Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Phone

Every Tuesday Dipity and I attend a free activity at a local hospital. It is called Baby Bop N'Jam. Dipity loves saying it. She always throws in a dramatic pause before she says "Jam," and she says "Jam" with great gusto. It is hilarious. Also hilarious is what she does when she's at Baby Bop Nnnnn ... Jam.

I should start with what she doesn't do. She doesn't play with the other kids. She doesn't acknowledge that there are other kids, unless they get in her way. Of course, none of them really acknowledge any of the other kids. It is parallel play at its finest. Dipity also doesn't sing and dance during the sing-a-long portion of the program.

So what does she do? Two weeks ago she parked herself in front of the bookshelf and read. Last week she went ran around, climbed on the mats, went through the tunnels, and looked in the mirror. Three weeks ago she played with the kitchen. This week she was on the phone. She walked around with the plastic phone from the play kitchen glued to her ear, periodically saying "hello?"

The phone routine was particularly funny, until one mother said "she really is a girl, isn't she?" My immediate reaction was anger at the assignment of traditionally feminine traits to my daughter, and then I began picturing phone bills. Suddenly I wanted her to go back to playing with blocks, or even dollies or the kitchen. I was about to say trucks, but they aren't cheap either. I surely don't want her playing dress up.

I was in the middle of a financial panic attack when Dipity offered me the phone. "Oh hi mama. You want to know what song we're singing? It's head and shoulders. No, not the shampoo ditty. Here. Dipity and I will do it for you. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes ... Eyes and Ears and Mouth and Nose ..."
And after touching her head twice and her mouth once, she took the phone back. She was done singing. All I could do was laugh.