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random things about Valkyrie

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Apr. 17th, 2010 | 11:36 am

*** She has started calling me mommy instead of mama. I don't know if this is a universal developmental stage or something she picked up from the kids at school or what, but I find it weirdly satisfying. It feels more personal, somehow -- like "mama" is the generic placeholder term for whoever is parenting her this month, but Mommy is ME. That interpretation is almost certainly a creation of my own mind; this does not diminish my satisfaction.

*** Baby's first literary allusion: We were riding the carousel on the Mall, and when it started to slow down at the end of the ride, Valkyrie said, "Go around again!" (which is what a blue dog riding a ferris wheel says in Go Dog Go). Just to make sure, I said, "Go around again? Who says that?" And she grinned and said, "Boo dog doh dog doh!" (Why yes, I was an English major, why do you ask?)

*** Yesterday on the Metro we sat next to an ad about traffic safety featuring a woman who's been hit by a car slamming up onto the hood, her shoe flying off, while her child screams as the stroller she was pushing careens away. (Go to http://www.bestreetsmart.net/resources.php and click on rail card to see the PDF in lurid color.)

Naturally Valkyrie noticed this poster: "Baby sad. Baby crying. Mama on car. Get up, mama."

I tried to be honest but ultimately reassuring: "Yeah, I think maybe the car was moving too fast and the mama wasn't careful and got hurt. But someone will call the jing cha*, and they'll come take care of the mama, and the baby's baba will come take care of the baby."

It's ALL we talked about the entire ride home, and she brought it up during dinner, and at bedtime, AND this morning in the car. I told Mark to tell the day care teachers about it, just in case it comes up at school.

I know the whole point of those ads is to make an impact, but I'm not sure traumatizing 2-year-olds is the impact they're looking for. (Though it's entirely possible I'm more traumatized than Valkyrie.)

*When Valkyrie was living with her foster mom, we sent a photo of Mark in his uniform, captioned, "Baba shi jing cha" ("Daddy is a policeman"), and she's still more familiar with that word that with the English term.

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