Friday, March 18, 2005

you had to be there

I love him so much. We have such a laugh sometimes. Like last night, when I put him to bed and he was drinking his milk, and as usual I started singing along to the tune on the mobile above his cot. It’s a tune babies never seem to tire of, that ubiquitous one that I only know the German words to—guten abend, gute nacht.... Anyway, this time I was singing it in cat, you know, miaouw-miaouw-miaowwww, miaouw-miaouw-miaowwww... After a few verses, one of our cats appeared in the doorway. He was hungry, and started miaowing impatiently, and it sounded like he was singing along. Every time the cat ‘sang’ we pissed ourselves, and the cat looked on miserably.
It reminded me of a time when the baby was about six months old, and I was singing the same tune, only in bird (ak-ak-aaark, ak-ak-aaaaark...), and outside the window a magpie had begun aarking along with me. So I stopped singing and had a little chat with the bird, and it seemed to be answering me, and Harley thought this was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. The bird was hopping from tree to tree and getting further away, and the aarks were getting fainter and the silences longer. It went on for some time, until there had been no answer from the bird for so long that we felt sure it must have packed up and gone for good. But then, sure enough, somewhere off in the distance we’d hear a very faint aaarrk, and we would crack up all over again. He was laughing so hard the milk came out his nose. I remember being so touched, for some reason; as if noticing for the first time that we shared the same sense of humour, or just because I could make him laugh so hard.
I know, we're so easily amused...