This week, because no Rock news managed to pique my interest, I have imagined how it would feel to be Dwayne Johnson’s two-year-old daughter Jasmine.
In my enormous room I wake up from another nap. Rubbing my eyes I flip my covers off myself and hop out of bed. I open the door and I can hear my father’s voice, coming from what sounds like the kitchen. He is so loud. I waddle downstairs and I see that he and Mommy are holding each other. Yuk. Totally gross. I shout that I want some breakfast and swing my arms around. They let go of each other and Daddy walks over to me.
“Hey sweety. Did you have a nice sleep?”
He picks me up like no one else can – one second I am on the floor; the next I am lifted high, high above his head, each of his enormous arms holding my side. I feel so safe and I look down at his stupid big face and he is smiling, his eyes wide open, and I can see the top of his head. He looks so funny. He transfers me to his right arm, cradling me while I suck my thumb.
Then he tells me that he has to go to work - “to make that bread”. I know that Daddy pretends to be other people for films and such things and I know that he has never made any bread. But that’s OK; he says a lot of things that don’t make sense to me, like “It don’t matter what your name is” straight after asking me to tell him my name, and he’s always talking about what he’s cooking even though it’s mainly Mommy who does the cooking (but sometimes we get takeout).
I didn’t see Daddy yesterday so I want to see him some more right now. Yesterday Mommy helped me paint my nails. That gives me an idea! So I make a noise to tell him that I want him to let me down and, when he has, I take his big hand in both of my hands and drag him towards my pens. I’m going to paint Daddy’s nails.
“N’aw, Jasmine baby, Daddy’s got to make the bread.” He’s going on about bread again but when he sees that I can’t climb onto the counter by myself, he lifts me up from under the armpits and plops me down next to the pens.
“OK,” I say, and take the lid off my yellow pen. Yes, yellow will be good. I take his hand and put it flat on the counter. “Yellow,” I tell him. “Pretty.”
“Haha. OK, sweety,” he says. He looks over at Mommy and I see that she is smiling back at him. I paint one nail yellow, one nail red, one nail black, one nail green, and one nail blue. When he says, “What’s everyone gonna think of me now?” I giggle. His hands look like my hands but so much bigger.
While I’m painting the nails on the next hand he reaches into his pocket with the other and gets his phone out. Man, he’s always using that thing. I don’t have one but I’m sure not gonna use it as often as he does when I do have one. He has so many photos of himself – more pictures of him than photos of me! He takes a photo and I pretend not to notice – I am busy making his big hand look pretty.
“You gonna Instagram that?” Mommy asks him. “Oh yeah,” he says. I have no idea what they’re talking about. Now I have finished his hands, they look so pretty.
“All right, sweety, Daddy’s gotta go,” he says.
“Make the bread!” I tell him, sticking my thumbs up. He laughs – very very loudly – and kisses my forehead. Then he kisses Mommy and he leaves, waving as he shuts the door.
Stay hungry, stay humble.
(Illustration: Dan Evans)