Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Harmonica

I'm thrilled to report that Caroline has mastered her first off the chart skill. I mean something beyond the walking, the talking, and the building of block towers of at least 6 blocks high (do legos count for this?).

Please understand, I try hard to not be one of the braggy moms of the world, you know the type: Who write in to babycenter.com and talk about how their kid at 7 months old is obviously reciting Homer when she babbles in her crib at night, or that their 2 year old has mastered all his colors, shape names, and numbers to 100 and is currently applying to art school. In fact, when friends with same age kids ask what C is up to, I sometimes veer the other way and say what she’s not doing that I know their kid can do. It’s my attempt to be as non-competitive as possible, in at least one area of my life.

But this skill, well, since the APA (American Pediatric Association) would most likely never include it in their book of lists, I thought I’d mention it. I’ll just add that besides being funky, it tickles us because it shows off her southern roots, love of all things sound related, and above all, apparent nerves of steel and tastebuds to match.

Narratives thrive on people discovering their talent by chance, and luckily fate obliged my story line. We were at play group and C picked up a plastic harmonica to add to the shopping cart full of produce (plastic too) that she was pushing about. But somehow the harmonica stuck around after she’d unloaded all the bananas behind the bushes of our infinitely patient hostess. And C learned that if you blew sideways on that red plastic almost banana, noise came out. So when we got home I handed her the only harmonica of Will’s I could find, one I usually avoid because it jangles my teeth and makes my mouth taste like a metal yard but fine as a bang about toy. Then I went to work.

Minutes later I wandered out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and a closer listen to our babysitter buzzing away in an apparent rendition of Pop goes the weasel. But the babysitter was washing dishes and it was Caroline who was playing what she calls the ’moneeah, looking like an old jazz musician - hands cradling its body, playing for all its worth, breathe in breathe out and jump those lips around!

Now when we want to get her into the high chair for lunch, or get changed to go out, the harmonica is her big treat. She’ll play and play and then, in all the cacaphony of sound, decide that she’s done and leap as high as you can go when you can’t actually jump with both feet yet, hurl the harmonica across the room, and take a bow.

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1 comment:

E said...

I'm a witness! I've heard the new master harmonica-ist myself - over the phone - and thought that Will was playing. Quite impressed...