Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Status report: Chloë, 3 years 3 months, and Maia, 18 months

Our dear 3.25-year-old Chloë is currently fast asleep, despite being stuffed full of candy and Halloween excitement (I'll try to make that another post) and Busytown episodes. Netflix is great, but it's created certain unintended consequences. One of these is Chloë asking constantly for shows, particularly "Busytown Mysteries" (based on the Richard Scarry books; organized or whatever by his son, Huckle is rather predictably the hero). "Can we have just one show before we wake up Daddy?" she asks hopefully in the mornings, though she knows my answer is always "No, Daddy controls shows on the days I go to work."

She's definitely starting to wade into the waters of literacy. She can spell her name, and write all the letters, though she hasn't yet gotten a firm grip on the concept of left-to-right. She's getting better at lower-case letters, and delights in pointing out letters she sees on signs when we go out, especially if they're letters that "are in my name!" She knows how to spell "on" because I always ask her to push that button on the scale when she's helping me bake, and that "zero" starts with a Z for the same reason. She sounds out the beginnings of words quite often, and sometimes I'll prompt her to sound out the rest.

She says, "I know," often, as in "I know, I know," when we tell her to do something, or "I know that," when we correct her. Interesting how early that starts. She puts on all her own clothes now, except for her socks and the occasional difficult dress. She still hates having her hair brushed. She loves the temporary tattoos that she's been getting with her three or four or five (!) Halloween events. She likes playing dress-up (except that she doesn't have a lot to dress-up in) and with her jewelry...also with her piggybank money. She used to love playing with my buttons. Why do we buy kids toys again?

I don't know where she learned to do thumbs-up, but she did. She knows "arrive" and "liquid" and other words you wouldn't think a three-year-old would know. She loves to jump. She's anxiously protective of her shoes, because they're her school shoes and she needs them for preschool because she's a big girl. She's very quick to look out for the concerns of big girls. There's a rhyme in one of the books that goes: The man in the moon looked out of the moon/and this is what he said:/"'Tis time that, now I'm getting up/All babies went to bed." Chloë's response was, "What about big girls?" I told her that big girls could stay up a little later than babies and she seemed satisfied.

I took the girls to Imagination Station, the local science place, on Saturday while Eric was away and the girls had a good time there. Most of the exhibits went over their heads, of course, but they had fun climbing on bridges and going into the wind tunnel, and there was a kids' area that they both had a great time in. I love when they get caught up in play together.

Maia is an adorable sweet eighteen-month-old who will not lie still for diaper changes oh my GOD. Usually I end up tackling her and tickling her, then wiping her quickly. Then she wiggles and escapes, and I fold up the dirty diaper and put it away. Then I tackle her again to try to get her down to put the new one on. She does love to be on her own...though she also loves to be held, especially when she's tired. And she never wearies of being thrown around, dropped, rolled upside down...and now she's learned how to do it herself. She can somersault, sort of; she calls it "tumble" in the cutest little baby voice as she puts down her head and launches herself, sometimes forward, sometimes to the side, at least once straight off the couch and into a laundry basket, and once off the side of the bed and luckily into my waiting arms.

She usually wakes up early in the mornings for our nursing session (I have GOT to get up the gumption to endure her screaming and give her a milk sippy in the mornings; I'm sure that after a few days to get used to it, she'd give up the R.I.N.D.S. without fuss and she might even sleep later--but it's just so easy when I stumble half-awake into her room at six A.M. to pick her up and sink into the glider and pull up my pajama shirt and doze) and when we're done, if it's not so early that I put her back to bed, I'll often lie down on the floor, my head on the Boppy, while she wanders around and refuses offers of diapers changes. When she spies me, she says, "banky! banky!" and toddles off to get me a blanket from her stack. She attempts to spread it on me, and then more often than not joins me under it. It's the sweetest thing.

Then there's the converse, when I'm sitting on the floor and she pushes me. I fall over, yelping, usually taking her with me. She snuggles and laughs, and then scrambles up and says stridently, "Pull! Pull!" I put my hands out. She grasps my thumbs and pulls at me until I sit up. Then she knocks me down again. Oh, the cruelty of children.

She's so curious and independent and self-motivated. We went to Michael's the other day to entertain ourselves, which was a mistake since there were so many movable, interesting things to look at and take off the shelves and manipulate:

But we had fun. And she was good about helping put things back. She's very good about any request or command that doesn't involve diaper changes or "come here": picking up blocks or Legos or books, bringing me a particular toy, attempting to take off her clothes for bath (of course she'd do anything for "bubbuhs!"--she routinely brings me the bottle of bubble bath when I start the water).

She's in the middle of a linguistic explosion. Her only sentence is "Read Dora please," but she can point out hearts and stars and moons and circles. She knows "sleeper" and "Grandpa" and "candy" and "Halmoni" and "drawing board" and "nap." She can draw a circle, which she calls "moon," and what she calls a line (well, I suppose technically they are; they're just not straight lines like Eric keeps demonstrating). I went to the Ann Arbor Fiber Expo with the girls to meet Carol ("you are a dedicated fiber person," a vendor said fervently to me as we passed) and had to buy a finger puppet when she spied it and exclaimed "Puppy!" so clearly the vendor came over and started showing her the different dogs she had. (Actually we ended up buying four, since they were $2 each or four for $5. Then we got a fifth one when someone called out, "Would she like this?" as we passed. Chloë got a free button and beads to string into a necklace. It's good to be an adorable little girl.) Someone else commented on how much she could say, and, when he asked her age and I answered, said, "Someone is linguistically talented, isn't she?"

The girls continue to be good friends and playmates, though Chloë's doing more "Maia's in my waaaaay!" and "Give me that Maia!" Maia is usually very responsive to things Chloë says she wants, even if she doesn't say it nicely or not to her. Chloë will say to me, "Maia's not letting me have the Legos because she's in my way," and Maia will turn and pick up a Lego and hand it to her. Maia's keen to do most things Chloë does...such as get up on chairs to "wash her hands" (read: splash in dirty water) in the kitchen, get on my left knee if Chloë is on my right, and wear her blue-striped sleeper because Chloë is wearing her pink-striped one. Or get tattoos.

I'm keeping this picture to compare to another picture of them coming home from the tattoo parlor together in seventeen years or so. I hope it won't be spiders that time, though.

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