Leta and I are playing with a board game on the floor of her room while Jon is taking a shower. She draws a card that has a blue square on it, moves her player to the next blue square, and then discards her card on the side of my face. I’m lying with my right cheek pressed firmly to the floor so that the pressure of gravity might relieve some of the paralyzing pain that another sinus infection is causing on that side of my head. At least, I think it is another sinus infection, because it feels exactly the same as the one I had last month, except this one came with a fever and an inability to stop talking about it. More than once in the last few days Jon has kindly pointed out that I am acting just like a man.
After three or four minutes of this particular game Leta gets bored and suggests we play something else. I say sure, as long as it doesn’t require me to remove my head off the floor, and she says, “I’ll be Boots!”
“If you’re Boots, then who am I?” I ask her.
“You’ll be Dora!” she says. Which, fine, whatever. I never get to be Boots, I always have to be Dora. And I guess it isn’t so bad when you consider that Jon also has to be Dora whenever he plays this game with Leta. And then I get to tease Dora about her very hairy legs.
For several minutes we act out the various parts of a Dora book, like figuring out what’s in our backpack, and asking the map what the next stop is on our journey, and we even sing the Grumpy Old Troll song, which is always my favorite part because then I don’t have to pretend as much. Dora usually begins all of her adventures with a destination in mind, like the library, or the big blue mountain, or sometimes even rehab, and I suddenly remember that we haven’t acted out that part yet.
“Boots!” I say. “I can’t believe we forgot the most important part!”
“The most important part?” she asks.
“Yeah, you know. WHERE ARE WE GOING!”
“Where are we going?” she repeats as a question.
“YES! WHERE ARE WE GOING?!” I scream it as if it is only the most important question ever asked, and wait for her to say either the tall mountain or the chocolate tree as those are the destinations in the two Dora books that she has read more times than this website has given my father hives.
She brings both hands over her head, starts wiggling her fingers with unrestrained excitement, and yells, “TO THE STORE TO GET SOME GUMMY BEARS!”