Day 3: Move to Waihi

By Mary Beth

Because of her adventures on the boat, Annie earned some magical bracelets for the next car ride. They were blue and had a bead hidden underneath, which pressed against her wrist, and put magic into her body so she wouldn’t get a sick tummy and barf all over the car. Mommy spent a lot of money on them and promised Annie they would work. They worked for a few minutes, but then the windy roads got to be a bit much for Annie, and her tummy felt sick again. Mommy had taken an extra barf bag from the boat, which Annie kept close at hand just in case.

But their new house was amazing. The girls fell in love with it immediately. There were couches that Annie could run and bounce on when her parents weren’t paying attention, and many many surfaces with things on them – things that Cora could grab and throw onto the floor. There were bean bag chairs, and drawers filled with games and toys. The girls ran wild. Mommy and Daddy could not keep up with them, which was how they liked it, shrieking and running and knocking things over.

There was one thing, however, that the house lacked: one gaping hole that needed to be filled by two industrious girls. They discovered it at once. The house was missing acorns. Luckily, there was an abundant supply of acorns to be found right outside the door on the back porch and so they were able to rectify the deficiency very quickly and easily, by carrying in handfuls of acorns and throwing them on the floor. They then both proceeded to suck and chew on the acorns. The parents tried to put up a fight, throwing the acorns back out, and arguing that acorns are inedible. But Annie explained to her parents that they were using the acorns as pacifiers.

The parents saw a different deficiency in the house, which to them was more significant than the acorns. This was a house without a pack-n-play, a portable crib – a portacot in New Zealand. In other words, there was nowhere for Cora to sleep. Or, rather, there was plenty of bed space for her, but nowhere to lock her up where she couldn’t escape.

They didn’t do anything exciting that day, but the girls were happy because they walked to the park near their new house, and spent time running around at the playground, and cooking food up in the tower of the playground.

There were ducks at the pond next to the playground

That evening, Mommy read Going on a Bear Hunt to the girls, which was Cora’s favorite book.

“We’re going on a-” Mommy started, singing the words.

“DADA,” said Cora, pointing to the baby.

“No, that’s the baby, that’s the dada,” said Mommy, pointing. She switched back to singing. “We’re going on a bear-“

“DADA,” said Cora, pointing to the daddy.

“-A bear hunt, gonna-“

“BABY,” said Cora, pointing to the baby.

“Yes,” Mommy agreed. “Gonna catch a-“

“DUH,” said Cora, pointing to the dog.

“Yes, Cora, that’s the dog.”

Cora turned the page.

“DUH!” she exclaimed, pointing to the dog again.

“Yes, and where is the baby?” Mommy asked. Annie pointed to the baby as fast as she could, before Cora could have time to point.

“Yes, that’s right. Cora, where is the daddy?”

Annie’s finger was already there, before Cora had begun looking. Cora turned the page forcefully.

“WAWA!” she announced, pointing to the water. Mommy read as many words as she could before the page was turned again.

“SHOE!” said Cora, even more excited, pointing to the shoes which the characters were carrying as the walked through the water. “SHOE! SHOE!”

They moved very quickly through the next few pages, Mommy singing most of the words very very quickly and skipping the rest, until they got to the page where the characters are tiptoeing through the cave.

“TEETOE!” cried Cora, as soon as she saw the picture. “TEETOE!” This is one of Cora’s favorite words. She turned the page and stared at the picture of a big bear.

“One shiny wet nose,” said Mommy. Cora pointed to the bear’s nose, and then to her own, excitedly. “Two big furry ears,” Mommy said, and Cora pointed to her own ear. “EE!” she said.

“Two big goggly eyes!” Mommy continued. Cora poked herself in the eye. “Oh no! It’s a bear! Aaaaaugh!”

“AAAAAUUUUGGGHHHH!” Annie shrieked, ear-piercingly.

Cora was not particularly calm when her mommy put her to bed. She was in a new place, and she was excited. Her mommy lay her on the mattress, and then Velcroed a wide strap around her waist and between her legs. Cora felt a little confused. So she did what she does in confusing situations (or in any situation at all): she started to wiggle, and then to thrash. And then she panicked. She couldn’t thrash properly! She was attached to the bed! Her parents had tied her down! HOW DARE THEY?

She let out a scream of rage and anger, and arched her body, and then threw herself to the left, and the right. She screamed again, even more loudly. Her father played calm, quiet songs on a guitar and tried to pretend Cora was not in crisis. Cora twisted and writhed. And then she remembered the straps – the deeply offensive straps – and she calmed down a little. She could handle this. Like James Bond, strapped down somewhere dark and concealed and full of danger, she could work her way out of this. Her chubby fingers got to work on the straps, and within a few seconds, she had ripped the velcro apart, and was free.

She smiled at her mommy, who was sitting watching her. She sat up and watched her daddy play. Her mommy tried to lie her back down and strap her down again. She protested but they both knew the futility of Mommy’s actions. Cora was free even faster this time. Her mommy gave an irritated-sounding sigh and gave up.

Cora spent the next twenty minutes hurling herself from one end of the bed to the other – sitting up, throwing herself down, sticking her bottom up into the air and then crashing down, rolling violently to the left and the right, laughing. Her mommy sat by the bed and blocked her from rolling off but otherwise didn’t do very much.

One of her main goals, however, was escape. A few times Cora swung her legs out of the bed when she hoped her mommy wasn’t paying attention, but she found her legs pushed right back into bed. After the second or third time she wept in frustration; nevertheless, she persisted. She writhed around some more. She stood up in bed and laughed. She fell down and bonked her head on the wall. “BONK,” she whimpered to her mommy, patting her head with her hand, and her mommy gave her a kiss and then forcefully lay her back down. Cora sat back up. She threw herself to the other end of the bed. She tried to escape again. She failed, and wept again. She continued hurling herself from one end of the bed to the other.

And then – somehow – magically – mid-writhe, her little body went limp, and she slept deeply.

1 thought on “Day 3: Move to Waihi”

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