Sometimes I wonder what the Zen-like concept the word Shakespeare conjures in my 4yr old’s brain. She knows that he’s a person, but yet she also uses his name like an adjective (remember the story of the “Shakespeare flower”?) She seems to associate it with this abstract notion of, “good thing that makes Daddy happy.”
Tonight, the kids put on a dance recital. This is where the 4yr old dresses up in random accessories and dictates who does what, my 6yr old (who has more dance training) tries to demonstrate her skills, and the 2yr old boy spins around in circles until he falls down. Perhaps the most surreal part was when the 4yr old, who is a girl for my new readers, proclaimed “I’m Joseph!”
“Joseph who?” I asked.
“Joseph, Jesus’ Daddy?”
Oh, of course. This apparently had something to do with the fact that she was wearing a veil backwards on her head, so it draped down the back of her hair. I think she saw a connection to the depictions of what Joseph wears in the nativity scene.
But anyway, that’s not the point of my story :). After the recital when everybody was taking a break, the director explained to me: “Daddy, tomorrow is a different show. Tonight was the recital, tomorrow is gonna be the shouting show.”
“A shouting show?” I said, “I don’t think I like the sound of that very much.”
“No!” she said, “You will. It’s got Shakespeare in it.”
“Oh, a shouting Shakespeare show?”
“And lots of BOOM noises!”
“Like Henry VIII?”(*)
It’s at this point that the 4 and 6 yr olds are different, because the 6yr old is actually listening to me and would assume I was making a joke she didn’t get. The 4yr old is so busy planning the show in her head that she has no idea I’m talking.
(*) That’s the one where the cannons ended up burning down the Globe, you see.