Hotline to Dada

Posted: February 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Daddio, Extended Family, Firsts, Husbandry, Little Rhody, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Sisters, Travel | No Comments »

I have a sister named Marie. I’ll wait a minute while you go ahead and make your Italian-American pot shots about her name. 


Okay then. Well, on Monday she and her family came over to hang out before going out to dinner for my dad’s birthday. 

Marie is 12 years older than me. And she started younger on the baby-making. So, my two- and four-year-olds have cousins who are 19 and 21.

Since we live a country’s-length apart, we rarely get to see them. They are “big boys,” and handsome to boot. So Kate and Paige were in hardcore show-off flirty-girl modes. We were all convened in the living room, where the girls had a captive audience.

There was some dancing, some serving of wooden toy cupcakes, and some modeling of pigtails. And at one point Paige grabbed a cordless phone off the coffee table, dialed what seemed to be a number in Tokyo, and commenced a long smiley please-watch-me-being-so-cute conversation. Everyone seemed to enjoy this part of the show, so I didn’t immediately grab the phone away from her. 

As she coyly babbled, someone asked who she was talking to. 

“Dadda!” she announced. “Hi Dadda! Hi Dadda!”

Eventually, I took the phone from her and hung it up. We had a reservation to make.

The nine of us started in on various coat-fetching and bathroom-visiting activities. During that wave of pre-departure mayhem, Mark called from Whistler. “I’ll call him from the car!” I bellowed to my dad, while yanking boots onto Kate. 

When we finally connected en route to the restaurant, Mark tells me, “So I called your Dad’s house about ten minutes ago. Before the phone even rang I hear Paige saying, ‘Hi Dadda!’ and giggling.”

Mark spent the next few minutes having a one-sided chat with Paigey Wigs, who looked around the living room at us wide-eyed, triumphantly announcing, “Dadda! Dadda!”

When Mark urged her, “Okay, Paige, give the phone to Mama now,” she began on a round of “Mama Dada! Mama Dada!” And of course, kept clutching the phone.

Cracking up, Mark finally gave up and hung up. Attempts to call back resulted in a long stream of busy signals.

And now? Paige is convinced that all the phones at my dad’s house are direct lines to Mark.

And really, why shouldn’t she be?

Over the past couple days if she’s out of my sight for a minute, I’ll likely hear her chanting, “Dada! Dada! Dada!” It’s a sure-fire tip-off that she’s found a phone.

Poor dear. As it is, she’s been climbing into bed with me in the morning and asking ”Oooh Dada?” which I’ve interpreted to mean “Where’s my father who’s usually here with you, and why the hell has he been gone for so long?” Turns out she doesn’t understand about the whole Olympics thing—that they’re far away and they go on for a while. And then, after spending so much play-time “calling” Mark on toy phones, she finally found one that really makes contact. But whenever she gets ahold of it, I wrestle it away from her.

The reality is, if it weren’t for my fear that she’ll dial her way to Denmark, I’d love for her to think she can summon Mark at will. She’s got plenty of time to understand the true logistics of telephonics. In the meantime, I’m doing my best not to dash the illusions of a Daddy’s girl.

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