Fabulous Confabulation

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Junior Prom

Boobaby got lost in conversation yesterday.

At least a couple of times a week, our playground is visited by a dozen or so four-year olds from a nearby preschool, and I’m grateful that it’s so big because they cover serious ground in those Buster Browns. (Which, I’m aware, in this decade are called “Crocs.” I just watched Leave it to Beaver on YouTube, so gimme a break.)

Yesterday, three of these preschoolers were carrying on about bubbles. They weren’t blowing them; instead, they marched around, shouting rhythmically:

“WHO WANTS TO BLOW BUBBLES? WHO WANTS TO BLOW BUBBLES?”

Over and over with every ounce of lung they could muster. (Gotta love little kids.) Boo sure wanted to blow some bubbles, so she asked them to let her try. The older kids were game; they let her blow once, but she doesn’t have enough breath to develop a real bubble swarm. They told her she was too little.

Undeterred, Boo just joined their continued chant.

“WHO WANTS TO BLOW BUBBLES? WHO WANTS TO BLOW BUBBLES?”

Finally, they found an adult willing to remove her fingers from her ears for long enough to blow bubbles. The kids started running and catching the suds, and as they were doing so, I heard Boobaby — who, you’ll remember, is only just two — ask one of the girls about her doll.

“Is that Frida?” Boo asked. My daughter is obsessed with Frida Kahlo.

“No, this is Cinderella,” replied the girl primly. “Do you want to give her a fig newton?”

“YEAH,” said my daughter, her unconstrained excitement erupting into violent full-body wiggles. So they ran off together to nourish their dolls and I followed at a distance, not wanting to interrupt but anxious to eavesdrop. The older girl seemed to be telling Boo about Cinderella’s dancing prowess.

“Like butterflies!” shouted Boobaby, and demonstrated the way a six-legged animal with huge wings might attempt a pirouette. Then she fell over.

“Yeah, and ballet dancers,” said the girl, showing off somewhat more adept dance moves as Boo pulled herself up. “Do you want a fig newton?”

“No, I’m good,” replied Boobaby. (She parrots a lot of my less-than-stellar language choices.) The pair ran back to the bubble-blower and shared another four or five pleasantries. Finally the older kids detached themselves and went off to find more age-appropriate adventures, like spinning on the merry-go-round until they vomited.

But before they left, Boobaby had a multi-minute, multi-faceted, grownup-free colloquy with the older girl, who really ought to have noticed that this two-year old wasn’t quite up-to-snuff as a chatting partner.

I marveled over the interaction for several minutes before I assigned the word to it: conversation. My baby had an entire conversation of her own choosing.

Every time one of these milestones passes, I take it in with a tiny gasp of lament for the bygone dependence, but mostly pride and wonderment at the way this little creature of ours bounds from plateau to plateau faster than I can track.