Friday, February 29, 2008

Isabelle, Tolkien, and reincarnation

For those who don't see Isabelle in person, you should know that she has beautiful blue-gray eyes. She is also a social-leader type, attracting around herself a small court of admirers.

So the other day, Isabelle put a hand towel over her head like a kerchief. She wrapped a body towel around her waist like a robe. Then this little gray-eyed pilgrim looked at me and told me she was going on a journey.

"Where are you going?"

"To Numenora."

I swear that I have no memory of ever telling Isabelle Tolkien's tale of the Kings of Numenor, or showing her my "Numenor" website, or even speaking the word in her presence. Numenor is just not one of my oft-told tales. Carrie likewise. While one might expect a reincarnation of a Numenorean to be taller, still she has the noble bearing, magnetic personality, and those gray eyes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Isabelle's favorite books

Isabelle has long loved to pull books off Daddy's bookshelf. At some times she'll do this daily. Generally the same ones. In relative order of preference, Isabelle likes
  1. The Mother Dance by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
  2. Dinosaur in a Haystack by Stephen Jay Gould (Biology, not fiction)
  3. Relativity, the Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein
  4. Asymmetries in Time: Problems in the Philosophy of Science by Paul Horwich
  5. Western European Costume by Iris Brooke
  6. The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
  7. The Double Helix by James D. Watson
  8. The Essential Enneagram

Does she want to be a scientist?

While most of these books are together on my shelf, many are not (such as Mother Dance and European Costume). There are also a number of non-science books near the others that she never selects. These are definitely her favorites.


Isabelle has a naughty alter ego. For a long time I thought she was calling her "Jenna-thief," and if I ask her about "Jenna-thief" she will answer as if I have correctly named her. Carrie heard the name as "Genevieve," which is probably what Isabelle intended. But I keep hearing her say "Jenna-thief," probably because the name is evocative for me. When I listen carefully, I can tell that her 4-year-old effort at the sound /v/ is unformed, and often sounds more like /f/. Since /f/ and /v/ are allophones most of the time in English (that is, one can substitute one for the other without changing the meaning -- "vor" is heard as a variant on "for," whereas "gat" is not a variant of "hat"), my ear hardly notices her unformed consonant, I simply translate it into something that makes a word. "Jenna-thief."

What does Genevieve do? Everything naughty. She first emerged in an ecstasy of storytelling, with Isabelle running about her Grandparents' home in Massachussets describing the havoc Genevieve wrought.

"She took those books and threw them on the floor. She took that pot and she broke it. She ripped up those papers."

Eventually she ran around the room pointing at various objects, "she broke that, and she broke that, and she broke that."

Later, Genevieve became more sophisticated, although her goal of thorough naughtiness remained her raison d'etre:

She rides in the car without her seatbelt
She parks on the sidewalk
She goes shopping in her pajamas
She makes people climb on the roof and then pushes them off
She feeds the cats milk and chocolate
She throws Mommy's shelves without taking the horses off.

But have no fear. If Genevieve comes near, Isabelle says she'll get Mr. Incredible to throw the house at her.

"But honey, if he throws the house at her, where will we live?"

"That's okay. We can live in the hole where the house was."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Isabelle's Room

Isabelle's Room
pen and crayon

This is a thorough diagram of Isabelle's room. On the left side, you can see Isabelle coming in. The rectangle around her is the door. At the top you can see her bed, surrounded by ruffles, with a pillow, and rumpled blankets. Moving clockwise to the right, there is a square which is her window, and then her dresser, with all the drawers for her clothes. In the lower right corner, the circle with lines is her hamper. Along the bottom is the hallway, narrow next to the hamper and widening into a rectangle. The green is our ugly hallway rug.