Aria just communicated with me. We had been playing with playdoh, but then she started whining until I followed her into the kitchen, then she pointed at the fridge.
I opened the fridge, “are you hungry?”
Slam! She pushed it closed and pointed at the door again.
She was pointing at her ‘drawings’ on the door. I took down one with stickers all over it and handed it to her. She flung it aside violently.
I put it back on the door.
More pointing, “n dis?”
I picked her up and held her by the door, she pointed again to the page with stickers on it.
“Do you want to play with stickers?”
I walked over to her art stuff, still holding her, and she calmly watched as I got out a piece of paper and some stickers.
I set her and the stuff on the floor and she happily proceeded to place stickers on her paper.
Wow. I didn’t know she could think through something like that, or even remember doing stickers as it’s probably been a month or two since we did it last.
We’ve entered a new realm of communicating. Much like charades, you can watch the little cogs turn in her brain as she tries to get through to you what she wants you to understand. My favorite, though, is how she now grabs my hand (well, just one finger) and will drag me where she wants to go. It’s like she’s starting to realize she wants me to come with her, and not just bolt off by herself (at least not all the time), and so she needs to drag me along as she goes exploring. Or takes me with her to the kitchen or to see the kitty.
I wish she would use some of her words, already. She very clearly knows a whole bunch of them now, based on me asking her to point out different things and her always pointing to their picture correctly. But when it comes to lunch time, she’s soooo indecisive.
We’ll either stand in front of the fridge or I’ll end up holding her, and she’ll point to each thing with a “dis?” and I’ll pull it down and offer it to her, she’ll look at it, then turn her head away or push it away with her hand. This will progress with each thing that is “hers”, some things that are not hers, and often multiple times per item. Then we’ll both get bored and we’ll go to the pantry.
I am working on naming each thing we pull off of the shelf, so now I think “chee” is cheese. At least it sounds kindof like it, and I think the only times I’ve heard it are when I give her cheese and that’s exactly what she didn’t realize she wanted all along.
Within the past couple of weeks she’s started singing the ABC’s, and while you can very clearly hear the cadence, the actual letters and melody aren’t quite there. But she LOVES this song, and if you catch her singing it to herself and you join in she gets the most biggest grin. Often times it turns into a dance session.
We are back to reading before bedtime; the “I’ll read to myself thank you very much” fortunately only lasted a few nights, then reverted to, “I like it better when you read to me” so I’m allowed to participate again.
She has gotten very very good at some games. The Find It game in the Highlights books are now very fun. Before she would point out a few things you asked her to look for but then she’d either get bored or frustrated and hurriedly turn the page, but now we spend gobs of time on those pages, trying to see what else we can find and what words we know.
The latest toy, however, is my phone. Eric and I just recently got new phones and they have a Kids section on them, which allows you to hand over your phone and they are locked into only that kids section, so no fear of them downloading, buying, calling, modifying emails or posting on Facebook. The only things she can do are whatever I’ve put in there for her to do. But she wants to play with me, so she’ll find my phone, bring it to me, deliberately open my hand, put my phone in my hand, then hold her arms up for me to pick her up and put her in my lap.
We used to play with taking funny pictures where you can add images to the pictures, like funny eyes, but now that makes her mad when you turn that on. We’ve also played with drawing, or singing and having it morph your voice, but right now our favorites are some of the games I put on there for her.
One of them has an animal making its noises but is obscured, and you have to wipe the screen until you can see what animal it is. She’s actually really good at this now, and can wipe a good deal of the screen and knows how to hit the Next button. The only thing is, the game doesn’t say out loud the name of the animal, it just puts it in words, so I have to tell her what it is we just revealed.
Another one is a matching game. This she just recently started to grasp. But she definitely gets the concept of, once they are matched the next button comes up, she’s very good at hitting next.
It’s funny how my everyday conversations with her are starting to make sense. Little things like saying under my breath, “where did I put Aria’s jacket” and she’ll come running over with it. Or telling her that we can’t go until she has on her shoes and socks and she’ll bring me all of those. Or sitting on the floor having an impromptu snack that is messy enough that I’m feeding it to her, and she decides she wants to feed herself, and I argue with her, “no, let mommy do it. It’s too messy. If you want to feed yourself you’ll have to sit in your highchair,” so she grabs the spoon and runs to her highchair.
Also, if you don’t let her run the microwave she gets very upset. You have to hold her on your hip, manage to open whatever container one-handed while she tries to help, ask her to open the microwave door which she does, give her the thing to be microwaved, let her set it very carefully into the microwave, watch as she slams the door with all her strength, then show her which button to push while she tries to outsmart you and push every other button then finally give in and touch the correct button. Then you stand there for a moment, fine at first, but then she’ll become incredibly impatient about 5 seconds before it’s finished.
It’s so amazing watching her grow and learn so quickly. And watching as she clearly understands what you’re telling her, and as she grins as she deliberately does the opposite, just to see your reaction.
My favorite story of the season, so far:
Aria and I were sitting in the middle of the baby department at JC Penney’s trying on little dresses for her Christmas Card pictures, and each time I would pull one off she would try to take off running and see how far she could get before I caught her, all while giggling hysterically. Sometimes she was successful, other times I managed to wrangle my baby. I, of course, was not enjoying this game quite as much as she… but she was pretty cute.
After one particular dress she managed to slip out of my grasp and ran right at a mom and older girl, and ran up to them saying, “hi, hi” while frantically waving her little hand. They looked at this naked baby running up through the clothing racks and puzzledly replied “hi” back to her. Within seconds I grabbed her and as we were walking away she yells back “buh bye!” That caused them to crack up (and me too).
Aria does some amazing things. I sometimes question her just to see what will happen, and she surprises me so much of the time.
Yesterday she was “organizing” the pantry, and I let her because I was trying to get dinner out of the oven and didn’t want her to discover that dangerous and new territory. So she played, I got dinner ready, and then when I came over to see what she’d done, I found that she’d added items to the shelves. Some of her dishes were stacked neatly.
I said, “Why are your bowl and sippy cups in there? Let’s go put those away.” She looked at me. “Go put your dishes back in the drawer.”
And would you believe she did? She picked them up carefully, walked over to her drawer, and threw them in not so gently. Then closed the drawer and wiped her hands on her pants and looked at me again. I told her what a great job she did and she “helped” me put the pantry back in order.
I’ve also started quizzing her on where body parts are, and she seems to know where pretty much everything is, including all parts of the face and head, toes, hands, feet, teeth and of course her belly button which she loves to show us. I was totally surprised at some of them because we hadn’t directly worked on them, like teeth and toes, but I guess when you’re brushing those pearly whites each night, and singing the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song almost daily, you’re bound to pick up on things.
Sometimes Eric and I will be talking about some errands we need to run, and we’ll find Aria already sitting in her carseat, waiting patiently. Then we have to tell her it’s the wrong one, because she has a big girl carseat in daddy’s car.
Or her grandmother Denise was talking about Aria’s teeth, that the one molar coming in must be bothering her, and Aria stuck her finger in her mouth. Denise said, “no, the other side” which prompted Aria to take her finger out and stick it on the other side of her mouth.
What mystified me today, though, was her incredible mischief. I was trying to put Halloween stuff away, and was separating out the toys (bat and spider rings, rubbery snakes, jumping frogs, tops, etc.) from the candy, and she wanted to see them. I gave her the bowl of toys and she took it into the living room and “sorted” them. I thought it was the perfect time to get some work done, so sat on the couch with my computer and listened to her babble while I worked on a report.
I admit, I became slightly engrossed in my work, so a couple minutes later when she tugged on me and I shook off my tunnel vision, I found that my toddler had a dum-dum in her mouth. What? Where did she get that?? There wasn’t any candy in the toy bowl…
I immediately pulled it out of her mouth, assuming that the wrapper was now a soggy, decomposing mess, but lo and behold it was unwrapped! She had the wrapper crumpled up in her other fist.
I was utterly baffled… where had she found it, how did she unwrap it..
She proceeded to go around touching everything in an obvious effort to make the whole house sticky, so I locked us both in the kitchen until she was finished. So of course she thought it would be fun to run and play hide and seek under the kitchen table.. I kept telling her not to run with that stick protruding from her face, to sit. No dice. And in an effort to unsettle me even more she thought it would be a good idea to climb through the chairs and continually almost fall flat on her face but catch herself at the last minute. I thought I was going to develop a nervous tick.
I kept pulling it out of her mouth to see if it was finished, but she would fuss and demand it back, and I gave it to her with the thought that clearly she earned it by whatever means she managed to acquire it.
Fortunately for me, the stick was also a soggy mess, so probably wouldn’t have done much damage if she had fallen on it, but thank goodness she eventually tired of it and handed it over to me.
And we both got a good hand, face, arm, and front of shirt washing to remove as much sticky as possible.
(sure, she looks sweet and innocent and docile here, but you try catching her!)