And she makes me laugh at least four times an hour.
This morning, Poppy kneels on a chair at my dining table, a tray puzzle of jungle animals in front of her. She is the only child here yet, so I am finishing the breakfast dishes before the others arrive. Poppy sings to herself as the fits pieces into the puzzle, removes them, puts them back. Only after a few minutes do I realize that she is singing “Old MacDonald”, and fitting the words to the puzzle. This Old MacDonald has a zebra, a hippo, a giraffe, a monkey, an elephant, a parrot, and a rhino on his farm. Animals which make a fairly impressive range of growls, snorts, and squawks.
Our theme for this month is Rainbows. November is a dismal, grey, drab, altogether tedious and disheartening month. How better to resist the slide into the drab by having a Rainbow theme? I went out looking for a prism to make rainbows, and came back with one of these. It makes rainbows. Really. It adheres to my living room window with a suction cup. A teeny solar panel at the top powers the motor, which spins the crystal at the bottom, sending rainbow-hued blobs swirling around the room, on the walls, floor, ceiling. Through some wonder of faceted crystals, they move in many directions. Some go left, some go right, some surge upward, some down. It’s lovely.
It takes direct sunlight on the solar panel, though, something in which November is sorely lacking. No sunshine = no rainbows. This morning, though, the sun broke through and within a few minutes, the crystal had begun to turn. It was Poppy who noticed first.
She stands in the middle of the room, her face alight. “RAINBOWS! There are RAINBOWS!!” Her arms extend above her head, her eyes wide in delighted wonder, she twirls with the rainbows. Then she chases them, laughing, before deciding that THE VERY BEST thing to do is to jump on the ones racing across the floor. Laughing, laughing the whole while. The other children, who had been oblivious to the rainbows, are drawn to her joy, and soon the room is filled with laughing, reaching, dancing toddlers.
Though I had put away the dogs’ leashes and other dog-walk accessories (poop bags, treat bag, Daisy’s harness), I had left the small flashlight on the shelf in the front hall. This is not where it belongs. Poppy noticed. She carries it to me, and declares in her usual enthusiastic, decisive tones, “This is your flashlight for looking at poo!”
Not quite how I’d have phrased it, perhaps, but the child is absolutely correct. Hard to distinguish poo from leaves from sticks from grass in the PITCH DARK of our early morning walks. (Though less so this week, now that we’ve FINALLY switched to daylight savings. Two weeks late. Ahem.) All responsible dog-owners find themselves at some point peering into the beam of their handy flashlight for the shit they KNOW is RIGHT THERE, if they could only find it.
My “flashlight for looking at poo”, indeed.
Poppy. My little laugh machine. Love that girl.