Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sofia's and her Colita

My daughter Mishi, her husband Jorge, their daughter Sofia, and my wife and I were visiting the beach in Santa Monica.

We were ensconced on chairs under a tree near the Annenberg Center Beach and Pool area. After swimming in the pool, Sofia decided she wanted to take off her bathing suit and run around nude. Her Mommy, Mishi, decided that she was getting to an age that her nudity had to start being selectively used: and in Mommy's mind, that day, at that time and place, it was a clothed moment.

Sofia did not agree. She fought her mother's wishes. Her mother was equally adamant. A tussle ensued. Sofia started one of her famous 'meltdowns', shouting and screaming as if assaulted by an enemy army. Her mother was not happy. "Why do you have to take off your bathing suit?" she asked. It was a statement of intent more than a question. Sofia responded with even angrier yelps and whines: "Because my colita hurts," she shouted (colita being her family's word for Sofia's general 'bottom' area).

"She been in the pool," Jorge, sympathetically overhearing, said in Sofia's defense; a possible chlorine rash was his inference. Mishi was not fully convinced. "It hurts," Sofia reiterated. Mishi checked Sofia's colita for a rash. Nothing. Mishi still held firm; then, compromise: "You can take off your bathing suit if you wear your robe." Sofia thought about it; agreed.

After a brief while, Mishi and Sofia were alone. "How's your colita?" Mishi asked. "Fine," said Sofia. Mishi paused. "Sofia...were you lying to me about your colita hurting? Just to get nude?" Sofia stared at her mother, at the latter's dark and penetrating eyes. "Yes," said Sofia. "I'm sorry, Mommy," Sofia said. Silence.

We went for a walk, felt the warm sun commingle with the cool breeze flowing off the ocean. The colita episode seemed all in the past. Sofia said she wanted to cross the sand to the water's edge. We were all in agreement. Suddenly Mishi took her daughter's hand. "Sofia," Mishi said. "When you lie to me like you just did, that creates a big problem. When you tell Mommy something in the future, something that may be true, how will Mommy know? How will Mommy know whether or not you are telling the truth?"

Sofia considered for a moment, then looked up at her Mommy and, in a mixture of simplicity, factual statement, and utmost confidence, said: "You'll figure it out."
With that she sped off to the water's edge, and we dutily followed.


Blogger Ziyah said...

This CHILD makes my heart dance with amusement...

5:25 AM  

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