Of course we are doing our best to expose Lark to absolutely everything we can. Her intellectual development in the past couple of months has been unbelievable, truly exponential in terms of language ability and knowledge base--numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, all of these key things that she suddenly just knows and can speak about with authority. New words and concepts. She is constantly surprising me with what she says, knows, and remembers. None of this process would be new to parents of older kids but I have to say that watching her just blossom as a sentient individual being is the most incredible thing I have ever been involved in.

It is worth mentioning given the hype of Sesame Street's anniversary this week that she has learned all of these things without ever once being sat down in front of the tv. Though her previous daycares did turn one on in the afternoons during pickup time. And somehow she has managed to learn every single Sesame Street character. Maybe a little tv is not a big deal and Sesame Street is good and blah blah blah, but I can't really see setting her down in front of a tv and shudder at the idea that she would be clamoring for it. It helps that ours is on a wheeled cart in a back room and we have to wheel it out to watch something, a.v.-cart style.

But just because I see tv as the Great Satan doesn't mean I have totally avoided educational tools. I got a cd called "Learn and Sing Chinese with Mei Mei," which has consumed Lark's attention for huge blocks of time. She is, in fact, obsessed with it on a scale I never anticipated. She will sit on the couch or draw while listening to it and then periodically pulls out a Chinese word. If it means she will learn Chinese, or at least some of the tones, without any effort than all the better.

Here was an unintended consequence of playing things to entertain Lark. I happened upon a 45 of the song "Ghostbusters", which I thought might amuse her a bit. Turns out she became completely obsessed with the song instantly. It is musical crack cocaine. (And has about the same social value, I should add, though is possibly less destructive of society. There is a line in that song that says "bustin' makes me feel good.") We have to limit listenings to after mealtimes or nothing would transpire around here. TV might have been better than "Ghostbusters".

I do kind of wonder what Lark thinks Ghostbusters means in the total absence of a context for it.

She also wants to listen to Little Jimmie Dickens all the time, but I leave that cd in the car so have the excuse of only listening to while in transit. Though on any single drive I hear these songs a half dozen times each at least.

Recently I have been attempting to use Little Richard to cut a musical firebreak and get her into something else (his music being wholly perfect and impossible to supplant) and this has worked a bit. But the fervor for "Ghostbusters" remains unbroken

Believe me, we play her a wide variety of everything and she has zeroed in on these and only these songs. She will listen to conjunto or old time music but has not yet to understand their position in things.

So currently her song obsessions stand at the following. In order of current obsession:

"Walk Chicken Walk," (Little Jimmie Dickens)
F-O-O-L-I-S-H M-E" (Little Jimmie Dickens)
"Katy Daly" (Ralph Stanley)

and in Skye's car:
"Kiss me over the garden gate" (Polecat Creek)--which she learned all of the lyrics to just by listening to it

I am just looking forward in the coming months to playing Ernest Tubb's "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer" for her, as it is possibly the greatest version of this fine song-- the reason for the season.


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