Posted on 09/04/2014

Photo taken on September  4, 2014

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Monkey Buddy Doubting My Buddyhood

Monkey Buddy Doubting My Buddyhood
Today NLJ reminded me so much of EFJ and ERJ when they were the same age: asking "tell me again that". So, for example, she wanted to know about a certain photograph of her Aunt Emma. It was the story of waving goodbye to the baba as it sailed into the sky among the big pine trees tied to a helium balloon. So after I told NLJ this story, she asked me to tell it to her again. And I told it, mmm, thinking maybe seven times. If I had not been able to say, "Let's go see what Monkey Buddy is up to now!", I would probably still be telling this story. The story has great meaning for NLJ because recently the Bottle Fairy came to her house and away went the baba.

This photograph is of a screen on the Fire Phone (which I love in spite of a few problems it has; it is still mountains cooler than a regular cell phone which now all seem so much like the Blackberries we carried around at work all those years). I introduced the Tiny Sunbeam to this extra fun little app today. The little monkey likes it when you rub his ears and tickle him. The simple and childlike (childish?) activity is surprisingly reinforcing and captivating. You wouldn't think so until you actually do it. I mean, after all, it is a hard surface, nothing cuddly like a pet or a loved one. But I'm not kidding: when you pet this little guy he behaves in a way that makes you want to do it again. We also fed him bananas (which you have to peer around to see; the Fire Phone screen, for many things, is more like a un-mirror in which you can look into a bigger space) but sometimes, just like a clowning monkey, he would throw the banana at his side of the phone screen and it would splat all over. There's lots to this game and we didn't do much more than scratch the surface. But I'm betting NLJ will be telling her Da Da about Monkey Buddy when he gets home from work (which is to say home from his work on the Fire Phone). At least I think that is the team he is on.

The monkey has a camera and you can have him take a picture. Once snapped, he looks at it. He decides if the picture is of the person looking at him via the phone or not. If not, he turns the picture around so you can see it and he makes some sort of gesture of disappointment or confusion or doubt. It seems to be different each time. In this case, he is seeing me, but then he sees me with a camera in front of my face so then it doesn't jive. If Monkey Buddy recognizes the image on the photograph, he draws on it in some way. For example, he might paint a mustache on you or put glasses on you. Then he turns it around and shows you the funny face he made. He then tosses the photo. When NLJ's mom came to pick her up, we had the monkey take her picture. But since he was looking for a little girl, the picture of the Mom didn't get the funny treatment. If you turn the phone away from the monkey for a bit and then turn it back, you will see the monkey being very sad because he doesn't know where his buddy went.

Today especially it was nice to make the connection with NLJ between this little cell phone game and the sign language we use to do which communicated, "You and I are best buds."

Besides exploring Monkey Buddy, we spent most of the time using our new Back to Skewl supplies. I turned a little wooden box the Great Aunt Donna gave to me years ago into a school box since I couldn't find any "official" school boxes when I was out and about. She did some cutting with her new scissors (she did a good job of remembering to keep her other hand safe by stretching it way far away :) ). Her next favorite school supply was her very own glue stick. I had thought the #2 pencils (Grandfathers are typically interested in making sure their grandchildren are ready to take tests) and the pencil sharpener would attract more interest than they did. The wide-ruled paper had some attraction and those old fashioned too-small and too-sticky metallic colored stars were also fun. NLJ is continuing her education starting next week.