As I read Clara countless books about zoo animals and farm animals, and play with puzzles about zoo animal and farm animals, and watch cartoons about (you guessed it) zoo animals and farm animals...I wonder: Why does Clara need to know so much about zoo animals and farm animals??? Sure they're fun...and talking about horses and cows and zebras is endlessly interesting to Clara. (And I do mean endlessly.) But is she destined for a career in animal husbandry? She lives in Manhattan...not in a little house on the prairie. This animal inundation must be to blame for the thousands of little children who want to be zookeepers and veterinarians when they grow up.
Should I be worried that most of Clara's first words are animal sounds? Today when I asked her "What sound does a cow make?" She smiled at me and said: "Moooooooo" for the first time. Moo has expanded her repertoire of animal sounds which currently includes: Quack Quack, Cluck Cluck, Oooo Oooo Oooo (monkey sounds, in case you were wondering), Oink Oink, Woof Woof, and Meow (she does a dead-on impression of our cat, Pistachio).
Is there a psychology behind this? Actual science? Does quacking like a duck make toddlers smarter? Is it a conspiracy by children's book publishers to inculcate malleable minds with a love for animals? Is a monkey doll cheaper for toy companies to manufacture than a Cabbage Patch kid? I suppose, the question really is, who can I blame for this? I mean seriously, at least don't include the animals that don't make sounds. (I'm looking at you, Giraffe.) You try thinking up what sound a camel makes when your kid is pointing to the picture and looking up at you for an answer. (I settled on: "Ptoo!" which is my version of a camel spitting.) The other day at the swings another mom and I compared notes on fish sounds. Her sound for a fish: "Bloob Bloob." I prefer: "Glug. Glug."
In the meantime I guess I'll move onto: "Clara, what sound does a sheep make?"