Sunday, April 6, 2008

What's in a name

October 10, 2007

We stopped counting your vocabulary because it’s so big. When we’re driving you’ll yell out “MIX!” when we pass a cement mixer, or “under the bridge!” when we’re about to pass underneath. There’s a sculpture of a red elephant on New Hampshire Avenue that we pass every day. You see it and say “red eleshant!” and one beat later, “more red eleshant?” You most frequently express this desire for repeat visitation with vehicles. When we pass a fire truck, you always ask “more fire truck?” Sometimes you’ll add an adjective, like when we see a Metro bus and it leads you to ask, “school bus?” Then you’ll ask, “blue school bus?” And I’ll say “let’s look for a blue school bus.” You’ll add other things, and I repeat a list, until I’m saying something like, “Okay, let’s look for a blue school bus, and a man, and a lady, and a bicycle, and a yellow truck, and an ambulance.” When you’re satisfied we’ve built the list you say “yeah. Yep. Yep.” And then we keep looking – for more horses, which leads us to look for cows; for birds flying, which lead to looking for airplanes and maybe helicopters; and this is how you stay occupied and happy in the car, along with dictating our music. (Your current favorite: “Name-oh.” Known to the rest of the world as B.I.N.G.O. As soon as you hear the dog barking in the lead-in to the song, you always yell, “Name-oh coming!”)

Today’s addendum

You also called “Twinkle, twinkle little star” by a phrase from the middle of the lyrics - for the longest time you called it “How I why-why,” which was later more carefully pronounced “how I wonder.” You were already letting the car DJ know you wanted “How I why-why” when we went to the beach for Shavuot. You were about sixteen months then. And the alphabet song wasn’t known by A.B.C., as it is for most kids; you always had to add a little more, and call it A.B.C.D. You’re twenty-six months old and counting now, and even though you speak in paragraphs you refer to Old Macdonald’s Farm as E.I.O. There's the popular Ipsy Bipsy Spider. And you call your favorite song BLAH BLAH Black Sheep, which makes me laugh every time. Pin It