This morning The Boss began regaling me with a story about a "caterpillar named Doggie" as soon as I walked into her bedroom to retrieve her from the crib.
"A caterpillar named Doggie?" I repeated, with a questioning lilt at the end. I do that a lot. I've become something of a repetition machine. Between her mimicking and my clarification-seeking, it's constant reverb around here.
"Caterpillar named Doggie!" she cackled. "Woof, woof!"
This was noteworthy because, usually, The Boss wakes up talking about horses. This is not to say she does not recognize other animals. In fact, she can identify by sight and sound almost any critter between here and Africa. She can converse at length about all of them. It's just that she seems to have taken a particular shine to horses. In fact, she projects almost all her spoken emotions onto them.
"Horses soooo sleepy," she'll sigh as she rubs each eye with a balled up hand.
"Horses soooo hungry!" she'll shriek, before dinner.
"Horses afraid." This one often emerges out of the seeming blue and almost always merits a hug.
As obvious as it is that she's not just talking about horses, I still wonder what's going on inside her head. Though I have an idea what she's feeling, I can't imagine what images are galloping through her imagination. What does she see? What does it mean to her? And why horses? I mean, whenever we encounter the majestic creatures in close-up reality, the girl is terrified. Even horses of the painted and inanimate variety are too much for her. We rode a carousel once and the only thing she would sit on was the bench.
So my questions remain unacknowledged. The only one who can clear things up for me is The Boss--and, as verbal as she is for a two year old, she's not saying.