Now I’ve seen it all.
At my age, there’s not a whole lot that surprises me anymore. But thanks to my little grandniece, yesterday I had what is, for me, a new experience.
I have attended a birthday party for a goldfish.
If you have a child under the age of five, or if you are familiar with Sesame Street, you probably know what I am talking about.
Apparently, our Muppet friend, Elmo, has a pet goldfish named Dorothy. And yes, you guessed it, she’s another year older.
The special day was celebrated by adding a birthday cake toy to Dorothy’s fishbowl and by having all the kids demonstrate how they wrapped their gifts for their favorite ichthyologic friend. Behind the window shade, Mr. Noodle appeared in the cloud window to further demonstrate gift wrapping technique, but not before wrapping himself in orange paper and winding an entire roll of tape around his neck and body. Silly Mr. Noodle!
Following a segment showing how birthdays are celebrated around the world, Elmo closes by singing a rousing chorus of “for she’s a jolly good goldfish.”
Please tell me that Dorothy doesn’t have her own fan page on Facebook. Oh, she does, huh?
Unlike Dorothy, my grandniece is not celebrating a birthday this week (she turned one year old about three months ago). But that didn’t stop us from buying her a present anyway.
We found a good buy on a kids’ tablet computer known as a Nabi, Jr. Now, the Nabi website says this product is for children ages 3 to 7. But we know Little One is going to have a grand old time with it, judging by the way she plays with all of our iPhones. We have to keep an eye on our phones or she will swipe them and disappear before we know what happened. The fact that they may be plugged in to charge will in no way deter her. She will simply tug on the cord until the phone comes loose. Once in possession of said phone, she will touch every part of the screen with reckless abandon. My grandniece’s explorations have resulted in her sending texts to our friends, making phone calls and even deleting most of our apps.
I think I get it. Our phones are a whole lot more fun than a birthday party for Dorothy the fish.
We figure it won’t be long before Little One will be speaking to us in an intelligible manner, and we know how that scene will go. I fully expect her first full sentence to be “I want my own iPhone! Now now now!”
We will cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, however, we know that she will go crazy over all the colors, the games, the drawing and music — both kids’ tunes and classical (Mendelssohn, anyone?). Most importantly, she will get to touch every part of the screen and making fun things happen. At least until she throws it across the room (she likes to fling things).
My wife and I were playing around with the Nabi after we got it charged up today. I accessed an app called ABC Color, where, after reaching the letter E, I used the drawing tools that appeared at the bottom of the screen to fill in an outline picture of an elephant with a gray colored pencil. Like any infant worth his salt, I was unable to stay within the lines. No problem there; I simply used the eraser tool to make the picture look perfect.
Well, I’d better sign off here and get myself to bed. I want to make sure to be up in time to see the look on my grandniece’s face when we present her with the Nabi. And to hear the crash when she flings it into a corner to go play with a spoon or hide behind my mother-in-law’s easy chair.
So good night, and uh, happy birthday, Dorothy! Or, in your language, glub glub.