My Kids

Bits and Pieces

Yesterday afternoon Bill took Alex to Lowe’s to get some more gardening supplies.  While they were walking around the store, Alex said to Bill "Daddy, can we get some pretty flowers for Mommy?"  A woman walking by looked at Alex and said "OH!  How sweet!"

He’s a good little boy.


Yesterday morning Bill was coaching Alex (within earshot of me) in things to say to make Mommy want to cook breakfast for them.  Things like "Mommy, your hair looks really nice!" and "Mommy, you’re so pretty!"  Then they came downstairs with their Bambi eyes and tried it out.  Pathetic as they were, I cooked for them anyway. 

This morning we were all sitting around in the living room and I’d been reading to the kids.  Julia was starting to turn to the dark side – throwing her elephant around the room, pretending to burp, and so forth.  So I asked Julia if she wanted to watch a movie and she yelled "Yes!" but Alex said "No, I’m hungry, I want breakfast, I’d like some oatmeal, and your hair is pretty, Mommy."


Speaking of elephants…

First I have to mention that I read Dooce faithfully every day.  Part of the appeal for me is that her daughter is just a few months older than mine, and it’s nice to read about other families going through the same things.  Like the whole Dora obsession.  We have Dora books, Dora toys, Dora DVDs and Dora songs endlessly playing through our collective subconscious. 

One of the recent additions to the DVD collection is Dora’s World Adventure, in which she and Swiper the Fox travel the world, unaccompanied by any adults, to return all the friendship bracelets that Swiper swiped before the start of the show.  This is important, because it’s Friendship Day, and all Dora’s friends around the world are supposed to wear their Friendship Bracelets at the same time so that they will sparkle and glow (the bracelets, not the friends) and "rainbow colors will light up the sky!" 

So anyway, apparently Swiper stopped in France, China, Russia, and Africa when he was on his bracelet-swiping adventure, so this is where we go to make things right.  Dora has appropriate costume changes for each locale…and a cheery song with which to greet the locals. 

When they’re in Africa, they meet up with Dora’s African Friend – a little boy whose name I’ve forgotten.  He’s glad to see her and the bracelets, of course, and offers to bring them to the mountains in the distance to dole out the bracelets to all the other kids.  But first, he cautions, they have to go through the wild animal park.  He offers to let them ride on his elephant.

I just need to pause here and mention the whole thing about accents.  Dora, if you don’t already know, is fluent in Spanish and English.  It’s great, because my kids have learned to count and identify things like owls and snakes and rats in both English and Spanish, which will no doubt be helpful at some point in their lives.  Her French – not so great.  "Bonjour" is pronounced "bon-jer" throughout the whole song, even by the regular French-speaking people she encounters on her stroll through Paris.  So I have my doubts about the authenticity of the rest of the accents in the movie.

Back to her little friend on his elephant.  He has an accent too.  I don’t remember what country in Africa he is from…but I suspect he has a generic African accent that someone dreamed up.  And when he says "You can ride on my elephant," it could out as "elly-phahnt."  I don’t know if this is accurate, but that’s what we’ve got to work with.

Julia has picked up on this. 

So now her favorite stuffed animal – a pink elephant that is so loved that it no longer has any sort of skeletal structure and can’t walk and must be carried everywhere – is now her "elly-phahnt."  It’s especially funny in the middle of the night when she wakes up and she can’t find it in her crib because it feels just like her blanket, and she hollers "MOMMY, I CAN’T FIND MY ELLY-PHAHNT!" in her shrill little American girl voice.

Gracias, Dora! 



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