Monday, February 22, 2010

Zizi the Bear

If you should happen to see Zizi standing next to a tree and bobbing up and down, saying "That feels good!" enthusiastically, it's because she's Baloo. She'd really like to pull the tree up by the roots and rub her back with it, but we haven't started weightlifting with the kids yet. (Though it's a treat to see pink-faced Isabel moving one of my dumbbells from one room to the other, for who knows what nefarious purposes of her own.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zizi's chicken ambition, and James' night surprise

As I spooned out carrots and potatoes, and Marco began to carve off a drumstick, Isabel sat in her chair with her blue fork, waiting. This was all taking far too long for a hungry two year old. With a sudden look of wild surmise, she raised her tiny fork and planted it firmly into the 3-lb. roast chicken in front of her, whereupon she gamely attempted to lift the whole thing onto her plate.

James was asleep, and woke later, disconsolate, in the way that small children are when they've missed their naptime and fall asleep late, and unintentionally, only to wake a few hours later and find that there is no day left, and they are not tired enough to go to sleep for the night. After a few consoling measures to calm his tears, James sits and watches "Bedtime with Elmo" with me. Watches is almost certainly the wrong word. He sits with his back to the screen, and with a two foot Elmo in one hand, has him act out in the scene carrying on behind him, which he knows by heart. He doesn't speak, but Elmo turns the light on and off in the right places, looks in the right direction for every speech, and interacts with me as Elmo does with his Daddy in the movie. When I don't get Daddy's part quite right, James gently guides my movements. Soon we come to a poem. It is a poem in ASL, called "Night", that a young boy composed and performed. James, his back to the screen, and in the dark except for his small nightlight, performs it too, carefully and with expression. I watch, breathless, with a tear starting.

Here is the "Night" segment from Sesame Street.