b Papa Dog's Blog: But Not Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, or Thyme

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

But Not Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, or Thyme

Somewhere around the time Baby Dog started taking solid foods, Mama Dog developed a fascination with vinyl placemats from the 1970s. It was a bit of nostalgic yearning combined with a practical need to find a food serving surface that, unlike our old woven cotton standbys, can be wiped clean with a sponge. Mama Dog haunted EBay and found a couple of sets of bargains. The most recent were these vintage Vera dealies featuring pictures of different herb and spice plants.

Although she took little notice of the placemats initially, they eventually caught Baby Dog’s attention, and during at least one meal a day she inevitably wants to play with one of the placemats. Since any distraction makes her easier to feed, I tend to fork the thing over. We developed a routine. Baby Dog would point at a plant and say, “This!” I’d say “That’s the spearmint.” “This!” “That’s the chicory.” And so on. For Mama Dog’s amusement and because I can’t resist an opportunity to turn things into a quiz, I started asking “Where’s the watercress.” Baby Dog would point confidently at the watercress and say “There!” Mama Dog was surprised and impressed until I pointed out that the watercress is front and center on the placemat and I knew it was the one Baby Dog always points at first. Similar tricks are used to make it look as though horses know how to do arithmetic.

Today, though.... On a lark, I asked Baby Dog one by one where the bergamot, the spearmint, the chicory, the watercress, and the yarrow were. One by one she identified the correct plant. I kind of doubt a horse can be trained to do that. Hell, I only know which one is which because it’s clearly labelled on the mat. Baby Dog must have the memory I used to have before I got middle-aged. I suspect she wouldn’t recognise a bundle of yarrow if we dropped it on the table, but she sure knows what spot on the placemat goes by that name.


Blogger Twizzle said...

If Baby Dog manages to actually say the word "bergamot" at 15 months, I'll just plotz!

10:43 PM  

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