Also, Eric has the flu. He's been incarcerated in the bedroom (with bathroom privileges) because the girls got flu shots, uh, yesterday. Cross your fingers that I don't get it, because if I do, the girls are doomed.
Regarding Christmas crafting, I've completed a sweater for Maia (...by finishing the one I started last year for Chloe) and mittens for Chloë, and next up is dolls for each of them. Chloë asked me yesterday what my "best present" would be for Christmas. (I assume a preschool teacher asked her.) Hers was, "A dolly or a third piano. We already have two." She's correct on that last, so I'm glad I'm already working on the first.
She continues to love preschool and draw ever more complex pictures. Today she drew a bird. An oval for the body, with a smile and eyes for the face, and two ovals for the wings. She fretted that they weren't the same size, but she was proud of herself all the same, as was I. She builds up "walls" and "boats" and "twists" out of Duplos, screaming in frustration when things break. She keeps coming up with very adult-sounding conversational phrases. She's going through an "I told you" phase at the moment (usually when she hasn't, in fact, told us anything). We've pushed her to be more independent with the bathroom, and she'll now wipe herself completely, but still wants us there to check--and since her attention to her bottom is sporadic, we still do. The next step is getting her off the potty seat.
Maia continues to be ridiculously verbal. She had her eighteen-month checkup yesterday (there was a scheduling mixup) and the doctor was astonished when she pointed to the pink fish on the wall and said clearly, "Pink."
"She knows colors?!" he said. Later, he said, per routine, "Do you have any concerns about her development?" and then paused and said, "I'm guessing not."
She does, indeed, know colors. She mixes up blue and purple a bit, and will occasionally switch red and green, but mostly she's gotten really good at them. She also knows number names, and may understand what "one" actually means, and can help fill in the alphabet song when Chloë sings it. And she's just started on two-word sentences...as in, if I'd posted this on time I couldn't have said that. Yesterday Chloë was helping me wind a ball of yarn and Maia said, to my surprise, "Maia turn." Of course she got her turn. She's excellent with her "please" and "thank you," and knows her body parts, numerous people, numerous characters, animals and their noises, colors of course, and an assortment of other things. She's finally started consenting to give Chloë a good-night hug and kiss and "Night" instead of running off, giggling, or pushing her away.
Tonight I sent Chloë to get her room ready for bed (it requires turning on the moon and the stars) while I changed a late poopy diaper on Maia. Afterward I told Maia to go tell Chloë good-night while I washed my hands. I arrived in Chloë's doorway in time to hear Chloë say "Do you want a hug, Maia?" and Maia say yes and toddle toward the bed, and Chloë stretch down to embrace her.
Maia's favorite toys at the moment are the Duplo Pooh and Piglet, and she's formed a big attachment to her Winnie-the-Pooh mobile (and can name all four characters dangling from it). Unfortunately it's a manual wind-up and doesn't go for very long, so we've been having a lot of bedtimes involving two minutes of quiet followed by screaming and "That! That!" since that's how she indicates she wants the mobile on, "mobile" apparently not one of her hundred-plus vocabulary words. (Eric read somewhere that her age group should know eighteen to twenty words by now. We are very prideful.)
The girls continue to do well together, thought Chloë can be territorial. They play pretend games together, including Tea Party and Rocketship and Naptime ("Nap" is another of Maia's words) and, the other day, Santa. ("Who is the pretend Santa in our village?" Chloë asked. "Tom," I said. "No, here," she said. "I don't know," I said. "Then you are, Mama! I'm going to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.") They had a great time when I raked the leaves the other day (for real, though possibly too late; the leaf pile has been in the street for over a week), Chloë alternately ordering or beseeching Maia to do this or the other, and Maia generally happy to accede.