Emma began yesterday with a long swim. She has devised a game where she leaps into the pool with a towel wrapped around her waist. For some reason this strikes her as the height of hilarity. Then she drags herself, still wearing the towel, out and onto one of the lounge chairs where she sits and announces to anyone within listening distance that in fact, she has just jumped into the pool wearing a towel. Regardless of the listener’s reaction, Emma breaks into peals of laughter before leaping into the pool again – with the soaking wet towel.
After Emma’s swimming pool escapades, we ventured off to La Vieja – the old city.
Emma in the ruins discovered in 1519, only to be destroyed by Henry Morgan in 1691.
After visiting the Artisnal Market exhibiting local crafts and going to La Vieja museum we drove to a mall where we were told was a carousel and some other children’s rides. Emma was ecstatic.
However once she had taken four rides on the carousel, we suggested we look for some of the other rides we had been told of. There were three. Two, which she was too big to ride in and one, the teacup ride, which she was the right height for but was empty and they wouldn’t let her on unless another child showed up. Emma took the first disappointment in stride, “Too big,” she said, nodding her head, the smallest frown appearing on her forehead as she tried to reason this out. But when she was not allowed to ride inside the teacups because of a lack of other children she began to fret. “Go on cup ride?” She whimpered.
“Yes, but we need to wait until some other children come to ride too,” We tried to explain.
Our explanation was weak and we knew it, but there was nothing to be done. Joe and I went to plead with the “supervisor” to see if we could convince them to let her ride on it anyway. They were resolute. Emma began to cry, “Go on cup ride? Go on ride. You have to wait. I said no!”
“It’s okay Em, we can wait and see if another child comes, then you can go on the ride too.”
Even while saying this to her, the weakness of the argument was all too apparent. Why one other child should make a difference was not something any of us could explain. Was there a balancing issue, weight distribution problem? Who knows, but our Spanish being what it was, even Joe’s fairly good Spanish, would not sway them. Meanwhile Emma became increasingly distraught. All the joy from the carousel was now replaced by a kind of frantic, perseverative mindset. Eventually another child did come along and Emma was able to ride in the teacup. It was not a joyful ride. It was as though she no longer could obtain any amount of actual pleasure from the ride. It had fallen into the “must do” category, an action, which must be taken, but with no enjoyment attached. There was an addictive quality to the desire. It was as though she were caught in a rut of thinking, nothing could be said or done to quell.
Emma riding in the teacup.
Once the teacup ride was over Emma went back to the other two, which she was too big for and insisted on riding in either of those.
“Ride in train?” She asked, anxiety creeping into her voice. “You’re too big, you have to wait,” she said.
“Em, let’s go see if we can find the big indoor playground. You can bounce,” One of us encouraged.
“No. Ride?” Emma said.
“Emmy, we can’t go on these other rides and only on the teacup ride if there’s another child.”
“Ride in cup?” Emma said.
Eventually we were able to pull her away and began to look for the indoor playground. Emma was unhappy and sucking her thumb, clasping Muzzy to her and repeating the same phrase over and over again. “Ride on carousel?”
“Okay, let’s ride on the carousel,” Richard said.
It was decided Richard would scout ahead to see if he could find the indoor playground while Emma rode on the carousel a few more times. Once Richard was out of sight, however, a train came by stopping at the carousel. So we took the train which runs the length of the shopping mall. Immediately Emma perked up.
Emma in the train with Muzzy & me.
Back to the carousel and then to a round elevated platform where Emma made up a game she called: “Swing game”.
The Swing Game went on for quite some time, with Emma running around the parimeter of the elevated circle with Muzzy as one of us tried to catch her.
Today we go into the clinic for the second stem cell treatment. We have been preparing her.
Emma: Take Muzzy to hospital. You have to put the mask on. Last time.
Richard: Yes. Today is the last day of the hospital.
Emma: Then bye-bye hospital. Sleep, wake up, go to play swing game! Go on airplane, go see Granma!
Richard: Yes, that’s right. Tomorrow we rest and then Saturday we go on the airplane to see Granma.
Emma: I’m so excited.
As are we all.