Friday, September 08, 2006

Cute Things

So I'm walking around the house (probably trying to do something really outlandish like get dressed or find my shoes) and I can hear Jarrah "talking" in her room. She doesn't go in there much without us because there's not much to do, except get her diaper changed, and that's not a preferred activity. I poke my head in there and she is sitting very properly in her rocker-recliner, which is not hers at all but ours, in which we are supposed to hold her and feed her, all baby-like, and hence is rarely used. She is reading a book. Recently, I arranged all her books into two sections: chewable board books that she can reach, and lovely books with delicate pages and complex narratives that she can't. She looks up, acknowledges me, but then continues her recitation. For the next 15 minutes, each time I walk by the door, she is sitting in the same spot, each time reading a different book. She likes a lot of variety. Someday I can see her telling someone "I've been reading Anna Karenina for a year because I keep getting distracted by other books!"


We are at University Town Center (it's actually just a mall) and they have a tiny train near the Pottery Barn. It has an engine and five cars, and goes around a track shaped like a kidney bean with some sad-looking, multi-colored detritus piled in the center. The lady in the booth switches the train on and occasionally blows a realistic-sounding whistle. The train ride has two notable features: it is oddly fast, and oddly long. I am used to the 60-second rides at county fairs, but this one circles for fully five minutes. It also whips around corners, necessitating both seat belts and a chain across the door to keep tots from flying onto the track.

Jarrah sees the train from her stroller as we pass it on our way to meet the Animal Crackers. She cranes around and makes a mournful "doot-doot" sound because we are not stopping. When we get to the fabulous exploding water feature, where her cohorts are shrieking and splashing, she wears an air of distraction. Every couple minutes, she points in the general direction of the train and intones "doot-doot..." This continues long enough for me to throw in the towel and take her back to the train, which costs $3.00. On the train, she smiles with two rows of teeth and raises her palm like the Rose Queen to all and sundry, none of whom we know or have ever seen before. If she's ever invited to ride on a float, she is ready.

After the ride, she is willing to get wet for a while, but each time I look away for a blink, she has wandered a little ways back to the train. Eventually, I dry her off and take her to the playground next to the train track, where she eschews the equipment and stands with her face pressed against the fence, watching the train riders, and calling "doot-doot!" at them. Lisa springs for a second ride, and it's possible Jarrah enjoys this one even more. Afterwards, she returns to her position at the fence. She would be standing there still if I hadn't put her in the stroller and rolled her into the Baby Gap.


Cheri said...

So sweet. She's so smart!!!

Anonymous said...

"Doot, doot," I'm with Jarrah on this one. Trains are magical!

If you really want to thrill Jarrah, take her to San Clemente, or San Juan Capistrano, on the train and back. (Unless it's those curves she really loves - then you have a roller-coaster rider waiting!)

Best, Gail