The Phone Call

I hadn’t spoken to Emma in two days as I’ve been away on business. It’s always difficult traveling, leaving Richard, Nic and Emma behind. But it’s particularly tough not being around Emma as her phone skills are lacking. With Nic I can talk to him, ask him how his day was and feel a modicum of connection. But with Emma it’s more elusive. I called the house a little while ago, having not changed the time zone on my laptop, forgetting it was just 7:00AM on the east coast and Emma may still be asleep what with her new “sleeping til it’s light out” schedule and woke everyone up. I was hoping to exchange a few words with Em, though really would have felt happy to hear her sweet voice, but instead heard her murmur something in the background as Richard said, “Why are you calling so early?” in a groggy tone.
“Oh no!” I said. “What time is it?”
“It’s just 7:00,” Richard answered. “I’ll talk to you later.” There are some things years of marriage and no amount of love can penetrate – sleep.
An hour later Richard texted me saying everyone was up, so I called again.
“Hi!” Richard answered the phone. In the background I could hear Emma’s baby doll humming to the tune of “Row, row, row your boat.”
“Hi!” I said. “What’s Emmy doing?”
“She’s giving her baby doll a bath.”
“Where?”
“In the kitchen sink,” Richard said. I could hear the baby doll humming again, indicating Emma had just pressed her belly button to make her do so.
“Really?”
“Yeah, she washed her hair with shampoo and rinsed it out. I wonder how long it can stay in the water before it short curcuits,” Richard said.
“I don’t know. But that’s pretty great.”
“Yeah, she played with it all last night too. Now she’s put a towel on the floor and is drying it off. Hey Em! Come say hi to Mommy!”
I could hear Emma talking to her baby doll and then her footsteps running toward the phone. “Hi Mommy!” she said, still not quite into the phone.
“Hi Em!”
“Mommy’s staying at Granma’s house,” Emma said sadly.
“Yeah. I’m at Granma’s house. How are you?”
“Bye Mommy!” Her voice was heard to say as she sped off. I could hear the baby doll launch into another rendition of Row, row, row your boat in the background.
“Hey,” Richard said.
“Oh, I barely got to speak to her,” I said.
“Yeah, well you never know how long she’ll talk,” he said.
“I know. You have to get everything in quickly.”
For today, my brief conversation will have to do. Knowing Emma is playing with her doll makes me happy. Richard is hosting a sleep over with one of Nic’s friends, brave man that he is. Tomorrow Emma takes her gymnastics class and I will wait to hear how everything went.

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