Evelyn Allison column: Little Miss Blue Eyes

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 8, 2007

By Evelyn Allison

For The Salisbury Post

Eyes like big blue saucers, skin as white as snow cream, and a sprinkling of freckles across her nose — that’s my Abigail.

Taking care of my 2-year-old granddaughter while her mama teaches nursing classes is quite an adventure for “Maw.” Getting lots of one-on-one attention seems to suit that little bundle of energy.

Hours slip by while we sail off to the Land of Make-Believe. Cinderella and Snow White are honored guests at our tea party. As I sipped my imaginary tea, I remembered the lesson Willie Dillie Smith taught a group of school kids years ago: “Keep that pinkie sticking out like the rich folks do.” After all these years, I can still remember the roar of laughter, and I wouldn’t dare sip Abigail’s tea without my pinkie sticking out in proper fashion.

Next, we made a stop at Farmer Joe’s red barn. Abigail delighted in catapulting plastic animals out of the loft. A horse, pig, a moo cow. And could it be a giraffe, a hippopotamus and a dinosaur? Anything is possible when great pretenders go on a trip to the farm.

Abigail took off to her bedroom as fast as her legs would carry her. It was time to bring out the Raggedy Anns and the one lone Andy. I smiled when I saw the almost-loved-to-death old orange-haired Ann that was one of my daughter Katrena’s favorite possessions when she was 2.

I remember cutting out and sewing each of the Raggedys, lacing a lot of love into each stich. My kids got a kick out of helping stuff them. When I attached the black button eyes, it seemed to bring their embroidered faces to life.

Abigail and I encountered a few Raggedy emergencies. One dolly had lost her apron … and horrors! One had lost her PANTIES! After a finger shaking baby-talk reprimand, Little Miss Blue Eyes allowed them to attend our tea party.

A stop by the make-believe hospital found stuffed animals and favorite dolls sharing a bed. Nurse Abigail carefully tucked a blanket around them and cared for them, one and all. She had an impish smile when she made the rounds giving shots. It was so cute to watch her go back and soothe those who were crying. Just so I wouldn’t feel left out, she gave me several shots.

Finally Abigail got weary of pretending and climbed into my lap with a book.

“Read, Maw, read,” she pleaded.

That little one loves books, especially the story of Snow White.

Just when things settled down, alarm registered in those blue eyes, and she sounded the alarm.

“Potty, I need go potty, Maw.”

We scurried to the bathroom, scattering patients along the way. Hurray! Success!

Later, I noticed a Raggedy Ann perched primly on Daddy’s computer printer tray. Abigail explained, “Ann go potty, too.”

The grand finale came when rain started falling. We watched the pitter-patters in the birdbath, marveled at the way raindrops cling to leaves and hoped to see Itsy-Bitsy Spider come down the water spout. As we watched nature’s real-life wonders became as fascinating as make-believe.

Gradually the Abigail chatter came to a lull, and her strawberry blonde head rested on my chest. When those blue eyes closed in peaceful little-kid sleep, I stroked her cheek, hugged her close and wished that moment could last forever. It doesn’t get any better than that.