Saturday, May 07, 2011

To Speck at 38 months

Speck eats a chunk of snowWow, hard to believe that 6 months have sneaked by, but I seem to have the list of new developments to support it. Most obvious to the casual observer is that you've become a creator of games -- crawling or slithering across the floor, jumping down the stairs ("don't touch!"), making up rules for kicking and chasing a ball outdoors (even if not always followable by mortal parents), and inventing other silliness on the fly. You love to pop any bubblewrap that crosses your path (initially it took great zen-like concentration, but recently you discovered the destructive power of dancing across a sheet of the stuff on your heels!). And you craftily substitute a triumphant raspberry for the occasional good-night kiss, much to your own amusement.

Language continues to be your unparalleled forte, wowing your teachers with your fluency and continually surprising us with your dexterity and variety of words. There are still plenty of signs of Work in Progress Speck grins in a bubble bath-- most notable is that as you began to give some common words their full three syllables, they didn't always end up in the right place ("beanna," "amitals," and "elphantant" are the most notable). But you've picked up on the family game of substituting topical lyrics into familiar songs (especially anything that can be sung to the theme of "Maisy"), and you like to make up your own words for things (like "cun") and ask for them to be worked into books that are read to you (a challenge to tired parents!). Further, there are *many* signs that you are hungry to be able to read: you want to take your turn at "reading" favorite books aloud, sometimes riffing on the images and other times working in turns of phrase from the original text; you recognize all the names in Winnie the Pooh, and can integrate them smoothly into your concoctions when you read those tales to us; and you are picking out more and more individual words (apparently deciding for yourself the controversy between word-recognition and phonetics modes of learning).

Speck poses lying atop a pile of her stuffed friendsThere are things we have enjoyed less: a period when you wanted us to read you one book while you flipped through another; the congealing of the frog nap game into a sort of running discipline proxy battle; a rise in violent rhetoric, including threats to "chop you up to bits" (or "make a mama-loaf") or "throw you out of the house"; elaborate rituals of reverse psychology, as when every peanut-butter sandwich had to be accompanied by great shows of longing from Mom, combined with "you missed your chance" taunts; and a return of biting, most dismaying at times when it arose in a context of snuggling and affection. I guess we're getting resigned to the idea that such things are never a phase that is truly past, just a cycle that comes and goes, and to trying to find the connection even amidst the exhaustion and conflict.

Meantime, you've learned to use scissors with amazing success, took a few months of swimming instruction that got you from terrified clinger to confident and cheerful kicker, learned to carry on a nearly functional phone conversation (and became obsessed with same), and decided that 45 is your favorite number (45 minutes also acts as your definition of Nearly Forever). And you expressed your first bit of night fear, talking about "blue dots" that could only be kept at bay by a nightlight.

Speck grins out from a dinosaur egg

You like to laugh at the idea that Mom had your bear Tsah (a little battered these days) on a shelf for many years without realizing how special she was. Have no worries for yourself on that front; whatever the challenges, your parents are completely enchanted with you, your explorations, and your crazed giggles. Looking forward to more!

No comments: