12 March 2003 by Published in: Sophia No comments yet



This is my sacred hour. I’m supposed to be actually writing something, you
know real for this period, but I feel tired and unable to face

Bleah, five minute pause while I reboot my sluggish machine whose Terminal
window had locked up. When your basic command line windows start locking
up, you know it’s bad. It had not been the usual 33 days that my iBook
normally wants to be rebooted after, only 22 or so, but I have been hitting
Vim pretty heavily, running six or so sessions at a time. Vim occasionally
makes me restart my X sessions on linux, so I suppose I can’t be too
cantankerous with the laptop. I guess I could have tried logging out and
back in instead of rebooting, but that didn’t really occur to me. Anyways, I
don’t feel creative today, so I thought I’d spend an hour writing in the blog
instead. I’m sure all my faithful blog readers will be thrilled by this turn
of events.

Just now, at the hobby store, where Sophia was thoroughly engaged with the
train set, she said “Obtocus”. There was a train car filled with water and
a plastic octopus inside. I couldn’t believe she knew what it was and
could name it! She continually amazes and astounds me. She can do so
much. I have not yet told the story about the first phrase I recognized.
A few weeks ago, before my parents had left for Argentina, I was sitting
with Sophia in the great room and she was playing. She was babbling to
herself as she plays, something I believe all kids do. After a time,
though, I realized that it sounded like she was saying “Humpty Dumpty”. And
not just Humpty Dumpty, but In fact, she was saying “Humpy Dumpy sit the
waaaaaaaaaaaaawll” complete with the Southern drawl her primary caregiver

“Sophia? Are you saying Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall?” I asked
her, incredulous. She turned to me with bright and excited eyes, filled
with recognition and anticipation.

I said the entire rhyme.

Her face fell. She turned back to her toys in disappointment.


In a moment she was babbling again. I called my husband and my
parents over to hear her say “Humpty Dumpty sit the waaaaaaaaaaawll”. It
wasn’t just my imagination. Everybody agreed she was saying the nursery

“There must be some hand gestures. Or something. They must do it
differently at daycare,” I reasoned. The next day, my husband asked the
caregiver about Humpty Dumpty. The teacher demonstrated the hand signals
and told us about the “Boo Hoo!” they added at the end of the rhyme. When
Sophia started repeating the first line we joyously jumped in. We did the
hand signals. We exclaimed “Boo Hoo!” at the end, with our hands curled
up near our eyes to mime crying. Sophia grinned with delight, put her
hands up to her eyes like we had and shouted “Boo Hoo!” joyously. We’d
gotten it right, this time.

She is feeling so much better now than she was last weekend. She is
happy, and cheerful and playful. She’s a delight to be around. Today I
brought home a fresh batch of library books and she immediately wanted one
read to her. She chose the one with the cat on the cover and she said
“Cat! Cat!”.

I don’t know if this can be considered a “lovey” or not, but Sophia has
become seriously attached to her beanie baby bears. She must have one with
her at all times, especially in the car to and from daycare, though she
doesn’t seem particular about which one. The same size as her bears was her
duck “Ping”, a gift to her from Dave
and Becky when we went to visit them over Labor Day weekend. She loved Ping
a lot, but Ping went to daycare one day instead of one of the bears and
never came home. Alas. Usually I take the bear (or Ping) away from her
when we get there and put it in her cubby where it goes safely home, but
this particular day she’d had a rough morning and I wasn’t going to wrestle
it away from her and make her cry for no reason.

Sophia is started to enjoy singing, dancing and music more and more.
When I put music in the cd player she says “More music” in the silence
between the tracks. When I get up and dance she says “Dance! Dance!” and
sways to the rhythm. She is also learning some songs at daycare like “Deep
and Wide”, “Old MacDonald”, and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. She can’t
sing any of them all the way through, but she’s become quite the avid
requester. “Eee eee ooo?” she’ll ask with winsome smile. You’ll sing a
verse about cows or ducks and she’ll say “More?” Or else she’ll say “Deep
an Why?” or “Wink, wink, star?” Sometimes, in moments of duress, I’ll ask
her if she’d like me to sing for her. Often she is upset and can’t manage
to ask for what she wants, so I do a song roll call, waiting for a nod.
“Manuelita?” Shake head. “Deep and Wide?” Nothing doing. “Osias?” Pause.
pause. Nod. OK! Then I’ll sing and despite the fact that my voice leaves
much to be desired, she enjoys my enthusiasm immensely.

We’ve fallen away from Spanish Thursdays a bit. I’m still speaking
Spanish to her, but not as much or as consistently. I’m not sure how to
really ensure that she gets as much exposure as she needs to learn the
basics. Should I name things in both languages? Should I speak only
Spanish to her? Won’t that be frustrating when she’s just started to
decipher everything I say to her in English? Speaking of Spanish, the
other day when I was home with Sophia because she was sick, we watched Dora
the Explorer on TV. Now I’d seen Dora merchandise in the stores and I’d
heard my niece talk about how cool Dora was but I didn’t really think much
of it. The only reason I really tuned into it was because it was on the
same channel as Blue’s Clues and right before it. Well let me tell you,
folks, this is the coolest kid’s TV show. First off, Dora
is bilingual. So Spanish is integrated really naturally into the show.
Then, the show is all about logic puzzle solving skills. It was really

Ok, one more Sophia thing, and then I’m finished. It’s been almost an hour now.
I suppose every family devises little games that they play together. Special
names they call each other and special little cues with actions and words and
gestures. I wanted to mention a couple of the games that we play with Sophia.
One is primarily Kurt’s and one is primarily mine. For some time now, when Kurt
has taken Sophia’s socks off he has held them up to her face and said “Peeeeyou!
Stinky socks! Smell those stinky, stinky socks!” Ok, for whatever reason, this
sends Sophia into absolute FITS of giggles. Now that she’s more coordinated,
she squirms around and away as though he’s tickling her and grabs the socks and
stuffs them back toward his face. Kurt’s now expanded on the game in that he
says “Oh no! The stinky socks! No! Not me! YOU smell them!” And he takes
them away and stuffs them back at her. I know it sounds terribly silly just
reading it, but it really is the sweetest thing to watch them play together.
It’s also hilarious because Sophia’s socks never smell anything but sweet as can
be. I don’t think her feet sweat yet. As for the game Sophia and I play, it
makes even less sense than that. You may remember that a while back I talked
about Hop on Pop and Sophia’s developing sense of humor. Well, shortly
after I wrote that entry, she started to understand the word “Stop”. “Stop it”
is something she apparently hears rather often at daycare. She became thrilled
by the part of the book that goes “We like to hop, we like to hop on top of pop.
Stop! You must not hop on pop.” Well, whenever I would read it, I would say
Stoooooooooooooooooooooooop, with a really drawn out o sound. So from time to
time, she would imitate that. One day, she said it while we were not reading.
I replied “You must not hop on pop!” and she dissolved into giggles, as though I
had guessed what she was thinking about. From then on, whenever she would say
stop in that tone I would reply with the following line. She loves
this, and she especially loves it if I’m chasing her around the room while I’m
reciting my lines. It’s the type of game that only makes sense in a context
that’s hardly worth explaining, but because I know I can read this in 3 or 13 or
30 years and have it instantly evoke the memory of her mischievous eyes as she
says “Stop”, it’s worth recording. It’s also touching because my mom told me that

this was one of my favorite books as a child, so I feel that we have
some connection there, both enjoying this book together so much.

We have an offer on the old house and now we’re fixing some things that
the home inspector pointed out were broken. If all goes well, we’ll go
back to being a one mortgage household by April. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I decided not to do Nanoedmo, since Cualcotel, most depressingly, is
not finished.

On the other hand : Ha! I’m all done with the list of things I was going
to talk about that I posted on 02/12. So it only took a month! Not bad, huh?
Well, I didn’t talk about swappington’s or bookcrossing, but that’s because I
didn’t want to descend into full on rant mode. Maybe later.


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