L loves to get in on this game. So the newest twist is that whenever L is around, if she sees E cupping her hands to her face, if she hears the first syllable of LA--, she must join in. L either has not yet studied the phenomenon of hand-cupping or just doesn't care to try because she curls her hands up into loose fists and blocks her voice with her fingertips. What's even funnier, though, is that she doesn't even try to copy her sister's dialogue. And for a girl who repeats every word her big sister says, this is a bit of an interesting phenomenon so I believe she realizes the full comic effect of her actions. L instead mumbles at full volume. Have you ever heard a full-volume mumble in a falsely-deepened voice fall out of the excited, obstructed mouth of a one-year-old?
E yells LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!! and so L times her sounds and joins in: MUH-MUH MUH MUH-MUH-MUH!!
And they laugh so hard at each other that they must repeat themselves so they can laugh so hard at each other again. They laugh and they squeal and they shriek with happiness and I think: that's how all childhoods should always sound.
This morning we were driving in and the windows were down and I stopped us at a red light just as it was time to bring out those megaphones. The girls were doing their bit and cackling and doing their bit again and then we heard some legitimately deep voices. In the lane next to us was a huge Ford F-350 hauling a trailer filled with landscaping equipment. The cab of the truck was stuffed with what was surely a man:factory-installed-seatbelt ratio of illegal proportions. Their windows were down, too, and they were smiling at my girls. It might not even be an exaggeration to say that there may have been some landscaping man giggling going on, but I don't know if giggling is considered acceptably landscaping-manly. Quick to recognize an audience, my girls did their thing again. The guys laughed harder. Then the one nearest to us waved his hand outside his window and called in a kindly foreign accent, "hi, babies!"
L waved back happily. E screamed at him. I'm NOT A BABY! And you're not supposed to stick your hand out a window! It's NOT SAFE!! And I'm FREE-AND-A-HAFF!! To his credit, he tried to look chastised. To my consternation, the rest of the men laughed harder. This did not improve the tone in my vehicle. As the light turned green, I had to drive away Fast.
E tells me all the time about what she wants to do after the baby is born. Mama! And then, on the first day that we take the baby to school, we stand in the door of my classroom and you hide it behind your back. And then I'll jump into the doorway and say LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!! THE BABY! IS! HERE!!!!!!!