Thursday, January 12, 2006

2.5 and singing

Caroline turned two and a half just before New Years. In all the holiday craziness, we didn’t even note it and it wasn’t until someone asked me if she was nearly three that I realized she still had six months to go. Something about the end of December makes me think that she will not be celebrating her half birthdays the way my sister and I did when we were little - with homemade brownies and much excitement that we could now say we were officially something and a half.

Now that she is a grand 2.5, I thought it a good time to write up what she is up to for all of those long distance relatives and friends out there who might be saying - okay, enough about Prague, what is Caroline doing these days?

So let me tell you a story: Sunday, walking home from a long trek back from the suburbs (and the biggest shopping mall in Central Europe - a story all to itself), she gamely trotted along, strung between my hand and Will’s, still moving forward though she had almost fallen asleep in the metro coming home. "Duvet please," she asked when we first got on the train and she stretched out on my lap.

Off the train, she was still awake enough so that, coming around the corner from our metro stop, on the last few blocks of our trip, she could look up at the sky and find a friend.

"Moon!" she said, and there was the nearly half moon shining down on us during the day. Almost everything that Caroline likes has a song attached to it, so she sang "Mr. Moon Moon, shine upon me moon" over and over again at a whisper and then at a shout, singing down the street until we reached home, her bed and Caroline-sized duvet, which she pulled up to her chin and promptly fell asleep beneath.

C recognizes the differences between Czech and English pretty well now, and sings English songs with us and Czech songs with her babysitters. I heard today that she sang "Kocka leze dirou" throughout lunch at the local hospoda, or at least until the waiter could (in double quick time) bring Caroline and our babysitter their soup and dumplings. Luckily for us, her voice has gotten a lot better than it used to be, and she sings in tune to herself. Singing with someone else, she still raises her voice a second above us (to hear herself better?), but if I turn it into a game, I can get her to sing along with me, and we’ll play with pitch - moving notes in and out of tune like a pair of bag pipes getting warmed up.

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Karla said...

Is that a major or minor second? Have you been letting that child listen to too many Bulgarian folk songs?

I like the thought of the two of you imitating bagpipes, but then I like bagpipes.

2-1/2 is a fine age to be. My happy Half Birthday wishes!

Julia said...

Thanks a bunch! She sings a minor second above us - I don't think it is the Bulgarian folk tunes, but it could be the Philip Glass!

Karla said...

I hadn't thought of Philip Glass. Do you think C too has a future as a minimalist composer? Then again, she is performing, not strictly composing. Perhaps she gets a special thrill out of modulating while you are still in the original key, and going to the third or the fifth would be too boring and chord-like.