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Toes Close-up

toes4.jpg (14348 bytes) Here's the full photo again.


(If you don't know how you got here then this won't make sense, so go back a page, then read down a short ways till you see this same photo.)

toes5.jpg (11796 bytes) Before I hoisted B up onto the stele she relaxed a moment by leaning against it.  This close-up is of her two cheekprints.


Because of my interest in language (see here and here and here for examples), I have enjoyed observing B's acquisition of speech and language.

Here are a few of her pronunciation errors that strike her mom and me cute.  The first three have to do with hearing an L that isn't there.

saw "sawl"
bra "brawl"
eyebrows "eyebriles" or "eyebrowls"
Kentucky Fried Chicken "Ducky Fried Chicken"
apartment complex "impartment conflection"
suitcase "soupcase"

An audience of one.  Here's an interesting language error, although I'm not sure it should seem like an error to B.  She likes for me to introduce her to a pretend audience so she can do a song or a dance, so I do.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of the audience, I'm proud to present the famous B, who will put on a one-girl act for you . . . ."  Then I go sit down and pretend to be the audience and watch her perform.

But one time when we were doing this outdoors just after a rain I squatted rather than sitting down, and she stepped out of character to chastise me: "No, Johnny, you have to sit down.  You're an audient."

The power of language.  Shortly after she'd turned six we were walking along outdoors, and off in the distance I heard a woodpecker.  I pointed it out to her and said, "That's a woodpecker."

"I know."

"Do you know what that noise is?"

"Yes, silly," she says, "he's pecking wood."

Thinking to educate her a bit about why woodpeckers peck wood I asked, "Do you know why he does that?"

I expected her to say no, and I was all ready with my explanation about how the pecking drives insects from their nests to the surface of the bark so they can become 'pecker pickin's.

Instead she responded with one of her new, favorite, unintentionally cute lines, which is always delivered with a little or a lot of exasperation: "Don't you know anything?"

When I shrugged at her she explained, "Woodpeckers peck wood because they're woodpeckers."

It's interesting how naming things can change them.  Naming things is powerful.

Once when we were practicing reading and writing, knowing her favorite color was purple I wrote, "B's favorite color is green."  When she read it she became truly upset and insisted that I change it.

Another time, on her school lunch menu for the month I crossed out "pineapple chunks" and wrote in "dog-poop salad," and again she became sincerely unhappy.  For the record, in case it needs to be said, she does not like dog-poop salad.

How could I know?  At age seven B takes showers now, but we like to adjust the temperature just before she steps in.  One night I set it for her and asked whether it was OK.  She stuck her hand in the stream, looked back at me, and said, "It's too medium."

How does it know?  I drive B around in my car a fair amount, and because of her size she sits in the back, where she can't see all that much out the windows.  Consequently she has taken an interest in the lights of my dashboard.   "What's that 71?"  "It's the temperature."   "What's that 89.3?"  "That's the frequency of the radio station we're listening to."

One day she asked, "What is that blinking arrow I see sometimes?"  I said, "That's the turn signal indicator.  It shows which way we're going to turn."  "Why?" she asked.  I explained, "When the left arrow is on, people in the other cars can see the lights on the left side of my car flash too.   That way they can know I'm going to turn left.  Same thing with the arrow that points right.  It's safer if the other drivers see which way we're going to turn."  "OK," she said, and I thought that was that.

About a week later we were in the car again, and she got to thinking about the arrows again, and she said, "You told me the arrows show which way we're going to turn, didn't you?"  "Yes, honey, that's correct.  Do you remember about how when the arrow on the dashboard flashes, so do the lights on the side of my car?"

"Yeah, I remember."

After thirty seconds of silence from the backseat I hear, "Johnny?"


"How does the car know which way we're going to turn?"


b_bigboots.jpg (9842 bytes) Not all that cute.  B is exquisitely cute in almost every way but, as you can see from the photo at left, she does have big feet.


b_rash.jpg (13968 bytes) Not all that healthy.  And although she's basically really healthy almost all of the time, sometimes she gets a rash on her face.


b_missingtooth.jpg (10,483 bytes) 01122004 409 x 236

Here's B showing off her first missing tooth.

Well, I can see now that what she's showing off is not her missing tooth but rather the space where it used to be.  Sort of like "near-miss."  And for that matter, it's not missing.  The Tooth Fairy bought it for a dollar.

Speaking of which, it was at around this age that B started to understand the concept of paying for things with money.  One time when we were at a store she told me she wanted a robot dog she'd seen on a shelf.  I asked, "Do you have thirty dollars to pay for it?"  She turned away for a while and then turned back and said, "Johnny, how many baby teeth do I have left?"


December 2003: It's just past Christmas, and B and I are talking about the gifts she received.  She gets to thinking and then tells me she looks forward the most to the three U.S. national holidays on which she receives gifts -- Easter, Christmas and her birthday.


stelelongname01.jpg (7,347 bytes)

I'll bet you wanted to know about the south side of the stele at the top of the page.  At left is what the very bottom looks like.

The last three names are Francis Vannieuwenhuyse, Carol Vanwallegham, and Vince Xarhadjizamtheopoulos.  Think of how many times each month you're asked to spell your name.  For that matter, think of how many times you're asked to write it.

Now pretend you're Vince.


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