Friday, December 5, 2008

mamihood and work

written by fabi!

My daughter is with her what do I do? Write about her. I'm such a mama, I know.

Warning a little long and mama'ish.

I sat on a panel at USC early this week for a responsible development and USC expansion talk. Munchk was with me; the panel started in the evening. A traditional style panel where the "experts" sit facing the listeners. We faced the 40+ students and thankfully Tafarai sat right by me (I asked him to). Beside him sat a USC professor, planner and an architect (USC alumni). During the two hour panel discussion a fruitful dialogue unfolds, Amaya who's on my lap scribbles on her homework, she wrote her name, draws a flower on my right hand, tells me about five times that she wants to go home, asks for water, gets up a couple of times, and when the other three men speak she starts to talk to me - in her regular tone. I whisper to her, to please lower her voice, "like this" emphasizing the low hush tone. She then responds, louder than normal "but I want to go with Grandma."

Bored she began to unbutton my shirt, a buttoned black long sleeve collared top; good thing I wore a black tank top under it. For the next 10 minutes she would unbutton the top slowly, then button it back up, once buttoned up, rapidly unbuttons playfully, with one hand on one side of the top shirt and the other hand on the other side...ripping it open like she was acting out a scene of undressing dramatically. Since the buttons were clip-like it was noisy. Just a little outrageous to see a child doing a I'm taking my mama's shirt off in front of many people over and over again act. Finally I noticed how distracting it became, I asked her to please stop unbuttoning my shirt, "it's my shirt and it needs to stay buttoned." She smirks, and gives me this look, like who do I think I am.

In essence she amused a couple of students with her rambunctious demeanor. At the end of the panel the comments that I received were about how well behaved she was.

Last month, she did something similar when I interviewed voters (with Jessica Hoffmann), towards the end she started to cover my mouth as I spoke to people, while I had her on my hip. "Stop talking mami" covering my mouth with her little hands.
Lastly, that little person took off her overall dress in the Sisterfire art festival, wearing her gray thick tights and blouse. I asked her if she was sure about taking off her dress and walking around with tights and only a blouse that tights are supposed to be worn with a dress/skirt/long blouse and she responds non chalantly, yes mami I'm fine. Do it while you can baby.

She's something else. Though at times nerve wrecking and hard, for the most part, she adds quirky excitement during what would normally be pretty serious work.

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