Sunday, March 27, 2011

Status report: Month 20

Chloë has been spending a lot of time this past month looking out of windows. She prefers to be outside, but with the weather as cold as it's been, she hasn't had much opportunity. She likes to see the people walking by, and the cars, and the birds, and the planes, and the squirrels, and the flowers. There are three patches of crocuses in our yard, just slender purple spears, and for the past few days she's wanted to look and poke at them whenever we went by. Today they had started to bloom, and she was delighted. "Flower open!" she said.

We continue to be amazed by her vocabulary and usage. I had thought reading the same set of books over and over was going to have driven me crazy by now, but it's actually very interesting to see how much she's picked up over the months. She has a little slider-box "opposites" book (which she calls "Oppy," just like her octopus), and first we would just say "open/closed," then "open box/closed box," as she seemed to understand more. Today Eric was reading it with her and she pointed and said, "Close box," and when prompted could relate that the other side was "open."

She's got her colors mostly down, though we're working on brown, black, and white, and is slowly working on the letters that she still can't really pronounce. I've been going through storage boxes for clothes and things for the new baby, and left a pile of laundry in the now-empty nursery. She was in there the other day and brought me the newborn insert for the carrier, saying proudly, "H." It took me a minute to realize it, but she was absolutely right.

We're slowly working on numbers, too. She can count along with Eric, sometimes up to ten, though she often gets lost past five, and clearly doesn't understand what most of the words she's saying actually mean. But she'll pick up the balloons her Grandpa and Halmoni bought when she was born and, after telling me "heart balloon" and "circle balloon," will parade around with them, saying "Two balloon." She gets a sippy of water for bedtime, and when, as is often the case, we've forgotten to take it down to the kitchen by the time naptime and its accompanying milk come around, she'll sometimes take one in each hand and say happily, "Two sippy."

She also recently learned how to drink from a straw, and as a result we got her a couple of straw cups. Her first successful venture was with milk, so now she requests "straw milk." We're working on the concept that juice and water will work with a straw, too.

She is now happily established in her big-girl bed. It's our full-sized spare bed with the frame removed and a bed rail removed, and she's just able to climb in and out of it herself if she's motivated. We've caught her wandering into the hallway a couple of times at night. Never after we've gone to bed, so far as we know, so far. She's been a restless sleeper lately; we don't know if it's a growth spurt or a response to the new bed or our anticipation of the new baby or just one of those things. She does go back to sleep pretty easily in the night, though sometimes that's at the cost of me lying down with her and then waking up a couple of hours later and realizing that her plastic aquarium soothed me to sleep probably before it did her.

She loves being a "helper," handing up dishes to be put away or picking up crayons or scrubbing her table with a paper towel, and Eric sometimes rewards her with a couple of M&Ms or a jelly bean; I just tell her "Thank you for being such a great helper" and she seems pleased with that too. She continues to be an excellent eater variety-wise, but has started showing some typical toddler variation in how much she eats in a given day. Some days we can't feed her fast enough; others she refuses all but a few bites at every meal. She's usually happy to accept raisins or fruit or Goldfish crackers. She asks for "Ms" sometimes, and we usually let her have two or three at a time, up to maybe six in a day. We're getting more lax about what we give her; we went to her friend Ellie's birthday the other day and she devoured an entire chocolate cupcake pretty much as fast as I could get my fingers and the paper out of the way.

She's showing a little shyness and stranger anxiety, nothing big. She's now started waving at people she sees around the neighborhood or in the store, saying "Hi people" or "Hi girl." A friend of Eric's came over today while she was napping. When she woke and I fetched her, I told her that Dada's friend named Ray was here, and she practiced waving and saying "Hi Ray." But when we got downstairs she retreated to a corner until I coaxed her halfway into the room, by enticing her with the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" video. (I've decided I love Youtube.)

She's very much a mama's girl at the moment, which is inconvenient for my lower back (even with Eric taking over as much lifting duty as he can) but very sweet. She doesn't mind me going to work in the mornings, but she does need to know where I'm going. We went to the post office the other day and I went in by myself to mail a package. When I got back Eric told me Chloë needed a kiss from Mama, and when I went to deliver said kiss noticed her face was wet with tears. "She started screaming as soon as you left the car," he explained. But she's okay with me leaving her to watch her show while I use the bathroom, or with Dada while I fetch something from outside, as long as I tell her I'm going.

(They're clip-ons, Mom. The ones you bought me way back when. I put in earrings one day and she stared and prodded at them and wanted some of her own, so I pulled these out. Then she dropped them and broke one, and while I was able to fix it, we haven't told her that yet.)

We're having some slight issues with rebellion, but definitely nothing serious yet. We've had a showdown or two in which we (or at least I) felt kind of stupid insisting that she do something that really, in the long run, didn't matter, just because we didn't think we could let her get away with refusing. We're still feeling our way through these--I suppose we'll get better with practice. We gave up on potty training for now, expecting that the new baby will cause trouble enough without trying to force her into it when she's showing absolutely no interest. We continue to talk about the potty, and how Mama and Dada wear underwear instead of diapers, and I show her the Elmo potty song clip on Youtube sometimes, so we'll see in a couple of months if that has sunk in. In the meantime, she's started requesting "diaper change" sometimes, and reporting if it's a "poo" diaper (mostly...sometimes she lies, or maybe doesn't realize), which is helpful.

She continues to love TV and books and coloring, more than playing with her numerous toys most of the time. She's also taken to running back and forth around the house, or stomping in place like Fred Flintstone trying to run away, and adores jumping--ideally on her bed or ours, but the couch is good, too, and so is the floor. I played ring-around-the-rosie with her a couple of times (except without the falling-down part, because I'm too lumbersome at this point) and she has great fun with that, or when Eric or I dance with her or around her. She's funny, and she loves knowing that she's funny; she'll say or do something and Eric will laugh, and she'll immediately say "Dada ha?" Which makes us laugh more. We laugh a lot. We agree that she continues to get awesomer all the time.

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