Fiona discovers her love for water

Fiona picks blueberries, eats dirt, learns to share, and discovers she loves water. And our family launches a YouTube channel.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to pick some blueberries. (By the way, blueberry bushes are lovely, and I don’t know why more people don’t plant them in their front yards.) Fiona didn’t seem to understand what we were doing, even when I gave her a berry to eat. Instead of crawling around or trying to find blueberries, she just ate the dirt. She doesn’t think anything tastes bad, as far as I can tell. Every time I turned around, she had mud all over her chin (dirt/drool combo).

Fiona has learned to share—well, sort of. At the beginning of June, she was eating some Cheerios, and I opened my mouth to see if she would give me one. She just cackled. But a few days after the blueberry picking, she pulled a paper towel apart and tried to put it in Dustin’s mouth. That seemed promising, so I gave her some blueberries and pointed at my mouth, and she gave me one. Then she gave me two more. Then she was about to give me one last berry, but she took it back and ate it herself instead. Last night, I gave her some little strips of red pepper, but she didn’t want any. She took a few from me and threw them on the ground. I tried to encourage her by eating one, and she seemed to say, “Oh, yeah? Well, if you think they’re so great, YOU eat them!” She fed the rest of them to me.

One thing we’ve noticed in the last few weeks is that Fiona really likes water, and what’s more, she recognizes it in many forms. We’ve taken her to a play fountain near our house a few times. Most of the kids playing there are much bigger, and many of them are pretty oblivious and would probably step on her as they dash around, so Dustin went into the fountain with her for protection. She doesn’t seem bothered by water in the least. Kids fill up cups with water and dump it on her head, and she sputters a little and then smiles. The water shoots up out of the spout just as she was starting to inspect it, and she waves her arms and squeals (or growls) approvingly. Some of the less-oblivious big kids come over to show her how it’s done. After a few minutes, she takes off and crawls right through the middle of the fountain.

A few days ago, we were exploring Silver Spring (just north of D.C.). We came around a corner and discovered a fountain we had never seen before—basically just water spilling over a long lip into a drain (although it was much nicer looking than I’m making it sound). Fiona recognized it immediately and started flapping her arms and panting. That, by the way, is how she shows that she’s excited—just like a puppy, except that she doesn’t have a tail, so she wags her arms instead. We pushed her stroller over so she could stick her hands under the water.

Last night, we walked by a fountain that has water overflowing from one teacup or bucket to another, and Dustin took her out of her stroller and held her up so she could splash in one of the buckets. She was pretty wet in a few minutes, and it was time to move on, so we put her back in her stroller … and she screamed and wailed. (She is definitely getting more stubborn and learning to throw tantrums. Fortunately, for now, her tantrums usually don’t last more than about 20 seconds.)

However, as great as she is at recognizing fountains, she’s not that great at recognizing non-fountains. She and I were walking downtown to meet Dustin, and we came across a huge river in the gutter. I figured a fire hydrant was open, so we followed it so that I could report it. A few blocks away, we discovered that the source was not a fire hydrant, but a manhole cover that apparently led to a water main, with the water gurgling up out of the ground. Again, Fiona waved her arms and panted. She was very disappointed when all I did was make a phone call and turn around and head back downtown.

In one of these pictures, you’ll notice that it looks like Fiona is being cuddly. This is not a normal occurence. It only happens when she’s really, really tired and has access to her fleece, and it never lasts long.

We have a new camera that has video and sound (the old one had video, but no sound, so it wasn’t that cool). Dustin set up a YouTube channel for Fiona. Technically, it’s for the whole family—it’s named after our family magazine, and someday we’ll do some news broadcasts or something—but for now, Fiona’s the most interesting person in the family, so the videos are of her. Here’s the link.

This article appeared on page 19 of Issue 3 | July 2011.

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