Cute things Nat is up to these days:
When I got home from Florida (only 4 days) I really noticed a language explosion. It was nice to get away far enough, long enough to be able to mark her daily growth. She is full of lengthy (for her) sentences these days. I have finally managed to drum into her that if she wants something from me, I will act quicker upon being asked in a human way, rather than being yelled at. So now instead of "milk! whine, whine, whine, milk!" I get a polite "I. want. milk. please." in which "." = the ASL sign for the word. Sometimes I don't know the sign for what she wants, so I'll skip it, and say it with no sign, when showing her how I'd like her to ask. As a result, sometimes she skips the word and the sign, saying "I. want. ... please." and then we have to figure out what she wants when she thought she was communicating exactly as we've asked. Poor kid.
The other day, we were walking down the sidewalk and I was in a hurry, but she wanted to stop and smell every rose, blade of grass, smear of old gum, whatever. I was trying to rush her along when I noticed her becoming totally engaged by a red pickup truck pulling out of a parking space. I tried to break her attention by hastily acknowledging the truck:
"There goes the red truck! Bye truck!" I said, pulling at her hand.
She stopped dead in her tracks, turned her whole body around to watch the truck drive away, wrenched her hand from mine and waved heartily while shouting "bye truck! see you later! have fun!"
I was holding my agenda together until she got to "have fun!" at which point I gave in and laughed out loud.
She's gaining on her peers these days in the gross motor skills department, though she's not the head of the gym class yet, by any stretch. She has mastered going down the stairs holding onto the rail and a grownup hand, leading with her right foot and catching up with her left, all the way down our 42 steps (David has counted them with her over and over again). She has learned to climb up the radiators into our window sills and loves to do this and talk to the pigeons on the roof of the house next door (no, Mary Lynn, the windows aren't open when she does this and she can't open them). She's gotten stuck a couple of times and needed help getting down, so my strategy to prevent falls is to make her learn to climb down again and she's getting better at this every day.
I have been following the same bedtime routine as always. We have milk, read a book, rock and sing a lullabye, say prayers and then I tuck her in. Now that she has a big girl bed, she will often get up after I've put her down and wander around and play in her room. I sometimes hear the toy piano keys tinkling or blocks clacking. but she always goes back to bed and goes to sleep eventually, when she gets tired. I may find her room strewn with diapers and baby dolls when I go in to get her after nap, but I find her in bed. So my policy has been to let her work this all out for herself. So far so good.
She still likes numbers and letters and is developing an interest in how certain important words are spelled or look when written. As a result she can sight-read several words. Here are the ones I remember that I'm sure she knows: Nat, Natasha (of course!), Mama, Cole, David, Baby, Book, Tree, Home, Dog, Cat, Car, Go, Toys. There may be others, but I'm not certain. Sometimes she learns stuff on Sesame Street or Blue's Clues and it escapes my notice.
She loves to dance. We have a DVD in which Paula Abdul teaches Elmo and Zoe how to dance. It is Nat's absolute favorite and she would watch it over and over every day if I let her. (I have a feeling she saw a lot of it while I was in Florida, as her dance skills improved noticeably while I was gone!) She will beg "Zoe dance! Zoe dance!" and if I say, "not now" she tries to trick me by saying "Paula?" She's a sneaky one. But when I don't want her to watch and she wants to watch, we compromise by doing all the dances anyway, without dvd leadership. Nat remembers them about 75% accurately herself anyway. I am so resistant to small child lesson culture, but Cole thinks we really should let her take a creative movement class. I know she'd enjoy it. I just think we could do it at home ourselves anyway. Thoughts?
There is more, but I need to stop putting off my grading.