Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Narcissus is no longer smiling

For E, the birth of L and the advent of the era of television are the same thing. She began to watch one show per evening when M returned to work after L's birth and I was juggling evenings by myself with two children for the first time. One toddler show gave L just enough time to nurse, and E just enough time to calm her hyper self enough to eat dinner following its conclusion.
So E met Barney, and fell in love. And she sang his song. All The Time. "I love you/you love me/we're a happy family/with a great big hug/and a kiss from me to you/won't you say you love me, too." And she was so cute about it. The lyrics were always accompanied by actual, real hugs and kisses. Unmitigated toddler affection. But the best part was E's understanding of the first line of the song. Unlike the line you recognized, the one your brain is regrettably repeating on a loop right now, E sang "You love me/you love me..." Because she's two, so it is, of course, all about her. (This is the same kid who likes to say, "Mama, I'm your friend.") And her version just cracked me up.
But in the past month, something in E's understanding of sentence structure has really clicked. She no longer says, "Mama, sit in my lap?" She can now say, "Sit in your lap?" Gone are all the confused gender pronouns that marked her earlier conversations. And Barney's song is now begun conventionally, with the first-person.
I'm sure this marks a cognitive achievement, and yes, our little girl is growing up, and isn't the developing mind a little miracle, and all that. But her version was all I enjoyed about watching Barney. That chirpy purple twerp has nothing left to offer me. Pin It