Songs and Stories


This past month, you turned two-and-a-half. Now, when people ask how old you are, you don’t just say “two.” But what else does this mean? Does being halfway to three make you less “two”? You’re still impossibly stubborn and terribly temperamental. You still push all limits to test every single thing we say. You still always want things only your way.

Yet your way IS changing. What is it you want now? You want to create, to invent the world.

You’ve been obsessed with creating music ever since your uncle AJ played a daytime gig in February and we got to see the Spam Allstars live. Now you always want to be “on stage,” playing drums, harmonica, guitar, or your make-shift saxophone — the cardboard tubing from a roll of wrapping paper. You memorize lyrics to your favorite songs, and even make up some of your own these days. Sometimes you sing in other languages — including ones no one understands.

You make up lots these days. You invent strange names for your toys and animals that I can’t even attempt to spell. You create your own stories when I’m not around. Occasionally when I hear you having a conversation on your own I’ll tiptoe closer. Sometimes you’re not talking TO anyone, but assuming other voices, playing roles, inventing characters. A flying tow-truck might have a conversation with a dinosaur about falling into the water, for example. Then a scuba diver might get involved. And then perhaps one of your birds or a butterfly or a garbage truck.

Our bedtime stories have gotten more complicated, too. Some nights you’ll bring bee or sock monkey over to “interact” with us as we read, and this can get difficult, as you expect me to hold the book, turn the pages, and appropriately animate an animal at the same time. Other times you’re less playful and more seriously involved in the story itself — demanding to read the same books over and over again, asking questions about the characters, memorizing the lines. I do wish your current favorite was not one about talking cars and trucks, but I love it anyway.

I have to admit that I never get tired of listening.