Monday, February 16, 2009

Explosions and Fires

Emily is going through what experts refer to as a "language explosion". I read somewhere that at this age, kids are learning a new word every 90 minutes, which is amazing to think about. I believe it though. Today alone she learned to say "heart", "fly", "circle", and "octagon" (we got a new talking shape puzzle). And those are just the ones she said a bunch of times. There were probably others she learned but just filed away for later. She also said "Shoe off", which is one of her first 2-word combos, if not THE first. She was a late starter, but she's definitely off and running now. And the best part is, she can now say "poopy", so she tells me when her diaper needs to be changed, although it's only actually poopy sometimes. Potty training here we come!

I like the talking thing so far. It's great to finally get to see a little bit of what's going on inside the mind of this person you've spent the last 21 months with, even if it's only what their simple vocabulary can express. She has become a bit more demanding now that she can talk more though. These last few days she's gone to bed willingly enough, but as soon as she's in the crib her eyes get all big and she says "Fish-eee?" (or "Hoppy?" or "Minnie?", or inevitably whatever stuffed animal I've forgotten to bring upstairs) and then I have to go find the requested toy. Once she has her toy, she needs to be tucked in with the correct blanket, which changes every night based on her mood, and sometimes several times a night. Tonight she even decided the pajamas she was wearing were unacceptable and made me change her into her Christmas pajamas that she had glimpsed in the closet, waiting to be packed away. But we eventually get things all figured out and arranged to her liking.

Oh yeah, and she learned the word "firetruck" too today, as there were three of them parked right outside our window this evening, along with a brush fire unit, a police car, and an ambulance. I was chatting with Will on the phone as we drove home from the gym (in separate cars...we don't use cell phones when we can see each other, I promise) and all of a sudden he said "I see a lot of smoke...Oh my God, there's a house on fire!" I got a bit alarmed because I knew he was close to home, and asked "Where?!?!?!" "Our neighbor's! I'm calling 911!" was his semi-comforting reply.

When I got home a couple minutes later, I saw clouds of sparks billowing out of our neighbor's chimney. Luckily the firetrucks were there quickly, plus the fire seemed to lessen instead of spreading, so it stayed confined in the chimney and it all seemed to work out fine in the end. I was a bit nervous looking at the third firetruck, which parked right by my front door. Was that one sent and positioned to put out the neighboring houses if the fire spread? I SO didn't even want to think about that. And I now see the leyland cypress border in our backyard less as a convenient privacy hedge, and a little more as a convenient conduit for fires approaching from neighboring houses, eek!

We live very close to a fire station, and I've always felt more happy than not about that. True, the sirens wake me up at night sometimes, but they sure got here fast! It also confirmed that those firetrucks are indeed the ones that would respond to our area if we need help. I remember going on a tour of our town as a kid and hearing stories about how there used to be several fire companies and each house had a plaque on the front to show what fire station they paid for service. If a house right next to a certain fire station was buring down, that fire station wouldn't do anything about it unless the house had that fire station's plaque on the front. I know it's completely mental, I KNOW 911 sends whoever's closest, but I always secretly worried that there might be some kind of districting issue that would mean we "belonged" to a different fire station or something crazy like that. Mental note: bake cookies, put my address on the platter, and deliver to close firestation.

And can I just say, no matter how many times it happens, I'm still shocked at how potently music can bring back memories? My Bombay Dreams CD went missing years ago, and Will just downloaded the album for me tonight. I started listening to it and WOW. It's just flashes...moments that aren't anything all that special, but for some reason the music you were listening to at the time becomes fused with the memories and they come back SO strongly and in such great detail when you hear it again. When I heard the first track, it was all of a sudden spring 2004, it's beautiful and warm out, the sun is setting, and I'm driving my Audi (GOD I miss that car) back from the gym to go home and make dinner. And there's also sitting in the Apollo Victoria theater in London a couple weeks later watching in astonishment as an older couple seemed to be randomly sitting in whatever two seats they could find, and being forced to move over and over as the real ticket-holders for those seats showed up, and they actually seemed to be arguing each time they were asked to move. Our astonishment turned to anger when they were still being asked to move after the show started, and their confused milling made us miss the entire first scene. Grrrr.

And sadly, there's also the memory of going to see the Maryland Ensemble Theater's production of Lysistrata (which was terrible) and being blown away when the cast inexplicably burst into a rendition of Shakalaka Baby at the end. I wasn't aware that Bollywood even existed back when Aristophanes was writing his comedies. Shows how much I know.

Thanks for allowing me a trip down memory lane. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I used to drive an awesome car and go to see cultural performances while wearing clothing that was absolutely free of peanutbuttery handprints.

Of course hearing Emily yell "POOPY!" is just as good as all of that :-)

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