Kaia is fast approaching 17-months and has already developed an amazing sense of observation. She doesn’t have many words, but the few things she does know pop out at the most unexpected times… and NEVER when solicited.
She has developed some preferences and is really into the PBS Kids show “It’s a Big, Big World.” She is even beginning to identify favorite characters on the show including Snook, Ick and Oko, and it is just blowing me away how much she is paying attention to.
Last Friday, I took her for a hike around town. It was a sultry 28 degrees outside, and I thought it would be okay to take her to the park. On the way back, we stopped at the post office to thaw out and meet a few new people with some interesting features.
Many of the Barrow locals have not had access to the health and dental care that we have been accustomed to in the past, and some are victims of frostbite or the genetic defects of inbreeding. I’m not sure which was the case with a very nice older man we met at the post office. He was wearing oversized, thick yellow eyeglasses over his dark, round face with hints of purple scarring from frostbite. As an elderly man, his hands and face were well weathered, even by Arctic standards, and he was wearing a white fur ruff on the hood and sleevs of his parka. When he smiled, he revealed a large broken-toothed grin, and it was evident that Kaia had won his heart.
He was very friendly and kept her entertained for a good 15 minutes. I was a little nervous, and kept vigilaint watch, but Kaia was laughing, playing peek-a-boo and having a great time. She kept saying “Oko, Oko, Oko” which is very close to the Inupiat word “Aka” which means Grandpa. The man thought that she was so culturally advanced, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that she didn’t know that word.It didn’t occur to me what she was saying until this morning while we were watching “It’s a Big, Big World.” When Oko came on, Kaia got all excited and repeated “Oko, Oko, Oko!” I immediately remembered her friend from the post office and had a good laugh about the amazing correlation. In case you haven’t seen the show, here is a picture of Oko.
I just wish I had a picture of the man to give you the full comparison... hum... how would I explain that one? "Excuse me Sir., can I take your picture so that I can compare you to a baboon?" Yah, not so p.c... I just hope I have done the story justice with my description.