"Josephine," I say, pointing to the picture. "What does Charlie Parker play?"
I'm trying to get her to say "saxophone" and I trace the drawing with my finger. She frowns at me with that look that seems to say, "Well, it's obvious! What are you asking me for?"
She says, "Be-Bop!"
I laugh. "Good girl!" I say, as she turns back to the book.
Lynn picked up Chris Raschka's Charlie Parker Played Be Bop at the library and it's become Josie's latest favorite book. I've ordered a copy for her own. I can't quite figure out why certain books appeal to her and others don't, but it's clear which her favorites are. She has a good feel for how much text is on the page -- you can tell that when she is "reading" to herself. She'll sit on the floor and open up one of her books, and chatter rapidly for about the right length of time before she turns to the next page.
I'm fascinated by how impressionable the critters are at this age (just shy of nineteen months) (and stunned, I'm afraid, to realize how easy it must be to damage them if they enter the world in a household full of strife and anger). When she comes to our house, there is always music on, so even at the clumsy toddler stage, she has a good sense of rhythm and beat when she's dancing, and will often sing to herself if we're out walking. Lynn's and my main recreation is reading, so when she tires of playing with her oversized Legos, or with the jacks-in-the-boxes (hmmm, I wonder what that thing is actually called), it's natural for her to go over to her bookshelf, pick out a book, and either bring it to one of us to read to her, or sit down on the floor and read it herself.
Her facility with proper names is increasing rapidly. She knows which cats are which now. Ghost kitty dashes past. "There goes Sasha!" she says. "Sasha" comes out of her half-toothed mouth pretty clearly. "Taxi" & "Beaches" are a little tougher, but they're recognizable. Marian says she can almost always figure out what Josie is saying now, although there was something she was saying, very insistently, the other night, that Marian said she never did get, much to Josie's annoyance. I'm not that good, but I'm getting better. We're not quite conversing yet, but she very clearly understands everything that I'm saying, and I can catch most of what she's trying to clue me in on.
She's good with pictures and at naming what she sees. I show her the pictures I took when we were in Gulf Shores awhile back. There's one of her walking with Marian & Lynn -- "Mommy!" she says. "Nonni!"
She likes seeing pictures of herself. I show her one of her in the white beach dress. "Josie!" she says, and claps her hands.
Next up is one of her in the little outfit Lynn bought in Chinatown.
"Cute!" says Josie.