Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vie Frankie: Part 1

Frankie's sparkling eyes and winning smile took Armenia by storm.  It actually started in the Moscow airport during our three hour layover.  Once we were admitted into our gate's waiting area, Frank had made three friends: #1 Leonah (who ended up giving Judi delicious Russian chocolates because it was her birthday) was a 28 year old rep for CATAPILLAR® and had just come back from Europe, #2 Medz Babig (a grandpa) who had Frankie on his lap and was singing to him, and #3 Medz Tatig (no relation to the old man but a few chairs down).  Within minutes Frankie had both of the octogenarian's cell phones and was dancing around with music they had programmed in their phones.  They were laughing and clapping with Frankie as the entire waiting area looked on.  Once we landed in Yerevan and got through the Passport checking station, which took quite awhile that once we were to baggage claim everyone was long gone.  Mind you, it is now 4:00am and 16+hours in planes, 3½+ hours in cars.  …So there we are with our 5 suitcases and 5 boxes, each weighing 50 pounds, packed strategically on the airport luggage carts (Hyestan has really cool ones that are way more substantial with little seats in front for kids to sit, like in grocery carts).  We have Peter sitting in one with Kalem pushing and Frankie in the other.  Of course, Frankie is in his standard tired pose, pointer & middle finger of right hand in mouth, left arm bent, inside of elbow to nose and sucking fingers vigorously.  One of the armed security guards in the baggage claim area came right up to Frankie and in Armenian said, "Take your fingers out of your mouth!"  (We learned very quickly; …as soon as we got into our AEROFLOT plane in Los Angeles, that finger sucking was a NO-NO…, you should have seen all the looks we got from the passengers in rows 21 and 23 and those in seats F & G!)  Then he started this game with Frankie and pretty soon another officer and a woman in lost baggage were all laughing and playing with Frankie!  The officers even tried to speak English to cajole Frank to remove his digits, but Frankie just laughed and smiled that anooshig smile that turns his eyes into half moons, and kept his fingers firmly in his mouth!  We waved goodbye and saw our relatives at the exit doors waiting for us to come out.  No sooner did we step out of the airport did, Sam, Vram, and Ashot all tell Frankie, "Get your fingers out of your mouth!"  

Fast forward to Easter Sunday.  Frankie is sitting on Kalem's lap in the 2 hour service and is getting into "nappy" mode.  The fingers go into mouth and the sucking begins.  A stocky, full-figured woman in her 60's with a long grey, knit one, purl two, sweater vest and curly salt & pepper hair turns around to stare at Frankie.  As she turned her head Frankie turned his and their eyes locked.  Now, I was sitting directly behind the woman so I can only relay Frankie's reactions to her.  Apparently she scowled at him and then I saw her shake her finger at him.  Frankie's eyebrows went up in surprise and then immediately fell and he pulled his wet digits out, holding them in mid air as if suspended in time.  She faced front again and Frank held his stare at the back of her head.  When he was relatively certain the danger had passed, the fingers were securely back in place.  Moments later the woman on "Finger-Patrol" turned around again and again Frankie's fingers came out as if she had a string connected to him that she pulled with her disapproving look.  This went on for about five minutes.  Sometimes Frankie didn't even get a chance to land his fingers inside before she looked and the hand went down.  At one point "Miss Grey Sweater Gestapo" turned and gave me the, 'I can't BELIEVE you let your child suck his fingers' look.  I was a bit annoyed and was feeling like I should tell her, "The service is going on in FRONT of you, Pay attention to Jesus NOT FRANKIE!, but of course, I refrained!  

Frankie still gets questioned, glared at, and man-handled but he goes right on sucking his fingers…; besides doesn't he look like he can hold his own with his "tough-guy" undershirt and crew-cut!  Vie Frankie!

1 comment:

Karen G. said...

Who IS this kid???

I'd let him suck his fingers.