Boo has discovered clapping. When she first did it it, it was the cutest thing that has ever happened in the history of man (and that's not just my opinion, it's actual Guinness World Record fact). Arms fully extended in front of her, she tentatively coordinated her balled fists so that they met silently together in front of her swelling, proud chest. A big smile crept across her face as she looked up with the most blatant "I've just clapped" expression I have ever had the pleasure to witness. Then, spurred on by the uproarious cheering, whooping and deafening applause of her exultant audience (me), she repeated the action several times, pounding her tiny knuckles together harder and harder in the hope of achieving some sort of sound from the things. Her commitment to audibility was notably dedicated, so much so that I felt the need to intervene in order to avoid her fingers turning into bloodied stumps of self harm.
Opening The Poop's fingers I encouraged her to allow her palms to meet in order to generate the elusive noise she clearly craved. After a couple of successful attempts, Boo threw me off, with an "I know, I know, now get out of the way" jostle that I'm sure will become increasingly familiar over the coming months and years.
Then...she clapped. WITH SOUND.
She then looked to me, her eyes wide with delight and waited for the impending fanfare. I cheered, roared, hip hipped, sang, chanted, whooped and danced about. She looked at me with a slightly disappointed air, as if my lack of an actual cartwheel suggested I wasn't really proud. Little sod.
To give me a chance to redeem myself, she clapped again. Fortunately, it was at this very moment that Dave returned from work, and was able to run in and add an additional element of merriment to the previously deficient gala of joy. As he entered the lounge to news of our daughter's latest accomplishment, we both immediately broke into the pre arranged carnival of back flips, Highland jigs, fire eating, synchronised dance moves and a costly programme of pyrotechnics set to music.
The Poop observed the spectacle wheeled out by her browbeaten parents to commemorate this historic occasion and, suitably impressed upon its conclusion, she showed off by rewarding our efforts with three or four well placed perceptible claps on the run.
Oh God. Now she'd gone and done her very first ever round of applause. So we gave back word to Elton John and he turned up to belt out 'Clapping In The Wind' (why 'In The Wind' I dunno. I didn't ask; I didn't want to look ungrateful).