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).