My little daughter is badly infected. I’m not sure if she caught the disease from me, or from her older sister, with whom she has spent a lot of time this weekend. It may be that she got a strain of the virus from each of us.
This morning, she started by singing the Soup song (from the BBC Mighty Boosh comedy show). This, I know she got from her sister. She now knows all the words, and they are rolling around my head endlessly.
Over the past two weekends, as we were riding in the car, she wanted me to listen to her reading from bottom to top and backwards. I tried to steer and not veer as I listened to her reading some Anansi stories. “Hotter it make to sun the in out it put I’ll,” she read. “You got that, Dad?” I did, and shook my head in worry.
This afternoon, while we were walking to the National Geographical Museum to see the Anglo-Saxon hoard exhibit and the Ocean Soul exhibition of photographs by Brian Skerry, she started babbling.
“Newark…new work…New York,” I heard her say, as she skipped along the sidewalk. “They are so similar,” she continued. I got the message. “If you got new work in Newark and had to travel there from New York, maybe you could take the Hudson River route in a new ark,” I suggested. She liked that. I could sense that it was being filed away.
Her infection is clearly quite deep. Is it genetic? Has she picked this up from people with whom she lives? I do not know of a cure, and even if I did, I’m not sure that I would administer it. She’ll have to learn to live with it.