“Does a dinosaur stomp her feet on the floor and shout I want to hear one book more?”¹
Singing a song. Reading a book. Over and over and over. So much so that in unexpected moments the words form involuntarily on my lips at work, on my bike, while cutting onions. Each night we find meaning teased out in repetition completely unrelated to actual words.
“You sit on my cold feet and I’ll sit on your cold feet and you sit on my cold feet and I’ll sit on your cold feet.”
For two years and three months. And it continues. Another night, the rocking chair creaks, the bodies relax. We sit together in praise of the consistent, the repetitive, the good.
“Do not think about tomorrow. Let tomorrow come and go. Tonight you’ve got a nice warm boxcar, safe from all this wind and snow.”³
Each night we look at the same books.
Each night we sing the same songs.
Mostly we stick to the agenda with the occasional gentle deviation.
But everything is changing always. Every second there is more of her building bones, teeth, hair, skin, guts and stuff. Each and every cell needs to hear these stories, listen to these songs, learn to rock.
These tiny mantras and all of these things are necessary; for in a state of constant change, we need anchors and guideposts to carry us. Each cell added to the pile needs to be brought into line so every fiber of her being will know how a dinosaur says good night.
“Nein, das ist auch nicht meine Mami.”*
¹ How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, Jan Yolen and Mark Teague
² I’ll be you and you be me, Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak
³ Hobos Lullaby, Woody Guthrie
*Kleine Eule Ganz Allein, Chris Haughton