Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Does the Giraffe Say?

Or the elephant or the zebra for that matter?

William is really into animal sounds lately. Actually he's just really into animals period. He sleeps with a monkey, a bear and a duck. This did not come from us. We have never pushed a "lovey" on him. So when he slowly started adding animals to the herd in his crib, it was completely his own doing.

Every morning he will hold up each animal and declare the sound it makes. First the duck ("gack gack") then the monkey ("ooo ooo ooo eee eee eee") and finally the bear ("beeeer"). Ok so I guess for the bear he just likes to call it what it is instead of saying the sound.

So this is why, when I found myself at the Target dollar spot the other day, I purchased a set of four plastic safari animals for him. There they are off to the right in all their African glory. There's an elephant, giraffe, zebra and either a tiger or a lioness, not sure.

The problem is that only one of these animals has a truly identifiable sound and that's the tiger/lioness. I guess technically the elephant makes a distinct sound but have you ever tried making that sound yourself? It doesn't really come out right.

So when William holds one of these animals up to me and says, "uh?" I don't really know what to teach him.

He's taken to saying "moo" when he holds up the giraffe which is really funny. He did the same thing when we walked into the giraffe pen at the zoo last week. And the more I try to tell him it's not a cow the more he's insistent that the giraffe does indeed say "moo."

So fine, the giraffe says, "moo" but what does the zebra say? Well the zebra kind of looks like a horse and he does know the horsie sound ("weeee") so we went with that.

Now what to do with that dang elephant. I tried just saying "el-a-fant." But that's pretty cumbersome in the mouth for a 1-year-old. He looked at me intensely as I repeated myself a few more times.




Finally after many failed attempts of trying to get him to mimick me, he picked up the elephant, looked at it and said, "Woof woof!"

This, my dear readers, is just one example of the never-ending dilemmas of a stay-at-home mom.


  1. Jenny,

    Elephant is easy (although sounds silly coming from a human), I'll do it on the phone for you. Madgalene loves to do it. A zebra brays like a donkey - hee-haw. The "lioness" is actually a cheetah or leopard. It does growl like a lion though. You're right about the giraffe, it's a tricky one. I found this, which I don't know if it is true or not, but it gives you a few options.

    "Some other communication sounds for giraffes are moaning, snoring, hissing, and flutelike sounds. When alarmed, a giraffe grunts or snorts to warn neighboring giraffes of the danger. Mother giraffes can whistle to their young calves. Also, cows search for their lost young by making bellowing calls. The calves return their mother’s calls by bleating or mewing. While courting an estrous cow, male giraffes may cough raucously."

    Don't look at me like that. I have a three-year-old who wanted to know what all of the animals in his 26 animal train said. I had to hit the internet and search.

  2. I forgot that giraffes and their babies are called cows/calves. Maybe my son is smarter than me already!!


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