We just got back from yet another weekend away. It looks like we will get two weekends at home before our next weekend away. We do love to get away, but it is becoming tiresome, the roadtrip exhaustion and various aches and pains related to sitting in a car.
And yet, I feel I owe the Internet news, so... On the to-blog list, this is the easiest real topic (as opposed to fake ones, like links to other interesting places), so here goes.
Nat is 18.5ish months old (I can't wait until we get to stop counting in months!). I have been looking forwward to 18 months since she came home at three days old, a tiny kitten of a 5.5 lb babe in our arms. I think of 18 months as the beginning of humanness in small children. And sure enough, she's become just human enough to let out an ear-piercing shriek whenever I take something inappropriate out of her mouth.
If I had to guess, I'd say she has a vocabulary of 100-125 words. Last time I tabulated, I lost track around 70 and that was a month ago and she picks up at least one recognizable new word per day. There's truly a moment in every day when I stop and say "huh, there's today's word." And again, just guessing, but I think I'm only catching one of more than one. There are times when she says the same thing to me repeatedly, gesturing firmly, but I have no idea what she's trying to say.
Language seems to be her thing at the moment. She knows all the signs I know and I need to figure out a way to learn more soon because I want her to keep learning them, too. We just found her a new babysitting arrangement with a family whose first language isn't English, so I'm hoping that after she settles in they can speak their native language to her. (They are Ethiopian, and I am guessing here, but I think they speak Amharic, since they are professionals from the capital. I haven't found out for sure yet.)
She still loves books and can "read" along or recite her favorites to a great extent. She has been picking up the alphabet lately, because I sing her the ABC song while I do her hair and some of her favorite books are alphabet books. "Ay-beh-cey!" she will demand, which means, "sing that ABC song" or "read me this ABC book." Sometimes she will play a game of reciting the alphabet responsively with one of us, as in, I'll say "A" and she'll say "B" and so on until she gets lost around H and then picks it up again around P. Uncle David introduced her to a man named Jay last weekend and Nat smiled and shouted "Kay!" in response to being told his name.
This weekend, my parents discovered that she can identify certain written letters. She's never done that for me, so it had escaped my notice. I'm not surprised though. If she can recognize a horse or a dog or a car, there's no reason to assume she can't recognize letters when she sees them, since they are in the same books with the horses, dogs and cars. For the same reason, I'm guessing she probably knows some colors, but she has yet to identify any in a way I recognize.
She is not at all an on demand performer. Maybe she does know 100+ words, but if I ask her to name anything for some onlooker's benefit, she gets all coy and ignores me completely. Thus I have a hard time figuring out what she knows or doesn't know, she just up and surprises me all the time when the mood strikes her.
About 6 weeks ago, my mother was a birth coach for a friend and this weekend, we met the new baby. He was very sweet as far as I was concerned, and I had a lovely time holding and carrying him while his mother got to eat her meal instead of taking it home to reheat after his bedtime. But as far as Nat was concerned, he was a serious problem. We have never seen such a look on her face as she made when Mama Shannon held and cooed to a baby in tones formerly only used in Nat's tender ears. She looked truly stunned and horrified. I suppose this is a sign of sibling rivalry to come. Fortunately, all I had to do to make her happy again was pick her up and rock her playfully in my arms singing "my little baby!" She giggled happily and all was forgiven.
Tell me toddlers survive their baby siblings. I mean, it happens all the time, right? It has to be survivable.
Also this weekend, we discovered this store. Grammie bought Nat a pair of mary janes that squeak with every step. Very cute, but too small, so we had to go back to the store and exchange them. While there, Cole Mom accidentally blew half of her September allowance on new clothes for Nat. Whoops. All I can say is, it's good for Karen that she's in China.