She enters the house like a princess on an official visit. She is 3 years old, 3 feet tall and wears a pink tutu and glittery boots.
“I am Sofia. Who are you?”
“I am Manuela.”
Her Mom, Dad and grandmother (my mother’s best friend) accompany Sofia. We all laugh, kiss, exchange how-are-you’s and then we talk about Sofia’s activities, clothes and presents. But then someone says something wrong, we don’t know exactly who and what exactly disturbs Sofia and she goes in a huff. She climbs onto the armchair and turns her face to the wall, letting us stare at her long brown hair.
I stand up from the couch and ask her:
“Do you wanna come see my room?”
She agrees and lets me take her hand, still frowning.
She uses words like “spectaculos” (spectacular) do describe my mother’s cakes, “minunat” (wonderful) for our Christmas tree and “abrupt” (steep) at the sight of the stairs.
We go up the stairs slowly. Sofia holds my hand.
I present her my bed, my desk and I help her climb on the radiator so she can see the view from the window. She catches interest in a soap bubble maker and agrees to sing carols just for me.
“But the mothers can’t hear us?”, Sofia worries.
“They can’t hear us from here”, I reply.
Six seconds pass.
“Are you sure they can’t hear us?” Sofia reiterates.
“I’m very sure”, I assure her.
“Who bit from that apple?” she asks me, looking at an apple forgotten on a shelf.
“I did and then I realised it’s not a good apple and just left it there. I should probably throw it away.”
Then she whispers a poem about Santa and pies and presents.
“Did you say it so quietly”, I ask, “because that’s how you usually say it or because you don’t want them to hear us from downstairs?”
“I don’t want them to hear us from downstairs.”
“But they can’t hear us! We can talk loudly.”Then I shout: “Hey mothers, can you hear us? Yoo-hoo! See, they can’t hear us.”
Then she says another poem, this one very short, so short I don’t really know what it is about.
And then she sighs and sings with a low voice that grows a bit stronger towards the end.
Here is the recording of Sofia’s Christmas carols, as she sings them in my room on the first day of Christmas (good speakers or earphones needed).
Photo: Sofia’s tutu and little feet.