Thursday, November 3, 2011

Moo, Baa

Little Bug is a la-la-la kind of guy.

There's a book by Sandra Boynton, Moo, Baa, La La La, that is hugely popular with the toddler set. I've read it to lots of little kids, and it has something for everyone--animal sounds, silly drawings, and opportunities for personal creativity. By far the most popular line in my experience--which was extensive when I was a daycare teacher--is "No, no, you say, that isn't right!" This generally makes toddlers shriek with joy. "No" is pretty much the most fun word you can think of.

But not Bug. In the picture above, he is responding to his second favorite line: "Rhinoceroses snort and snuff." He pouts his lips out and snuffles, which generally makes his mamas laugh out loud. He sort of stares into the middle distance when you get to the "no no" part. He likes to make the cow sound, and the sheep sound, but then when you say, "Three singing pigs say la la la!" that's when he shrieks. "La la la la la la!" he says, "la la la!" until he falls over giggling.

That seems to be how he makes his way through life.

Earlier this week, when the power was out and and the house got to be down to 55 degrees, Mama Jennifer and I were starting to get kind of stressed. Little Bug thought the whole thing was a riot. Snow falling on his face made him tilt his head back, stretch out both his arms, open his mouth, and laugh and laugh. Lights out...well, that seemed kind of weird--he kept pointing to the light switches and reaching up, like, if were just taller I could help you out with this. You really should think about putting the lights on. Flashlights got a big grin, especially when he could hold it, and everyone curled up under lots of covers in the bed was just about as good as it could get. The only thing he really minded were diaper changes, never his favorite, and having his butt naked in the cold didn't improve his feelings about them. But all and all the whole thing didn't trouble him much, despite the fact that he didn't even own a warm coat. Friends had their baby tucked up in a sort of tailored blanket thing, like Bug is wearing above. We badly wanted one. Now that the heat's been on at our house for days (although we still have relatives and friends without heat, now 5 days after the storm), the snow is melting, and the roads are becoming passable again, we have a winter coat, a snow suit, and two warm blanket things. Now we are prepared for the last disaster, and almost certainly not the next one.

But Bug isn't trying to protect himself from an unpredictable future. We went to the mall and looked high and low for boots that were warm and fit. Finally, just as we were getting ready to give up, we found a guy in a scary Halloween costume--looking all hangman-ish, in black with a long lanky haired wig--to fit him for boots. They looked warm, they fit, they weren't funny we put them on him while he sat in my lap. When I set him down and asked him to walk, he didn't. He answered his own question instead: he started to dance. Funny boy just wanted to know if he could dance in those big boots.

That's my la la la guy.

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