Joanna Hast Lost She’s Head

19th September 2014

It’s Saturday morning and I’m trying to write.  Sophie, who’s 3 (“I’m a big girl now.”) comes rushing into my room.

“I have some bad news,” she reports.  “One of the Legos, the Lego peoples, not the old Legos, not the ones from Christmas, not them. No. The new Legos, one of the new Legos, from Livya’s birthday party, you know them Legos?”

There’s a pause in her monologue and I have a moment to put all of this information into some sort of context.  My thoughts flicker to old Lego and I remember the two buckets of Lego I had as a kid.  There were only a few colours in Lego back then; red, blue, yellow and white.  We had two sacred hinge pieces that seemed like the most amazing technology; you could build a house that opened with those hinges.  Once, when we had completed the house my older sister wanted to decorate it.  She got out some nail polish and painted a clock on the interior wall of the house.  I dobbed on her.

I feel ashamed and force my memories forward.

The “old Lego” that Sophie-the-big-girl is talking about is circa 2013.  It’s a house with garden and pool; this “old” set includes a swing, a slippery dip, an oven with opening door, fridge (also opens), lawnmower, a 2-piece folding shower door, swivelling flat screen TV and a hooded BBQ.  It also came with teeny tiny hotdogs, salt and pepper shakers, plates, outdoor umbrella, carrots and a cat.  (Once, I vacuumed up a hotdog, but because Lego is like the Tupperware of toys, I hunted through the vacuum barrel to retrieve the tiny piece of plastic.  It’s probably worth $3.50.)

“The new Legos, Mum?!” Sophie insists.

The new Lego. Yes, I know it.  Olivia (aka Livya) was given a jeep and caravan Lego set from her aunty, my sister; the same sister who nail polished a clock on the Lego house wall.  This new jeep and caravan Lego is a pretty pastel set with curved pieces, swivelling pieces, hinges, windows, wheels and an axel.  There are even stickers, so the girls won’t have to nail polish on a number plate.

“Yes,” I tell Soph’ confidently.  “I know the new Legos.”

“Well, the girl, the Joanna girl, you know that one?”

I nod.  At this stage I’m lying, but seriously – who can keep up with all the doll names?

“Joanna hast lost she’s head.”  Sophie-The-Big-Girl looks at me solemnly.

I laugh.

“It’s not funny, Mum.”  She stamps her foot.  “I can’t find it anywhere.”

I push away from my writing desk and follow The Big Girl into the lounge room.  I begin searching under the lounge, scouring through the dirt, the dust bunnies,  the hair, the pencils, the socks and oh-my-god-is-that-toast?  I find one magnetic letter, a home reader and four Barbie shoes.  I can hear Sophie-The-Big-Girl moving things around and saying “No. No. No.”  Still on my hands and knees, I shift the curtains and find a big balled up sphere of  grey play doh.  It is hard like a rock but has left a moist grey doughy circle on the floorboard.

“I can’t find it, sorry Soph’.”  I stand up hearing one knee click.

“What?” The Big Girl looks at me distractedly from the drawer of DVD’s.  “What you looking for, Mum?” Before I can answer she flips some more movies aside.  “No. No. No. Can I watch this?”  She waves Dora in my face.

“Yeah, of course you can.”  I stagger back to my writing desk.  I sit down and try to get back to my last thought, the thing I was thinking before Joanna lost she’s head.  But, like Joanna’s plastic head, my thought is gone.

Fear not, good reader.  Joanna’s head will be found.  It will be nestled in the shag pile rug.  I will find it, in the dark, beneath my bare foot.  As for my thought, it’s gone for good.


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