Conversations with Riah, Volume 2: Notes from the Backseat

Because Angela gets carsick easily, and because a lot of our driving in Vermont is on winding and bumpy dirt roads, she usually drives. That means I often sit in the back with Riah and read to him. Below are three brief conversations that have unfolded in the backseat.

In which Riah sees increasingly exotic animals out the window

Scene:

We are driving along a dirt road lined with trees. There are no animals in sight.

Riah [pointing out the window]: Owl?

Elizabeth: Oh, do you see an owl?

Riah: Whoooo whoooo

[Several minutes pass]

Riah [pointing out the window]: Cow?

Elizabeth: Oh, do you see a cow?

Riah: Mmmmooooooooo

[Several minutes pass]

Riah [with a sly smile]: Wolf?

Elizabeth: Is there a wolf outside the window?!

Riah: Awwoooooo

[Several minute pass]

Riah [pointing out the window]: Elph?

Elizabeth: An elephant out the window?! Oh my!

Riah: [Grinning and pointing out the window]: Jaff?

Elizabeth: A giraffe!!??

[Riah chuckles and drinks some milk. End scene]

In which Riah passes gas

Scene:

Riah passes gas

Riah [giggling]: Toot.

Elizabeth: Riah, what do we say after we toot?

Riah: Toot!

Elizabeth: I think we say “excuse me.”

[Several minutes pass. Riah passes gas again, this time much louder. If you just heard the sound and had to guess whether it came from a toddler, and adult, or a whoopee cushion, you would guess a whoopee cushion.]

Riah [smiling]: Toot.

Elizabeth [stifling a laugh]: What do we say after we toot?

Riah: Toot!

Elizabeth: I think we say “excuse me.”

Riah: Uh oh.

[End scene]

IMG_0786

Reading and raisins

In which Riah wants inanimate objects to talk to him

Scene:

We are reading a book entitled My Truck is Stuck, which Riah was given the last time he went to the doctor. It involves a dump truck, driven by a dog and loaded full of bones, that gets stuck in a hole. Several cars come along and try to help. All the while, woodchucks are stealing the bones. We are never told the source of the bones, where the dog is taking them, or why the woodchucks have taken such a keen interest in them.

Riah: Dog! Talk?

Elizabeth: You want the dog in the book to talk to you?

[Riah grins]

Elizabeth: Hi Riah, I’m a dog. I’m trying to deliver this big truck full of bones.

[We continue reading. Riah points to a flag on one of the cars in the book]

Riah: Flag? Talk?

Elizabeth: You want the flag to talk to you?

[Riah grins]

Elizabeth: Hi Riah, I’m a flag.

[We finish reading the book. Riah points out the window]

Riah: Tree. Talk?

Elizabeth: You want the trees to talk to you?

Riah: Yeah!

Elizabeth: Hi Riah, we are some trees.

[Riah grins]

Riah [Pointing to the ceiling]: Ceil? Talk?

Elizabeth: You want the ceiling to talk to you?

[Riah grins]

Elizabeth: Hi Riah, I’m the ceiling.

Riah: More!

Elizabeth: Uh, hi Riah, I’m the ceiling, and I keep the rain off of your head.

Riah: More!

Elizabeth: I also keep the sun off of your head.

[Riah babbles at the ceiling, as if in conversation]

[Several moments pass. We begin to read another book entitled Good Night, Vermont.]

Riah: Bird. Talk?

Elizabeth [wearily]: Hi Riah, I’m a bird.

Riah: Fly?

Elizabeth: Yes, the bird is flying.

Riah [Throwing the book]: Fly!

[End scene]

 

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