I went back to the archive of team-messages that I've been using for group communication for years, and there it was in the seventh message (we're up to #1551 by now):
I had to work very hard not to laugh the other day when she flung her cup, and then sang out her version of "Ashes, ashes, all fall down!"
I'd forgotten that incident, but remembered hearing the phrase on at least two additional occasions. And then... Elvis left the building, the sliders on Joy's mixer board slid into a new position, and the phrase disappeared.
Fast forward to this weekend.
Joy came home from school on Friday with a new piece of artwork, this one containing both swirls and dots. This one had been created to the tune of Ring Around the Rosy, a tune that Joy had suddenly begun to request that day. We also learned that she'd been excited to work with LeapFrog phonics toys at school, which she'd connected with at home in a big way right around the end of 2011. And the Brown Bear theme had continued at school as well, evidenced in a copy of Baby Bear, Baby Bear coming home with her for the weekend.
It rained most of the weekend. Ordinarily this would be a bummer, but we've had a long string of parched weeks, so the rain was actually very welcome. And guess who got to go out and make splashes and splashes, stomping in the puddles among the fallen leaves?
We played Ring Around the Rosy in the puddles, and Mama substituted a new line for the "ashes" line (that probably isn't a reference to the Black Death, though it's an oft-told myth): Splashes, splashes, all fall down! Joy responded with many splashes and stomps and giggles, and helpfully refraining from actually falling down.
Then something seemed to catch her attention. She looked, leaned to the side, took another looong look.
"Joy, what do you see?" asked Mama.
The response grew out of Brown Bear and our stomping-splashes, and just about took my breath away.
I see bird -- stomp, stomp, stomp!Six words, gentle readers. Six in a row, one more even than our long-lost Ring Around the Rosy line, in an original combination.
She was working other spoken-combos this weekend, too. She says them slowly, with great emphasis, almost with a period after each word.
I. Want. iPad!
I. Want. Help!
I. Want. Cracker!
I. Want. Bread! (This last was a request for the infamous zucchini bread)
I haven't heard a spoken request for a hug yet. But you'd better believe she was receiving, this weekend.
And as for me, I am so greedy.
I. want. more.
But there were moments to be lived in, this weekend, and each one was a miracle unto itself.