Elliott has officially incorporated vocal arrangements into his dance routine. It has proved to be as culturally enlightening as it is entertaining from my view. Somewhere along the way I missed out on the infant musical classic” The wheels on the bus go round and round.” But the first time Elliott came home from Grandma and Grandpa’s delivering us a harmonic repetition of “round and round – round and round- round and round”, I was at the very least curious about his sudden and boisterous infatuation with circles. Right before retrieving the duct tape from the closet, I investigated the origins of his chant, only to find out he was actually singing a line from his new favorite song. In addition to discovering that someone had taught him a tune other than the Notre Dame Fight song, I also learned that the kids on this same bus go up and down, which Elliott was also all too willing to share.
In addition to singing his own songs, he loves for someone else to belt out a never ending version of Old MacDonald , this one I unfortunately remember, so he can sing along when its time to chime in with the chorus EI EI O. He is not completely satisfied or even remotely tired of this line until you’ve been through every possible farm animal and a couple of dozen other exotics that can only be found in municipal zoos. In fact, I fear more every day that he might just realize that Old MacDonald never had a Rhinoceros on that farm and that it sounds nothing like the aggressive roar we’ve chosen to assign it.
He also loves letting you know any time a big truck is near. He’ll point with excitement shouting Big Tuck – Big Tuck – Big is recited an octave lower than truck and delivered in his slowly drawn out Eastern North Carolina dialect, which fortunately is closely related to the official language of Central Virginia. We were all certain this was a premonition to bet our house on the horse Big Truck in last weekend’s Kentucky Derby. We resisted the wager but watched for fun as Elliott yelled “Go Go Go” at the television, loyaly supporting a horse that managed to defeat only 4 of the 20 horses in the race.
We live another day in our house, aware of every big tuck around. Trampolines are in this year. We don’t own one, but thanks to Elliott’s creativity, any surface with the slightest bounce and the cushion of a tiny pillow can quickly be converted into one. Yet even this activity has to have music thrown in to make it worthwhile. He’ll bounce a few little warm up hops, giving you plenty of time to break into a verse of “Ashes – Ashes – We all fall down.” Right on cue, he manages to have his buttocks smack the surface of the hour at exactly the same time “down” bounces out of your mouth. If you don’t break into song quick enough for his liking, he’ll start without you, belting out his own mangled pronunciation of “a – chiz, a – chiz” we all fall down”.
Bath time has become as much about education as it is about fun. He can now point to and in some cases clearly pronounce the following body parts: Head, Toe, Ear, Mouth, Teeth (point to this one at your own risk and make sure you are up to date on your shots), Hand, Foot, Knee and my favorite of all – the Hi-knee – which he stretches both hands clear around his backside to just barely reach the part he is identifying – a part I am most certain was taught to him by his mama.
As silly as he can be and as much laughter as he can bring to the house, he also brings moments of sweetness you just can’t find outside of your own child. Coming home from work – coming home from anywhere actually – has never had the spirit and celebration that it now has with the simply greeting of “daddy.” And those early morning cries from down the hallway that turn into “Hi pal” upon my arrival make any hour of the morning a true blessing. Everyone says cherish the moments, they fly by so fast. But most days, it seems like Elliott has been with us for years. I thank God for that