Today I invite you to leave commonsense behind and join my family for a beautiful, absurd adventure.
For months, Spike has been talking about her “world”. This alternate universe comes up at least twice a day and holds Grandfathers who teach her how to do things and her very own computer and iPad (Apple, of course), a friend named Desi who gets beat up by her brothers and is sometimes mean to Spike and, the most recurring character, her flying horse, Kiyango. Kiyango is referenced so frequently and convincingly that my mom actually got Spikey a Kiyango ornament for Christmas this year. She can tell you everything about her world. She’ll even draw you a map, complete with landmarks and detailed step-by-step instruction on how to get there.
With this background, our journey can begin. It started last night, when she demanded we go to her world, so she could retrieve her computer. (Truth be told, I was pretty sympathetic. I hate when you’re up against a deadline and forget your dang computer.)
This went on forever until finally a promise to go first thing after breakfast the next day brought the expedition to a halt.
And so, Sunday morning, 12 hours after the initial proposed departure time, me, Hank, Sloppy Joan, JoJo and Mya geared up to fall in line behind our fearless leader Spike, and head for her world.
Because there is a giant pond in Spike’s World, she first came down dressed in this little number …
But settled on some polka dot pants and a more-sensible shoe. Off we went: Two parents, one strapped up with a hairy baby, a dog and an older sister. All following a 3 year old who seemed to know exactly where she was going and was in a huge hurry to get there.
But being the middle child can be tough. And being the middle child getting a lot of attention can be especially tough on the oldest child. And as our adventure advanced, JoJo started poking. First she said she’d “already been there and knew how to get there herself.” Ouch. Then she started racing her. Then she started throwing full-on shade about the endeavor in general.
Daddy dropped the hammer and took big sis home for a little timeout and talking to. Spike couldn’t care less. She pressed on, veering off the path and through the common area, chatting the whole way. At one point, we were looking for a rainbow to jump on. A few minutes later, we would be holding hands and dropping from a cliff onto a cloud (How everyone wishes Thelma and Louise would have ended). And then we found a patch of tall, prickly brush and homegirl decided to really go off the grid.
I was hesitant …
She crunched around until a big bird flew by and she decided it was heading for her world and we should track it. We walked by a tree full of Specks and her mind was blown for a solid 3 minutes. “We are here! We are here! We are here!” we chanted.
About 15 minutes into the trek now and “so close” to her world, she came upon a small ditch or stream or trickle of runoff (not sure what one calls this particular body of water).
What followed was a handful of minutes where I watched Spike pump herself up to walk through, essentially, a giant puddle, and then geek out and abort the crossing. We had come to the biggest obstacle on our route to Spike World. A river ran through it, and it was rocking sister’s world, until …
As I went to high five my trailmate, I noticed some dead weight. I looked down and …
Time for Mom to tap out. As if on cue, Hank, JoJo and the dog came strolling through the grass. Spike was ready to lead them straight through someone’s backyard and onto the final destination. Needless to say, I don’t think they made it past the cattails.
I am an educated, reasonable, incredibly realistic woman, but I would be lying if I didn’t say a small part of me wished a rainbow had dropped down from the sky with Kiyango all saddled up and ready to go. I mean, her imagination is so intricate and contagious, and I think all of us wanted to take a bath in the big pond and shoot the shit with Desi. Alas, it was only a walk. But a fun walk. And as soon as she got home, Spikey came upstairs, put her hand to her mouth and said in my ear, “Mama, tomorrow, I’m going to take you to my world.”