Monday, December 07, 2009

To Speck at 21 months (or so)...

giant flower -- crop2It seems that every 3-month interval brings an almost unconveyable rush of change, and this one is no different. I've already summarized some of the flurry of language that you took on in the middle of this stretch, which has continued with an ever-expanding ability to repeat new words with comprehension and to throw them together into short phrases -- although not the stereotypical "me go" and "want milk" sort, but rather "throw away" and "fell off" and a host of other directions and descriptions of what's going on. (The biggest logistical improvement to your parents was your ability to answer either/or questions, a relatively late development in this vein.) You also got intonation very quickly (before words), so that you could convey a lot with a few syllables: gee-hah was clearly bye-bye, uh (upward inflection)/dah (downward inflection) was clearly a game of up and down, and naaah expressed an eye-rolling disavowal of your parents' latest crazy suggestion ("are we having turtle food?")... It is fun to watch your confidence with language grow, as well as the variety of conversations that it allows us to share.

One of your favorite types of conversation is the Epic Tale of You. This involves some striking experience that you've had, and then retell/elicit from us by way of a few words and gestures, insisting that all the highlights be told again and again until many of them are seared into our memory. You took Yogi to the vet, they walked away down the hall with her, you said "hey, bring her back!", eventually they brought her back, you and Dad came home and let her out of the carrier. You rode on the bus with Mom, you waited for a while first, then you sat in your own seat; Tsah (Golden Bear) sat on the seat too. Mom has a stroller, and I have a popper -- we both are pushing things. I dropped a cracker at the playground, we threw it away, and then a squirrel went into the trash can and came out holding my cracker! And, more recently, the perpetual thrills of full and empty: all of those swings are empty ("noi!" = nobody), and I'm in this one; before, that kid was in that swing, but now it's empty; now there are kids in this and that one, and the others are empty; now they are all full! My verbalization of this particular stream of narration makes other parents look askance, as they seem to think I'm entertaining myself rather than responding to your insistance, but you thrill to your awareness of these matters.

swinging 2 (crop2)

What else is big these days?
  • You very much love all things bus -- riding, pointing them out when walking, sending your toy monkeys on trips on the bus slot of your wooden puzzle, etc.

  • The color blue has come back into ascendance (see previous here, Point 1), especially when there's any choice of what to wear, from bibs to pants (and despite the difficulty in making any of your 100 shades of pink sweaters match your 1-2 pairs of blue pants).

  • autumn treeCraft projects, especially those involving paints, have really engaged you. Mom got some inspiration from A Mindful Life and seeks out specific seasonal ideas from this site -- have only done a handful so far, but you were quite revved up, curious about the steps, careful with your messy hands, proud to see your results displayed on wall, fridge, or at Gammy's. We recently did some watercolor painting (after seeing a picture of a set of paints in a Richard Scarey book), and you really got into it, chanting "dip... and paint... dip... and paint..." while swooping color over the page. There will be more of this!

  • Counting -- you seem to have learned the sequence of numbers organically from the various library books and so forth that feature numbers and counting, and you've made it into a playful game. Anytime that either parent mentions a number of something, you immediately "up the ante" -- "I'm going to button two buttons on your coat" "3!... 4!..." "4??" "5!... 6!..." and so forth. Quite cute. Books that feature counting backwards seem to put you off a bit, as they undermine your security about what numbers follow each other, but otherwise, you're quick to jump to the number on any page, however it may fall in the rhythm or rhyme...

  • You've started wanting to Do Things For Yourself. Much of this is helpful -- adding food to the cat dishes, washing your hands (with some assistance and a pair of new stepstools), carrying things, picking up the mail, or most recently putting on your tennies -- but some of it is pesky and/or boundary-testing (wanting to cross the street without holding hands, say). I'm sure that the latter category will expand greatly with time, but for the most part so far it's all pretty cute.
There are also a few lesser things that have changed: for example, you now sleep on your stomach, curled on top of or around 4 stuffed animals (Golden Bear=Tsah, elephant, mouse, oscelot=Oss), with an occasional book joining the menagerie in the crib; more amazingly, you often wake up in the same quadrant of the crib that you fell asleep in! You sometimes sing to yourself in the car seat, mostly tuneless little hums of contentment. You also narrate long solo games involving little figures of various sorts, whether they're monkeys on the ends of your fingers or characters in a castle or cars going down the slide. Finally, you have invested some magic into Scotch tape, which not only can mend a torn book page, but is suggested for holes in the ground and mom's aching arm muscles; there's a "booboo juice" that's more specific to your skinned knees or head bumps, but I sense that the tape represents a sort of fixing of abstract things gone wrong . . .


Well, that captures about all of it, except how fun it is to be around you, and how much your parents fall more in love with you every day. Uppy up up!

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