Baby J's favorite books are those with animals. We try to make the sounds of the various animals with him as we read, which has led me to believe that there is a cabal of children's board book authors who are sitting around, laughing uproariously, thinking about parents trying to make the sounds for, say, yaks. His favorite book, titled "Animals," includes, among other difficult creatures, ants, spiders, ladybugs, and, my personal favorite, dinosaurs. What? These first three are not animals and the last is extinct! And what does a ladybug say, pray tell? Or an ant? And, while we're at it, putting aside questions of phylum, genus, and species, what sounds do an octopus, crab, or iguana make?
While his parents struggle to get beyond "rrrraurrr!" for some of the animals in question, J is funny about his animal likes and dislikes. Lately, he has discovered puppies, all on his own, and goes absolutely ballistic, squealing for all he's worth when he sees them in books, on television, or in person (in dog?). (He caused our neighbor, who was out with his two dogs, to say "wow, he's certainly vocal, isn't he" as J squealed so loudly he woke up the neighbor's sleeping baby in the stroller.) In addition, he loves pandas, peacocks (yeah, that's a lovely one for sounds), octopi, and, wait for it, newts! Yes, because that is yet another animal included in one of his books written by the evil children's book writers. Fortunately, "newt" is a funny enough word by itself that we don't have to come up with a sound for it, as long as we say "newt" loudly and suddenly several times.
He's also fond of the husband's collection of rubber ducks (all given to him by me, until he finally said "umm, I think I have enough ducks." Spoilsport!), some of which he uses in the bath but most of which live in a special box until he thinks to pull them out and toss them around every other day or so.