How many boobs do mommy caribous have?
During cuddle time this morning, we were playing Eskimos-in-the-arctic. This means tunneling under the blankets and pretending it’s an igloo. Older son hunts our food–polar bears, caribou, the occasional seal. The toddler is the baby. I am the mommy.
Today when older son was hunting caribou, he brought back to the “igloo” one dead caribou and one baby caribou. “The baby’s mother was killed by a polar bear.” We decided to raise it ourselves. Then older son explained that this is something we often do in the arctic, raise caribou babies for our own herd. “Does our baby need milk, or can we feed it grass from under the snow?” I asked. “We can feed it grass, it’s old enough,” older son explained, and then returned to the tundra for more hunting.
He returned without anymore dead caribou but with two more babies who needed our care. “But these ones need milk, so I will go get one of our mommy caribous,” he said, and then acted out this scene:
(quietly, almost to himself, with appropriate hand motions)
“No, not you Betsy, not you Sara, not you Pepper.” (a little pause) “Yes you, Tigerfire.”
(pantomimes leading Tigerfire with a leash of some kind) “Here babies, drink.” (pantomimes holding babies’ mouths up to Tigerfire’s reindeer-udder, and makes slurping sounds)
“How many boobs do mommy caribous have?”
“Uh, I really don’t know. Four?”
“Okay, I will just use one then.”
The toddler was busy trying to tickle us all this time.
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Tags: animals, language, older son, storytelling, toddler