Sunday, February 20, 2005

Great Googly Moogly

Lately, mom has been trying to foist Rachmaninoff on young Franklin's tender ears, so I have opted to expose him to as much of Frank Zappa's genius as possible. He is partial to stuff from the 1988 tour, but his eyes light up when he hears Ruth Underwood's percussion work from the early 70's. This early indoctrination to Zappa's Universe will hopefully not only teach him that pop music is crap, but also not to eat yellow snow. We hope to take the boy skiing when he is three or four years old. Watch this space to see if the subliminable message worked.

Mom has returned to work after Chinese New Year. Normally what would happen with child care is that Frank would be looked after by his grandmother, but Grandma Chen lives in Changhua, 20 clicks to the south of here, and is busy most of the day helping Grandpa Chen with running the fortune-telling/feng-shui operation and it's just not convenient. So, we found a baby-minder.

I call her "Teacher Swim" because that is her Chinese name, sort of. Teacher Swim has a nursery on the first three floors of her house on Jing Chung Road between where we live and where we work where she and her daughters look after a couple handfuls of children. The young daughters look after the older, kindergarten and elementary-aged kids, and the old mother takes care of all the infants, a number which now numbers in the lower single-digits. The lowest one, actually.

Occasionally Franklin is joined by a little Japanese girl two weeks Frank's senior while her mom goes out and does the shopping, but otherwise, he is showered with attention from TS, her parents, and neighbors. The people who go by the nursery to say hello all think that Franklin is the most adorable kid in town and have remarked that he listens politely when the grownups are talking and never interrupts.

We think he probably likes going to Teacher Swim's house a lot. Above his crib at home we have a musical mobile that plays "The Teddy Bear's Picnic." He lies in the crib and hums harmony. Well, TS has the same mobile over his crib at her place.

She is also an expert in child-rearing, without being obnoxious about it. That's quite a balancing act. She's not like some of the mothers of maladjusted children at our school that hand out advice like Red Envelopes (like this gem: "When my sons used to cry at night, we just ignored them until morning." This is obvious today.)

He's making noises that sound like he is in need of his father's attention. Talk atcha later.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Correction, the Japanese girl is a day younger than Franklin, not two weeks older as I inexplicably believed almost two dozen months ago. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.