I’m reading a story to the three year old on the couch. She slides down and goes to stand in front of the armoire mirror. She holds an arm straight up over her head and looks at herself a good long while.
“Hammy, do I have a armpit?”
“Yes,” I answer. “Yes you do.” (The story we’re reading has nothing to do with armpits.)
“Is dis it?”
She indicates the small depression under the small arm.
“But I don’t see any hair.”
A grandma knows this is where adults tend to want to veer off into too many details. Her Abba will be home soon and I’ll be sure to hand this one over to him.
She has a big crush on her Abba. There are several hints. She pretend-calls him on the phone and when I ask how Abba’s doing at work she flexes her arms in the classic comic book bodybuilder pose and says,
“Abba is a big strong man.”
Of course she also mimics everything her mommy does. She’s just begun to notice the differences between an Abba and a Mommy. Past the armpits, I will not venture. This time it’s not my job. I get to sit back and relax and congratulate myself on having raised the Mommy who will, along with Abba, be called on to explain many things in the near future, including the whys and wherefores of hair under the armpits of various people. Some days it’s good to be the Hammy.
Ó By Anita Garner 2008