regularly scheduled programming

But enough about Kiki.

Have I mentioned my daughter Claire? She’ll be eight months old on Monday. When she’s clean, she smells like vanilla and soap; when filthy, she smells vaguely of yogurt, as toe-jam-like substances accumulate in her many folds. Her cap of hair is strawberry blonde and finer than spider silk. She has freckles underneath it, for no apparent reason other than to exceed internationally agreed levels of cuteness. Her cheekbones are, yes, up the proverbial wazoo.

Claire is fat, in the best possible sense of that word. Her belly is a sphere like a peach with an @ sign for a navel. Her butt has myriad dimples. Her thighs and calves fill up your hand in a pleasing, weighty way. Parts of the body that on conventional people are bony, on her are deliciously fat. She has bracelets of fat around her wrists and ankles. She has fat elbows. She has fat feet.

Her eyes attract much comment. You know how in the movie Men In Black, the cat Orion has a little jewel on his collar, and inside that jewel there’s an entire galaxy? Or you know how in the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring, where they wanted to capture Tolkien’s description of the depth of Galadriel’s expression, they hung Christmas lights to reflect constellations in Cate Blanchett’s eyes? You get the idea.

So, yeah, she’s beyond beautiful, et cetera, but what I really like about her is that she Knows Her Rights. She’s a fully paid-up member of the Babies’ Union; all smiles all the time, until you contravene her immutable will and the air raid siren goes up. I love her stubbornness and sense of herself, her funny friendliness and her ravenous curiosity. She has no baggage. She is all hug. I think she may be the single coolest human being I have ever met.

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