Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Dance Of Lulu

Sorry about the time between entries- I warned you this might happen. At least I'm consistently inconsistent.

So the other day it was too hot here to play outside, Chrissy was sleeping to prepare for a work night (12 hour graveyard), and I was taking care of Lulu. This means, of course, not only making sure she's fed, safe, gets to the potty on time, etc., but also that she's entertained and is keeping her brain (and hopefully her body) active. We generally don't let her watch t.v., having learned from experience that she gets addicted to it. Even though we make sure she watches good stuff, she doesn't need to learn any kind of obsessive behavior at this early an age. We have even had a problem with as healthy an interest as reading. We'd put her to bed for the night, and after we'd left the room, she'd go and turn on the light, grab a bunch of books, and start going through them. We have no idea how often this happened before we caught on, or how long she'd go before she'd get tired and go to bed. One night it took us the better part of two hours to get her to stop. We finally succeeded only because we made the difficult decision to remove the books from her room and put them in ours. We obviously don't want to discourage her reading, but we do want her to get some sleep. Now she gets read to before bedtime in our room.

But I digress. I allowed her to watch her "Little People" DVD repeated times yesterday, and some "Thomas The Tank Engine". Also an extended bit of "SciGirls", which is about girls excelling in science; this episode was about archeology. Lulu was the one whose attention was caught by it, which made me happy. It kept her attention clear through to the end of the show.

While she watched, I took this rare opportunity to do some work, which is possible because my desk is in the family room, along with the t.v. After a point it dawned on me how much time I'd left her in the care of the DVDs, and that I'd better get back to being an active dad. I came out from behind the superyard fence seperating my desk from the rest of the room, and thought maybe it was time for a break from the kiddie stuff.

I grabbed a DVD of Atomic Rooster and before I put it in, I told her quietly that I wanted to see if she'd like this, and that we didn't have to watch it for long if she didn't want to. She said "OK daddy". I put the disc in and pressed play.

This is live footage from "Beat Club", the era of the band with Chris Farlowe on vocals. As soon as the music started, she was rocking and jumping in her seat. She looked at me with a big smile and said "This is CRAZY music daddy! I LIKE IT!" and with that, she got up and starting dancing furiously all around the room, jumping and waving her hands and making up her own lyrics, which she yelled out exuberantly. They kept changing and I couldn't follow them, except for a word here and there. She was going at it with such abandon and energy that I figured she'd have to burn out pretty quickly. Nope. She stopped about 15-20 minutes into it, and only because she'd danced herself into having a poop.

Bear in mind, we listen to a variety of music, hours a day- EVERY day- and she's never reacted to anything like this before.

I found this whole thing so funny that today I brought Chrissy downstairs to see it. Lulu had been asking all morning to do it again anyway (and several times last night). Today, she danced over 30 minutes. Chrissy loved it. She was on the couch with me while Lulu gave vigorous expression to her muse. (No poop today, thankfully.)

Apparently, Lulu wasn't the only one rockin' and rollin'; Chrissy told me our gestating girl, currently nicknamed Peanut, was going nuts inside her. This was the first time anything like this had happened during the pregnancy (she's halfway home). Chrissy wondered aloud if this could be bad for her, and I said, well, maybe she's reacting to Lulu's singing, that's the loudest thing in the room anyway. But Peanut continued to rock during the spots where Lulu got quiet. So we might have another rocker on our hands. My comment to Chrissy was, "Well, inside I'm doing the same thing". Rooster's always made me react that way. If I'm alone there's a lot of furious head bobbing going on, transported air organ/drum/guitar, etc.

Lulu has so far taken to all kinds of music. She can already identify Beatles, Moody Blues, Bob Marley, Duran Duran, Abba, and a few others only a couple of notes or so into a song when it comes on the radio. She also likes Pink Floyd, bluegrass, brass bands, etc. This being the US, there's no chance she'll ever hear Rooster on the radio, but there's no chance it won't be a part of her life. Not in this household.

In other news: as mentioned on the update at, I've finally managed to get some musical things happening. I sent Hyam Sosnow 3 CDs of improvised source tracks for him to cut/paste/loop as he pleases; and I've sent Eric Wallack a CD of p'ipa improvisations. One of those p'ipa tracks will be for his upcoming "duets with friends" type CD; the rest will be up for consideration for our long overdue 2nd CD.

I've also been working on some instrument construction, most succesfully with a (finally) growing set of tubular bells.

I have more to say, but I'm thinking it would do well as a seperate post, hopefully in the next day or two. (Stop laughing.) So until then....