“Somebody wants to talk to her Auntie Jane!”
I’m interviewing my brother’s five-year old daughter today. She loves talking on the phone and I’ve had the immense pleasure of speaking to her more often than usual while we’re all in self isolation.
Coraline is clever, vivacious and charming. Once, she accidentally stepped on her grandpa’s foot as she was passing him. He joked, “Coraline, you just stepped on my foot.” Her reply was, “Oh, well I’m sorry. You were in the way.”
Another time Coraline’s mom was telling us how good Coraline had been while getting her flu shot, so she had taken her out afterwards for a donut. Coraline overheard our conversation, walked up to her mom and asked, “May I have another flu shot, please?”
After a moment of rustling noises I hear a small voice say, “Hi. My name is Coraline. How are you today?”
Me: I’m good. What have you been doing today?
Coraline: I put Yummy in the freezer.
Yummy is Coraline’s stuffed lamb. Yes, Yummy. My brother named her during Easter dinner several years ago and she’s Coraline’s favorite toy. When they visit my sister, who has a very energetic (and slightly destructive) dog, Coraline keeps Yummy in a glass mason jar so she doesn’t get eaten. Recently Coraline’s mom went into her room and found it covered in string. Coraline had tied string to all angles of her room. When asked why, Coraline replied, “So Yummy can practice her limbo-ing.”
Me: May I ask you a few questions, Coraline?
Q: Why do we have to stay inside? A: Because of the virus
Q: What do you miss most? A: I miss going to the pool
Q: What’s your favorite TV show? A: Paw Patrol
Q: What’s your favorite movie? A: Frozen II
Q: Do you like Elsa or Anna better? A: Kittens! (She got distracted at this point)
Q: What’s your favorite song to dance to? A: “PJ Masks”! (Coraline started to sing me the PJ Masks theme song. I have no clue what she was saying).
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: A butterfly! (Like all children, this answer changes constantly. Last time she wanted to be a mermaid and before that “a daddy”)
Q: What’s your favorite book? A: Cleopatra in Space
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do with your mommy and daddy since you’ve been home? A: Flower arranging (Okay?)
Q: What do you miss most about school? A: My friends
Q: How old is Yummy? A: 67 years old
Q: What did Yummy want for Christmas? A: A tractor
Q: What’s your favorite color? A: Red….pink….actually rainbow
Q: What’s your favorite holiday? A: Halloween! Halloween! I get to watch movies and have hot chocolate and go trick or treating. (A few years ago they were having dinner with our parents and some Russian friends. Everyone was greeting each other and Coraline, who was very excited about going trick or treating the following week was asked by her mom, “What do we say Coraline?” The usual answer would be “hello”, but Coraline looked at the Russian guests and said, “trick or treat?”)
Q: What’s your favorite food? A: Cupcakes!
Q: What’s your least favorite food? A: Shrimp
Q: What’s your favorite sport to play? A: Soccer (she got tired during one of her last soccer games and tried to take a nap in the goal. Her coach had to coax her out so they could keep playing)
Q: What’s your daddy’s full name? A: Brian Daddy Roser
Q: Where do you want to go visit next year? A: Your house!
Q: Do you have any questions for me, Coraline? A: Umm, yes. What’s your favorite cuddly? (I didn’t realize that “cuddly” meant stuffed animal, so I answered “my cats”)
Q: Do you want to give the phone back to your daddy? A: Umm….actually I want to hang up.
And she did.
One of the many things I’m looking forward to when it’s safe to be with our loved ones again is giving this sweet little girl a big hug and finding out if Yummy ever made it out of the freezer okay.