Sunday, June 27, 2010

Twenty Months

Dear Peeper:

You are twenty months old today, and oh jeez, this is about the time people are going to start saying, "Oh, so you mean she's almost two?" isn't it?

I've even almost started thinking of you in terms of "almost two" rather than "one" (which is accurate, I suppose, since you're more than half way there) because you are just become such a little person - more and more so every day.

You know the sounds made by the following animals (Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that you "know" the "sounds" made by the following "animals."):
  1. Cat - "eee-oww-eee-oww"
  2. Dog - "da da da" (or are you saying "dog?")
  3. Elephant - "aaaaah"
  4. Monkey - "ah ah ah"
  5. Sheep - "daaaaah"
  6. Cow - "caaaaaooow"
  7. Wolf - "ah-oo ah-oo" (Not "ahooooo" - very short and clipped)
  8. Owl - "ah-oo ah-oo" (She has this book with the wolf and owl next to each other. . . . )
  9. Pirate - "arr"
  10. Fonzy - "aayy" (She was making this sound, so I taught her the Fonzy part. Is that wrong?)
  11. Lion/Tiger - "raaah!" (With paw-batting motion.)
  12. Duck - "kak kak"
  13. Seal - "ar" (sometimes)
You use the following words on a fairly regular basis (in addition to several others that I've "given you credit for" but you don't say often.):
  1. Mama - "mama" or just "ma" (This now specifically refers to me, rather than both of us, because....)
  2. Mommy - "me- me" or just "me" (On rare occassions it actually sounds like "Mommy.")
  3. Dog - "da da da" (Maybe you're just barking.)
  4. Up - "uppa uppa!" (You sound like a little old Italian lady.)
  5. Hot - "haa haa!"
  6. Baby - "bee beeee"
  7. Apple - "haa-puh" (Usually kind of whispered.)
  8. Ice Cream - "hhh chkchk" (This is absolutely unspellable; very gutteral.)
  9. Target - "tsch" (Also very gutteral, much like "ice cream.")
  10. Tickle - "tika tika tika" (Sometimes there's a "L" on the end.)
  11. Grandma/Grandpa (or Pappy) "pahpuh pahpuhpuh" - any of your grand / great-grandparents or anyone with gray hair!
  12. Dead - "deduh" (You're mimicking us mimicking DoulaK's 3 year old.)
You can identify the following body parts (the ones with question marks are kind of hit and miss), on yourself, other people, the cats and dogs, or your dolls (you usually insist on pointing them out on everyone around):
  1. Head
  2. Hair
  3. Eyes
  4. Ears
  5. Nose
  6. Mouth
  7. Tongue
  8. Cheeks (?)
  9. Chin (?)
  10. Neck (?)
  11. Teeth
  12. Scar
  13. Breasts/Goodies/Nipples
  14. Heart(?)
  15. Tummy
  16. Bellybutton
  17. Booty
  18. Vulva
  19. Arm
  20. Hand
  21. Elbow (sometimes confuse with knee)
  22. Shoulder?
  23. Wrist?
  24. Leg
  25. Knee (sometimes confuse with elbow)
  26. Ankle (?)
  27. Foot
  28. Toes
  29. Tail (on the animals - and when we talk about their tails you point to your booty)
Plus, you have - (hmm, let me go count them . . . ) WOW - more than eighty signs in addition to these. If we count all the body parts as signs, you have well over a hundred!

One of your latest tricks is to spin around in circles, which you do spontaneously, or when we say "Go 'round and 'round!" You don't go very fast, but sometimes it's fast enough to get dizzy, which you think is pretty funny.

Now that it's fully summer, you are loving playing outside, especially in the evenings when it cools off and we go out for the nightly firefly show. They are just amazing, and you really seem to enjoy watching them and trying to catch them. You've come very close a few times, actually, plus the ones that have landed on you of their own accord.

I know that you won't remember these particular evenigns, but I hope to make a point of letting you watch them every year as you get older, and when you're forty years old and June rolls around, and the twinkling begins, I hope that you will remember watching them with your Mommy and Mama when you were a little girl.

You're really starting to play more like a kid than a baby, with more and more imitative play every day. When we started watching BabyJ, you suddenly got very interested in one of your baby dolls (of course, it's the dirty, naked one) and you play with her quite often, and we've even had to take her with us a few places.

You hold her, and rock her, and ask us to put a "diaper" on her, and share your food with her, and wear her in your sling.  It's very sweet.

Speaking of BabyJ, we've been watching her for the past month, and you are very interested in her, and like to help with her, but I think you're also getting a little bit territorial about us holding her and feeding her. You pretty much want to be held by whomever is holding her at the moment, and if she's getting a bottle, you usually want to get goody.

I've spent a lot of time holding her in one arm and her bottle in that same hand, while you are nursing on the other side.

You're also starting to take her bottle and binky away from her, and you're not always so good about giving them back. You often "threaten" to put them in your mouth - always with that little "I'm not supposed to do this. What are you going to do about it?" little grin on your face.

But other than that, you are very sweet to her. You still help us burp her by patting her booty, and you help with diaper changes and you kiss her goodbye on her toes when she's ready to do home.

(The toe kisses were my idea - I didn't think her Mommy would appreciate a big slobbery toddler kiss on her mouth.)

We're only going to be watching her on a regular basis for about another month, and while I'm sure you won't mind having your moms all to yourself again, I know you'll miss her. We'll have to be sure and invite her over to play pretty often.

When you're not watching fireflies or spinning in circles or playing with a baby - real or toy, one of your favorite pasttimes these days is watching YouTube videos, mostly of doggies. First, Mommy found a bunch of dog dancing videos (it's amazing what those pups can do!) and more recently, we've been watching puppies being born and getting goody. You get very excited about the goody part, and sign it to me, over and over, with both hands. Then, you're usually inspired to have some yourself.

A couple of weeks ago, you and I were at the local hardware / pet store, and we saw some baby rats getting goody. You thought that was pretty cool, too. Today, we went back with Mommy and showed them to her. We also saw kittens, bunnies, turtles, lizards, birds and fish.

Since Mommy is off work for three days, we'd actually discussed the possibility of taking you to the zoo this weekend, but you know what? You were probably just as impressed with this, it's two minutes from our house, and air conditioned. Good enough for me.

Actually, we could probably convince you that our house is zoo, what with the dogs and the cats and the birds in the yard, and the bugs in the house. Speaking of the bugs - I'm finding myself in a tough spot between wanting you to know that dead stinkbugs and June bugs are "yucky" and you shouldn't pick them up, but not wanting to pass my bugophobias on to you.

As much as I really really really hate when you try to pick up those yucky ones, it bothered me almost as much when you looked at a dying mosquito hawk the other day, told me "yuck yuck yuck," wouldn't go into the toy cabinet that it was lying in front of, and turned around and crawled in my lap for a hug, to get away from it.

I guess it helps that Mommy is much more chilled out about them, and is willing to do the bug removal (or killing) for me, so maybe she can be your role model instead.

I'm also trying to tell you about "good bugs" (both of the helpful and the pretty varieties: mosquito hawks, fireflies, butterflies, spiders - yes, I know they aren't bugs, and so forth) and "yucky bugs" like flies, stinkbugs and such.

I guess it helps that Mommy is much more chilled out about them, and is willing to do the bug removal (or killing) for me, so maybe she can be your role model instead, and you can develop a healthy "ick factor" about certain bugs, without actually being afraid of them.
Speaking of Mommy, I'm really glad we've got some bonus time with her this weekend, because on Tuesday, you and I are heading to Texas to visit Grandma and Grandpa and the whole gang, and I'm really looking forward to that.

If I were telling you this outloud, this is the point at which you'd interupt me and say, "Pahpuh Pahpuhpuh!" which (evidently) means "Grandma/Grandpa" - or "grandparent" - or "senior citizen." You say it about pretty much every gray-haired person we meet or walk past in our daily adventures (as well as photos in books).

You also tell me who has a hat, and who is a baby, and who is eating, and who has glasses, and who's riding a wheelchair or scooter, and lots of other things.

Of course, you're signing most of that, so they don't know what you're saying, and even when I confirm that "Yes, honey, he is wearing a hat," it's all quite innocent and non-offensive (Except perhaps "Yes, honey, is probably is somebody's grandpa." - which I usually say quietly.) and (I think) rather impressive and damn cute, but I wonder if maybe I should start talking to you about "It's not polite to shout out our observations about people," before we get much further with this?

I so hate to dampen your enthusiasm for reporting back to us on the things you see around you in the world, but I worry that we're just a few months worth of language skills away from "Hey, that man doesn't have any hair!" and "Wow, that lady sure is fat!"

Ayiyi, maybe I should be just as glad that you're not doing so much talking yet!

Oh, that reminds me, in addition to your "real" words, you also mimic us when we use non-words, like "Ayiyi" or "uh-uh" or "ah-ah-ah" (as in "Don't you even think about it, little girl!").

Which we say quite a bit, because you know damn well what you are and are not allowed to do around here, and those that you're not allowed to do are definitely the most interesting and exciting to you.

One of your latest obsessions is trying to touch poor BigGaloot's feet. As with most dogs, he hates to have his feet touched. He'd really rather we not even look at them. But you - argh - you walk up to him, with our little hands outstretched and an eye looking back at us to see if we'll stop you and that evil little grin on your face.

He might be a galoot, but when it comes you to, I tell you, that dog has the patience of a saint.

Maybe he can give me and Mommy lessons.

Luckily, you don't usually try our patience too much. You are still a pretty happy kid most of time, and pretty easy-going. I'd like to think that has something to do with us, but I suspect that, as much as anything, it's just your personality.

Whatever it is, we sure do like it.

And we sure do love you.

Happy twenty months, my little Roodle-Doodle-Doo.


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