I’m amazed at how quickly Em is picking up new things and I constantly wonder where he’s getting these new ideas from. Sometimes I think I get it, and other times he just starts doing something and I’m left scratching my head, wondering if he’s keeping night hours elsewhere.
They’re precise little human recorders, babies. It’s no wonder how they can turn out so graciously sweet or so horrifically angry.
His new thing is all about books. He loves reading books and then rereading books and then re-
re-reading books and, well, you get the picture.
He crawls down off of my lap, walks over to where his books are kept, grabs a new one, walks back over to me, hands me the book and then turns around and waits for me to pick him up and read to him. Now, I can’t believe he does this. I can’t believe he enjoys hearing me yammer on about ducks, curious monkeys and blue horses, green frogs, purple cats and jumping on the bed. One day I read Brown Bear so many times I lost count.
One day, however, each time I finished reading one of his books, I placed it in his basket of toys underneath Huggy Bear. (Not the guy from Starsky and Hutch.) I realize this doesn’t qualify me as a patron saint of motherhood, but I was going cross-eyed and I needed to do some chores around the house. I can’t just not do it, you know?
I’m pretty sure that the fuel used to run a parent consists of few parts guilt.
Anyway, I wonder what the record is for number of times someone’s read a Super Chunky Good For Me! book in one sitting.
Last week I took him to a local “World Music” class a family-oriented café here in Williamsburg called Mamalus. The management is thinking of offering weekly classes. They’ve been offering freebies for the last couple of weeks. Most of the classes seem to be for older children, but we signed up for the two that included his age group. (Incidentally, I have noticed that Em is kind of in a bit of a “no-man’s age group” when it comes to classes. He’s either too old or too young. But we make due.)
So, we arrived early and it was already packed. There was a couple standing at the corner holding several different instruments. They were obviously running the show.
They pulled out drums and rattles and moroccos and bells and then bigger drums—all types of instruments. We went around the great big circle and the Cuban music man sang out each baby’s name to the beat of a drum. When he got to Em, Em was unsure of how to react. I told the man his name and the man beat the drum and sang EMORY! EMORY! EMORY! EMORY! Em just stared up at him, open-mouthed and perplexed—not frightened, but maybe a little unsure. (Or maybe he was just recording it?)
After every child had their moment in the spotlight, the room erupted. Parents and nannies danced; children sang, babies waved their hands in the air. And I’d have declared it a room full of chaos had it not been belted together by song.
Since our visit, Em has begun this adorable sing-songy chant of sorts. At first I wasn’t sure what he was doing, but then I realized that every time I sing, or every time I turn on one of his musical toys he would react. It’s really adorable and strange and I want to dance all over again.
Children are capable of making those normally seduced by shame realize that the only thing shameful about life is feeling shame at all.
So, whenever Em is older and he lets us know how embarrassing we are, I’ll tell him he has only himself to blame. And then I’ll thank him.