As much as with cows and sheep, I’ve been spending time with babies. PIlar has 3100 of the first two species, and two of the second. Milly will be three in July, and Josie is a little past one. In the pickup truck, 150 kilometers, two and a half hours:
“WAHHH” is, I think, the only accurate transcription of a baby’s call.
“Joe-sie Joee,” Pilar’s husband, Wally shouts gleefully, a paragon of Australian accent, when Josie lets one loose after a particularly big bump in the road.
“Shosie Sho,” is Pilar’s softer call, equally delighted in the diaper-bottomed cherub.
Milly muchi seems a fitting name for Milly, the almost-three-year-old with crazy blonde curls, whose English vocabulary so far is limited to “Look!”, a few words of Baa-baa black sheep, and “Ouch!” the name of Wally’s sheepdog.
Ouch runs alongside the truck as we drive slowly over the fields. Milly runs as best she can across the backseat, sticks her arm out the wide open window. “Ouch! Ouch!”
When we come to a gate, Pilar hops out and opens it with Josie under her arm. She hops back in and Josie cries.
Pilar: Milly, Mama esta’ hablando. Milly!”
PIlar: “Queres un galletita, Milly?”Milly: “Siiii!!!
“to me: shshooahekak galletita (translation, you want some of my cookie?”
Mucha gracias milly!! She shakes around her curls and continues to break down the crumbs in her hand. She stares out the front windshield and then hops up and runs over to the window again with glee to look at the cows.
Wally drops his voice deep - “Moocowwww” - and Mily shrieks with delight.
It’s dark both times we leave the ranch, with two and a half hours ahead of us. Pilar nurses Josie in the back seat while Wally lets his iPod shuffle through songs alphabettically. After Brown Eyed Girl, Milly gets sleepy. Wally turns the music down and she sleeps, a small pink creature safe in a dark car with her dad at the wheel. PIlar keeps her eyes open, holds Milly’s hand.