Friday, April 27, 2012

Forty-Two Months

Dear Peeper,
You are forty-two months old today. Three and a half!

(Although I've been calling you that for a good month or two now.)

Today is also Mommy's birthday, and mine is in a couple of weeks, and then there's that whole Mothers' Day thing, so we try to make a big deal out of your half-birthday, so that you get some attention, too.

(Because you know how usually you just don't get any attention at all, of course.)

It's been a pretty good month here, knock wood. We've been mostly healthy, even through a trip to Texas, which is pretty exciting.

You're still working on getting over the whole Mother's Day Out fiasco, though.

After just those two days (4 hours, then 2 hours) of missing us, your separation anxiety level went through the roof, and really hasn't settled back down yet. As soon as we mention going somewhere without you, you immediately start with, "I'm gonna miss you," and "You will come back?"

Even when you've gone (or stayed home) with Mommy, and when you've gone over to Eena and Papa's house, which is totally new. You've even started coming to me multiple times a day and telling me that you miss Mommy while she's at work - and that happens almost every day, you should really be used to it.

I just feel so bad for you, and I hope that we're handling it the right way. Mostly I just say "I know you'll miss me, while you're having fun," and acknowledge that I'll miss you too, but I will also be having fun.

Miss S has come over and watched you a couple of times, and once she brought her sister, Miss M. You really  seem to like them (they're great) but hoo-boy, the angst before they actually show up. Next time (at your request) I will wait and spring it on you at the last minute!

When we're not having separation anxiety drama, you're all about the good kind of drama.

You spend huge amounts of time role-playing, pretending to be an animal or character from a story, acting out stories or making them up, and bringing to life various toys and household objects, complete with voices.

When you do dialogue (for your character or another) you even tend to include the "He says . . ." and ". . . shouted the ____," and such, just like in the books that we read and the videos that you watch.

Sometimes you are reciting the stories you've heard, other times you're making up stories as you go, and sometimes you're taking the ones you've read and changing them up just a bit.

I've noticed that with stories or songs, you are very good at switching out words to make them about a different character, including changing from first to third person, or vice versa.

For example, your favorite song these days is "Today I ate a rainbow, and it tasted great. Today I ate a rainbow and it was on my plate," but you are just as comfortable singing, ". . . Today the Easter Bunny ate a rainbow and it was on his plate."

You also love to retell real-life stories that you've heard (or overheard), recasting yourself as the protagonist. Anytime Mommy or I tells a story, moments later, you will say, "You know what happened?" and proceed to retell the entire story (more or less), in the first person. (Even if we've told it about someone else, and you're not just copying our words from a story about ourselves.)

I have to say that I'm kind of impressed with this, both because you can so easily change the point of view, and because you are so good at retelling a story that you've only heard once.

And then, you'll retell it over and over for a while.

We really must be more careful about what kinds of stories we share with each other in front of you!

And songs. Wow, you know like a million songs, including several that you've picked up from us quite unintentionally.

A few weeks ago, you randomly started singing, "Knock three times . . ." When I asked, you confirmed that you'd learned it from Mommy.

Mommy is also the one who taught you to sing, "I don't wanna work. I just wanna bang on de drum all day!" every time you play your drum.

At dance class this week, Mommy went in the dance room with you, and you actually made her dance! On the way home, I told you not to get used to it, because "Mama don't dance."

Of course, that led into "Your Mama don't dance, your Mommy don't rock and roll!" which you picked up immediately.

First you were singing "Mama don't dance. Mommy don't roll!" then you changed it to, "My Mommy dances! My Mama rolls!" which I was damned impressed with.

I also got a kick out of your apparent assumption that every parent must do one of those things. Let me assure you that, according to my extensive research, over forty-four years with the same two parents, that is not true.

You are still doing the ending-sound-repetition thing, even more often than you were a month ago. It's kind of weird, but I will go with Mrs. T's analysis that it just means you're playing around with sounds and developing your phonemic awareness. And occasionally google "verbal tic toddler."

And at the moment you're snoozing peacefully, as you have been for a while, so I think it's about time for  a trip to the potty.

Happy half-birthday, big girl.

I love you!


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