Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Head and Hannah, Knees and Foots

Hannah is not a performer.  She will kindly do no monkey tricks for you or anyone else, no matter how nicely you ask nor how compellingly you bribe.  Hannah is her own woman.  When she demonstrates silly two-year-old antics, she does it behind closed doors.  

I was a Ham.  Her grandmother before her was a Ham.  Her father is a Ham.  Heck, even her brother is a Ham.  But Hannah does not perform for the pleasure of others.  It started when she was quite small.

For instance, she rolled front to back and back to front at the appropriate developmental age.  And then, she DID NOT do it again until after she was crawling.   Doctors would ask if she could do it and I'd say, yes, she CAN do it but she WON'T.  

At five months she hummed in perfect tune after some music in her play-center-walker contraption.  No one else got to hear it again, including me.  That was the first sign she was musically inclined.  

And even though she's been using the potty since she was one month old, insisting I take her to the toilet instead of soiling herself, she still will mostly only use the bathroom for myself and a few select other individuals.  She's made more than one caretaker quite self-conscious about this fact.  She's gone so far as holding her urine for more than six hours, just to wait until I could take her.  

At eight months she spoke her first word other than "mama".  It was "baby".  She said it clearly for a week.  And then, she chose to remain mute for a month after that.  This kind of behavior causes adults to start the pleading process.  "Please Hannah, say 'baby'.  Would you like a  treat?"  No, indeed, keep your treats.  I will say it again in my own, good time.  

A month later upon receiving the most desirable gift of a new baby doll, my mother and I caught her lowering her face and mouthing "baby" secretly to it, a sort of sly grin on her face.  Eventually, of course, all of us have been graced with her voice.  But every milestone is shared with the world when she chooses not when society dictates she should.  The louder we praise a performance of Hannah's, the less likely we are to see it again.  

So imagine on our surprise and delight, when she chooses to dance her heart out and sing at the top of her lungs in our own home with only a few, intimate spectators.  Everyone freezes, and turns to watch in silence as Hannah does her thing.  She has great rhythm and can really carry a tune.  The words, however, are usually of her own choosing.

Our most recent experience with this phenomenon is a song I sang to her only once before "Head and shoulders, knees and toes".  Hannah suddenly stood in the middle of the couch, watching herself in the mirror.  In her loudest voice and with a quite recognizable tune, complete with body motions, Hannah belted out,  "Head and Hannah, Knees and Foots".  It was fantastic.  And truly, it's a shame you'll never experience it for yourself.  


Me meets MAMC said...

I know where Hannah got her song... We sing Head and Shoulders in Sunday School. We started it when we were doing the "God made me" series and learning about how God made parts of our bodies for certain things. And I just keep singing it to them. Jill and I do the motions and everything. Glad she remembers something I teach!


MamaHolly said...

That's awesome!!!! :D So glad to know it! She also sings "God made me" all the time. Glad to know where that came from too!

She also wants to trace her hand all the time since you guys did that. I tried to get her to do it before but she always kept her fingers together. Now, she's a real pro. :D

Carissa said...

What a cute story. And - oh my - the picture of Hannah... surely that not the same little one I saw last year. Why, she looks 3 or 4! Love the pig tails!!