now, all she wanted was to get a particular animal, so I can sense her disappointment when I she went back to her seat, in front of us. We congratulated her, and her father had to explain the morals of being contented with what one has been given. She was silent for a while, then decided to just raise her hands again for the Q&A on stage. We thought she wanted to try her luck on the fridge magnet again, but after all three ‘R’s were given, she was still raising her hand eagerly. ‘Tapos na anak’, I told her. ‘No, not yet, there are two more’. My husband and I exchanged looks—bordering contempt and ‘yang anak mo ha’. ‘Anu pa ba, ha?’ her father jokingly inquired. She looked at him with surprise and muttered ‘Restoration. Tsaka po ‘Reclamation’, diba po?’ she looked him straight in the eye, waiting for him to say ‘Why, yes.’ Instead, he looked striken. Hehe.
Oo nga naman.