Monday, July 13, 2009

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
--Robert Louis Stevenson

I didn't have much success finding a ball poem in the amount of time Elizabeth was willing to let me look, so I went to my backup list, and found this poem that at least mentions balls.

Since I have a wide computer screen, I've been showing Elizabeth Youtube videos on one half to keep her happy while I check email on the other half. I have several playlists full of old Sesame Street clips, and songs from Disney movies, but what she's especially fascinated by are random videos of Doggies, Kitties and Balls. Dogs and cats are pretty safe to search for on youtube, but balls are more problematic, if you catch my drift.

Thinking about a solution made me remember that my old computer had AfterDark installed, so I hooked it up on the spare desk, and turned on the Marbles! module where marbles drop from the sky and bounce off pegs before settling. When I showed Elizabeth, this was her reaction:

While I'm on the subject, here are a few other fun videos of Elizabeth's ball obsession.

Roll the Ball:

Elizabeth's first strike:

Elizabeth and I played a fun game where she'd roll balls from my knee to my toes where they'd ski jump. In this video, she only does it once before deciding she'd rather kick her legs like the kids doing karate on Sesame Street

Later that day, we found that the chair made an even better ski jump for the balls than my legs do.

So if you'd like to support her addiction, send me links to your favorite youtube videos of Balls, Kitties, Dogs, Nursery rhymes, Finger plays, Vintage Children's Television, and whatever else you think Elizabeth would like to see. Also, if you know of any baby appropriate games (see has some examples of what I'm talking about here) that can be played offline, you can send me those links too!


  1. hi elizabeth. from trevor. i wish i could play ball with you to. have fun with your mommy.


    I haven't tried this link yet with Maya, but I've heard it's pretty good. Enjoy!