Monday, June 16, 2008

What the Girls Are Saying

Ellie: That's cool.
Ada: Sure. (You'll have to imagine the accompanying emphatic head nod.)

When they say these things, I don't hear myself coming out of their mouths. It's later, when I use one of my most frequent stock responses (see above) that I hear myself echoing them, though I know it's technically the other way around.

This leads to me saying my own phrases slightly differently, as I inevitably mimic their unique inflections. It's a bit disconcerting and stereophonic, sort of a house of mirrors with simple words.

But even more often than they mimic me, each girl has a plaintive cry that she uses dozens of times a day and that is uniquely hers.

Ellie: Can't do it!
Ada: I stuck!

Both mean the same thing: Dearest mother, your immediate attention and assistance are requested here.

Ada's in the 1-year-old climbing monkey stage, which is fun to watch. And she still talks a lot. For example, she runs out to see me after her bath, dripping wet and trailing her towel behind her. "Bath!" she says. "Daddy! Splash! Ducky!" With few words, she's managed to paint a very clear picture of one of her day's most enjoyable interludes.

But her biggest developmental explosion right now is in fine motor. Ada drinks unassisted (and one-handed) from an open cup. A week ago, I couldn't hand her a bowl of crackers in the kitchen for her to carry to her little snack table or she'd tip the bowl and spill them all for Lizzi pug along her way. This week, it's no problem. And her stacking/nesting boxes are hugely fun right now. She stacks seven boxes on her own before the stack gets too high and it's more fun to knock them down than try to figure out a way to be taller and continue stacking.

Ellie's suddenly a big girl, and I totally didn't see that happening. She can go wash her hands by herself, and climb up into her own booster seat at dinner. Our conversations all have a heavy subtext involving control (more on discipline later) and she's spontaneously answering questions with complete sentences more than she ever has before.

I was so afraid of summer, thinking that I'd be so bored and we'd go stir crazy here. I still dislike late afternoons (after "nap" and before dinner) but that window is relatively short because no matter what we have for a snack as late as 4:00, they're both starving and whimpering for dinner by 6:00. We're going out to do interesting things in the mornings (swimming lessons, park, zoo, Magic House, shopping, library, and the museum of transportation, just in the last two weeks!) and I am absolutely, totally not bored.

Most of the time.

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