Aria has  been following a few instructions for a while now, such as, “let’s go for a walk! Let’s go get in your trike” to which her response is to run to the back door where we go out onto the porch and put her in her trike, with her bobbing and happy. I’m pretty sure she’s understood this one since shortly after learning to walk, because I would get her to walk all the way out there by herself.. at first it was me leading her but it quickly turned to her leading me.

Other commands, like “don’t touch that, it’s yucky” are hit or miss, while, “get down from there” never seems to work. One that she definitely gets is, “let’s go eat breakfast/lunch/dinner,” which inspires her to either hover around her high chair or climb on the stove to watch preparations (there’s a drawer at the bottom with a handle that she stands on while holding onto the oven handle.. it’s not ideal but she’s determined to see for herself). And of course there’s, “let’s go night night” which means she’ll come over to me to want up, then will say, “bye bye dada” and wave night night to him.

She can also understand a lot of other things, like hold mommy’s hand, or pick out the next book, or come sit in my lap. I’m pretty sure she understands most of what I say to her now, it’s just whether she wants to do it or not 🙂

One of my favorite, however, is “let’s go bye bye! Go get in your bye bye car seat!” which prompts her to scramble over to the car seat sitting on the floor, clamber in, and await being buckled in. This one used to be understood, but she would be hesitant or unsure, or maybe even wary, and would require some assistance. Not that she needs assistance getting into or out of the car seat, its permanency on the floor has ensured it’s part of the array of things to climb on, play in, or recline in while drinking a bottle. No, it was more of uncertainty of when I wanted her to get in, how long she’d have to sit there while I bustled around gathering up articles for the diaper bag last minute, and whether she really wanted to go wherever I was taking her. Eric would admonish me that I’d tell her too early to go get in her seat, and that I should wait until I was really ready to go, because sometimes she would crawl in then back out again before I’d make it over to buckle her in.

But lately it’s been pretty consistent, despite however long it takes me to get ready. I usually start telling her we’re going bye bye well enough in advance to get her to stop whining or clinging to my leg so that I can get together whatever we need, and it gives her something to do and to look forward to. So now I just say we’re going bye bye and she goes and waits patiently in her car seat without me having to do anything. I’ll walk into the room and there she is, ready and waiting. I buckle her in and off we go. It’s just so cute.

It’s not going to last much longer though.. she’s getting too big for the infant carrier and we need the next step up and that will be affixed more permanently to the car, so she’ll have to walk or be carried out.. but for now it’s precious 🙂 (and very heavy)

She’s also following the lead without anyone saying anything. She’s definitely in a mimic stage right now.

This weekend I was straightening up and there was a diaper wipes package that was dried up, with only two wipes left in it. I pulled them out and Aria took one from me. I wet the other and started using it to clean with, including wiping down the coffee table. Aria was watching me closely and came over and started wiping the table with hers as well.

If you pick up toys she helps. And she’ll continue even after you’ve stopped, until all of the specific toy is put away – like the foam letters that are supposed to be bath toys but she loves the container and foam letters so much they’ve become downstairs toys. There’s a bunch of them (letters, numbers and shapes) and they end up everywhere, but if I start putting them back into their container she’ll help, and if I stop she will look around until she’s found every one she can see and will put them away by herself.

We have to be really careful though, because she does watch everything. We were in the kitchen one evening and Aria was playing with the little robot dog her grandparents gave her. She knows how to push the button on its back to turn it on and off, but otherwise ignores most of the buttons on it. Eric was leaning against the counter and reached out with his foot to tap the button on top of its head, which would make it play music. Literally seconds later Aria was lifting her little foot up, trying hard to get her leg high enough while balancing, so that she too could touch its head with her foot. Eric quickly remedied the situation by leaning down and tapping the button with his finger, saying, “look I’ll push the button with my finger..”

It was so funny and amazing. What a little sponge.