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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Thursday, January 19, 2006

An Hour at Symposia

Today I woke up thoroughly exhausted from the day before. I must have slept 18 hours out of the past 24, because little miss Marta brought home a pukey virus which was then distributed to Epp and I. But I felt much better after a day of throwing up every last morsel of food in my digestive track, and it was agreed upon that I would take Marta to her "class" at Symposia Books on Washington Street.

And so we went. When I went in there were a ton of little kids coming out of the bookshop, so I figured that class was ending and we were the first ones in for the new class. I was right. I went in and a woman with a foreign accent (Spanish?) asked me my child's name. "Marta" I said. I saw Marta's name was on the list and I proceded to get Marta's jacket off and get her ready for whatever would happen at the show.

One by one our playgroup arrived. Some arrived with their biological mothers, others with babysitters. You can usually tell the real moms from the babysitters because teh real moms a) look more tired and b) connect with their children.

At the front of the room, seated was our host "Kipley." He just sort of sat there and he seemed deeply contemplative, staring at the floor until he brought out a box filled with toys and let the kids play with them. Marta brought me a big red truck, a bus, and more stuff. I was intimidated about playing because I realized that when I stood up and came into the "play area" I was huge. 6 feet 3 inches. Much taller than anyone else there, let alone the 2 year olds running around my knees. So I felt awkward about playing there. Kipley was very quiet and calm - and I think this was good because it rubbed off on the children. Even Marta was semi-well-behaved.

I was the only father there and it felt kind of good. But Marta wasn't that interested in me. She ran from lap to lap. In fact there was another woman there with a daughter and Marta went and sat in her lap and her daughter started freaking out because this strange girl was sitting in her mama's lap and I went over to straighten things out, but the woman just told me that it was ok and Marta could sit in her lap - it was a strange situation. So Marta played this game of musical laps throughout the show.

Marta sort of made friends with one other little blonde girl and even gave her a big kiss during the show, which was composed of puppets and singing. Marta kept saying "hi" to her and she answered "hi" back, albeit more sheepishly. The highlight of the show was the underwater segment which featured this bubble machine blowing soap bubbles all over the place with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz playing. The kids just went crazy when this happened - they stood around waving their arms in the air mesmerized by the spectacle of bubbles floating everywhere. Marta too.

We finished up the show with some drawing - and later I was told by the guys running the puppet show that Marta was a great kid etc. You know, things I already know. But it still feels good to hear them again ;) I was asked "Are you Marta's father?" - I thought it would be kind of obvious. I wonder who else I could be? But I answered "Yes."

3 Comments:

Blogger andry said...

Dear Justin. I like Your blogs, specially Your Martablog. The warmth, the way how You look at children, at yourself, the dialogue with Marta's mother's blog, all this makes Your blog very interesting. Culturally, anthropologically...

You described the feeling on the play area, how huge You felt. Well, take it easy.
Now I am working in the local paper in Laane Virumaa as a journalist, but before that I was a kindergarten teacher. And I am 2 meters and 13 centimeters tall (don't know how many feet and inches et makes, let's say, I'm tall as Shaq O'Neal). So You can imagine the feeling I had.

And years ago I worked in Belfast, Ireland with catholic and protestant children and my nickname was BFG. Maybe You know Roald Dahl's book Big Friendly Giant.

Hope You understood my text, my english is not very correct.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Giustino said...

Yes, I am familiar with the "Big Friendly Giant." Thanks for your kind words. I am still a little new to this whole fatherhood thing, so I am learning as I go...

2:11 PM  
Blogger andry said...

Dear Justin. By the way, scientists say, fatherhood begins when child becomes two three years old. So it's only natural You feel a little new and maybe even clumsy in this fatherhood thing.

Take it easy and keep going.

Our daughter is twenty years old, but she still calls me issi. And our children are (our son is 14) our best friends ever.

It is amazing! Justin, it IS amazing.
Five minutes in bed, some grey fluid (I mean sperm) and a world biggest human cell (I mean woman's ovule) meet each over and...

oh, shit, it is a miracle, it really is. (Can you see, can you imagine, I am gasping.)All this stuff together will be a human being one day.

And this human being will become one of the closest persons in your life.

Life is a magic!

9:45 PM  

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