Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicken Dance

Thank you everyone who responded so nicely to my last post. I got reactions ranging from laughter to concern to a request to use the story as a way of illustrating Schizophrenia to grad students. I hope I can horribly disappoint you with today’s post.

In one of the more cute things that’s happened in recent memory, Luca dances now. If you put music on, he bounces on his tiny butt and waves his arms like wings. He looks like an adorable little chicken. Which means he looks like the exact opposite of an actual chicken.

Luca has just gotta dance. I mean physically. He needs to dance in the same way he needs to breathe in Oxygen and breathe out Carbon Dioxide. I don’t even think he likes to dance. It’s completely involuntary. Play your ipod? Flap flap flap. A terrible jingle blares out the TV? Flap flap flap. If you hum a jaunty tune? Flap flap flap.

That’s actually the way I figured out Luca dances out of Pavlovian compulsion. I was in the bathroom the other morning and I heard the “screench screench screench” of Luca crawling in to join me (another one of his compulsions is the need to touch our toilet. But that’s another blog entry). I looked down with a mouth filled with mouthwash and Luca looked up at me, pointed and smiled.

I tried to communicate with him, which was hard to do with a mouth full of Scope. My end of the conversation ended up being humming through my clamped lips. But to Luca’s ears, it must have been music because he started flapping. I immediately laughed, spitting Scope all over the mirror.

I hummed, he flapped. I hummed, he flapped. This went on until he reared his head back to laugh and smashed his skull in the porcelain germ center.

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