On Thanksgiving Day of this year (Thursday, November 26, 1998), Sophie's mom (Gina) called to leave a message on our answering machine. Gina knew that Carolyn and I were at South Padre Island for the holiday, and she wanted to leave a little surprise for us. When we got back Sunday night, the song you hear in this audio file was on the machine. When we heard it we were amazed, because when Sophie was visiting with us just two months earlier, she was only beginning to say a few baby-ish words. Now apparently, two months later, she could sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" intelligibly, albeit rather childishly. I was incredulous, and insisted this could not possibly be Sophie, and so Carolyn called Gina and asked if she had left the message. Gina thought we were making a little too much of a fuss over Sophie's singing talents, but she confirmed that indeed she had called and helped Sophie sing "Twinkle, Twinkle". Naturally, I immediately went to work on recording it for the web page, and after some consternation with the sound card, managed to put it on the web site. Of course, we told all our family and friends so that they could hear it too.

Shortly thereafter we got a call from Sophie's mother, somewhat stunned and horrified. This was not the message she left on the answering machine at all, and Sophie could not possible sing that much of the song. She went on to explain that in the message she left on our machine, she introduced the song, then sang the first few words, at which point Sophie woould sing a word or two, and Gina would pick it up, etc. However, as you can hear from the audio file, there was no introduction, no adult voice, and it ended rather abruptly. It couldn't be Sophie, her mother says, even if it does sound vaguely like her, because she simply can't yet put that many words together.

Is this some other little girl? If it is, how did it come to be on our machine, singing the same song Sophie and her mother left earlier? And where was the original message with mom's intro? We're completely stumped.

My current theory is that Sophie did indeed make the call. Sometime shortly after 10 PM (8:07 PM Sophie's time, as tagged by the answering machine), Sophie hit the "Redial" button on her mom's phone (probably by accident... she has been known to play with the phone from time to time), and left the message you hear in the audio file. Of course, this doesn't explain what happened to the original message, but we hope to find out if this conjecture is true when Gina and Charles get their phone bill next month and we can see if there is a call listed at that particular time. If there is, the biggest part of the mystery will be solved.

We'll keep you posted...