Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First phone call

Ellie got her first phone call today. From a boy. An older boy. Grant is the son of a friend. He is eight (I think), cute and full of energy. Exactly the type of person Ellie loves. She talks about him all the time. In fact, she has told me on numerous occasions that Grant is her friend and she loves him. She was talking about him at dinner the night of "the phone call".

Ellie: Is Grant coming over today?

Me: No, not today.
Ellie: Why not? Grant is my friend and I love him.
Me: That's very nice, honey, but Grant can't come over today.

The phone rings. From the caller ID I assume it is my friend.

Voice: Hi, Kim. Can I talk to Ellie?

Ellie? Okay. I'm not sure why my very adult friend wants to talk to Ellie, but I'll humor her.

Voice: It's Grant.

Oh. Well, I guess that makes more sense. Although, I'm at a loss as to why an eight year old boy wants to talk to Ellie.

Me: Ellie, you have a phone call.

Okay, that just sounds weird. I mean, am I already having this conversation? What's next? Curfews and sleepovers?

Ellie: Oh.

Very jaded. As though she gets phone calls all the time.
Ellie takes the phone.

Ellie: (before Grant can get a word in edgewise- which is a pattern for those speaking with Ellie) Grant, how come you're not coming over today?

Silence. As though she is listening. I know better.

Ellie: Oh! But why aren't you coming over?

Silence. Ellie waves her hand at me as I take pictures of her very first phone call.

Ellie: Mommy is going to ballet.
Me: No, mommy is going shopping with Katie.
Ellie: (Surely interrupting Grant) Oh! Mommy is going shopping with Katie.
Ellie looks at me with interest.
Ellie: Are you going to Trader Joe's?

I nod and point to the phone which has slipped from her ear. I can hear Grant chattering away.

Ellie: Hi, Grant. Mommy? Will you get me a balloon at Trader Joe's.
Me: We'll see.
Ellie: Hey, Grant. I'm watching Peter Man. (That's Peter Pan for those of you who aren't up on Elliespeak.) Do you like Peter Man?
Ellie: Here daddy, Grant wants to talk to you.

Ellie hands the phone to Shane and I am left with a camera dangling from my hand, wondering if this is the first step towards my baby's independence. I watch her watching "Peter Man". The crocodile tick tocks onto the screen and Ellie shrieks with laughter. She sees me standing there and hurtles herself as she is wont to do, shouting, "Mommy!" with all that three year old enthusiasm. I kneel to catch her and prevent myself from being toppled to the floor. I inhale her sweaty preschooler scent and kiss her sticky hair (sticky because she wasn't quite able to keep her curls out of her collards).
"Save me, Smee. Save me," cries Captain Hook, throwing himself at his stumpy sidekick.
"Can you get me a balloon, mommy?" cries Ellie, throwing her arms around my neck.
I just try not to cry and throw away my concerns. For now, despite her very first phone call, my little Ellie is still little...and she is so getting a balloon.

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