Monday, January 18, 2010

Monkey Business

According to the Chinese Zodiac, I was born in the Year of the Monkey, just two days into the New Year! If you check your placement at your local Chinese restaurant, you'll likely find that people born in the Year of the Monkey are clever, skillful, inventive. One site I checked called us "the erratic geniuses of the cycle."

Guess who else in the family was born in the Year of the Monkey? Yes, that would be our Joy.

Miss Joy has seemed to have a special monkey-affinity for quite some time. It was no accident that her daycare-lady Lynda chose a monkey as the animal-icon to illustrate the name-label for Joy that hangs in the daycare entry-way!

I've already mentioned (several times) one manifestation of the association, which is Joy's adorable monkey-backpack. While it admittedly leaves one open to "monkey on her back?" jokes, and perhaps the occasionally ignorant snipe about "you put her on a LEASH? She's not a DOG!"... on the whole, people have been more likely to comment about what a smart and cute idea it is. It's actually been a while since we've used the monkey-pack at home, opting instead for walking hand-in-hand. But Lynda is only a super-hero, not an octopus, and doesn't have enough hands for every child when the daycare group walks to the park. So Joy gets her monkey-pack, with the tail clipped to another child's stroller, and everyone gets their safe and happy walk.

Besides the backpack and Joy's wiry monkey-strength and climbing ability, she has also long enjoyed monkey sounds: oo-oo-oo-AAAH-ah-ah! Her favorite animal on the Fisher Price Zoo toy, pictured below, is the monkey, whom you can just see peeking out of the yellow enclosure to the right of the tree trunk. When you push the purple lever at the right of the toy, the monkey "boings" up the pole to the bunch of bananas and makes its monkey noise. Which makes her giggle up a storm if she's in the right mood.

Lately she's been very "into" the classic monkey rhyme:
Five little monkeys jumpin' on the bed,
One fell off and bumped her head!
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Her favorite line is "bumped her head!" She'll knock on her own head three times with a great big grin, especially if you pause and wait for her. In fact, she was even using the knock-on-the-head thing as a sign that she wanted the monkeys rhyme! I haven't seen it for a little while, though. Lately she's been more likely to lead me to the mantel where we've got the boardbook:

Though she prefers to stim on books rather than to read them, this is one book that she will actually let us help her go through a page at a time and actually do the rhyme.

When Christmas-present time came around this year, we let people know that Joy had this monkey thing going on. Which resulted in this adorable new friend:

... and this wonderful toy...

Joy loves to crank the box until the monkey pops out! It's a little tricky to get him back in, but she does let us help her do it hand-over-hand.

There was yet one more monkey at Christmas time, a full-size sock monkey that looked just like the one in the jack-in-the-box. When we checked labels, we found that it came from the same company as the jack-in-the-box... but the gifts came entirely uncoordinated, from different sides of the family.

OK, enough monkeying around. Off to do some LEND homework!


jess wilson said...

Kendall is a monkey girl too!!!! We dint have piggy back rides in our house - only monkey backs .. complete with aah aah ooh ooh's and all!!

Anonymous said...

Too cute. My Sarah is a monkey girl. She loves the 5 Little Monkeys song too. Monkeys are among the cuter of the animals out there!

pixiemama said...

Goodness! Finnegan's our monkey man - he says it sorta like "mohkey," with a long o and no n. He's got about a dozen little monkeys, including that cute stuffed one Joy got for Christmas, except Mama brought his home from California this summer (OK, the Philadelphia airport, but whatever).

Does she like the sock monkey? I've wondered if Finn would accept one into his collection. Maybe we'll find out on his birthday, which is coming up way too soon.

pixiemama said...

Forgot - we used the monkey backpacks at Disney with both Sophie and Foster and got the exact reactions you described. Oy, people. Always have to comment.

Chloe's Mommy said...

My daughter has the same monkey backpack, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. That thing is worth its weight in gold!

We also use it at my parents' house when we go outside...our yard is fenced in and theirs isn't, so Chloe doesn't necessarily understand that there are boundaries even if she can't see them.

I wonder what the neighbors think when I have the extendable dog leash clipped to the monkey's butt?

K said...

veery very very cute !!! We have and have lost the monkey backpack
I need to dig it out as R has become quite the runner in the Mall ( luckily its easy to find him as he is usually running to the Beanie Baby kiosk or the Apple store )