Friday, January 25, 2008

Sixteen Months and The Nixon

E-baby turned 16 months old yesterday, and I haven't done one of these What's New posts in a long time, so here's what the Queen of Everything has been up to the past two months or so.

As I started on this, I realized that there's no way I can begin to list all the stuff that's been happening with this child. A friend told me that at 15 months, all sorts of new cognitive and social processes come into play. I probably had to know that for a final exam once upon a time and immediately drowned the knowledge in a margarita at a Scott St. party. This is definitely an exciting time. Four months ago SNG and I watched an infant shift to a toddler. Now we see a scientist, an explorer, a chef, a veteranarian, a rock star. It makes me wish I could videotape every cute thing so I could return to it someday and remember how funny these times were.

* Language: She picks up new words like they were M&Ms. Between the sign language and the spoken, she can say or sign around 80-100 words, and she understands much more, but it is hard to estimate at this point. The only trouble is that you can't always understand what she's saying, and sometimes she gets a little confused. Example- she learned the word and sign for snow the other day, but the next day pointed at a bottle of ranch dressing and said "snow!" Apparently the lesson learned was the color white = "snow."

* Fine and gross motor coordination. Spoons, forks, drumsticks, buttons, knobs, and other things that were kind of tricky to manage a few months ago are getting much easier now. Bigger tricks like climbing a stepstool to reach something, climbing onto furniture, and playing on the slide are also getting pretty easy for her. That means I've got to be careful not to put anything tempting up on those fun-to-climb bookshelves. The greatest barrier to success now is that pesky gravity.

* New games:
Lots of role-play. To me, the most noticeable change this month has been in the role-playing behavior. E-baby feeds her dinner to the stuffed animals that share her table. She puts them to bed and she tells them "night night!" She shares her pacifier with them, and they have their own blankets. Bigger dolls hold and rock their baby dolls to sleep. Smaller dolls go for rides on small toy cars. Bikes and boats drive all over the coffee table, and they go "vroom!" If I seem sad about something, she brings me a toy to make me feel better. I'm sure that it's related to the "lying to mommy and daddy" trick as well, since these are all aspects of developing empathy and understanding the perspective of other people. To me, that's the most fascinating part of the last few weeks.

Copycat. If I take a bite, she takes a bite. If I take a drink, she takes a drink. If I jabber on the phone, she jabbers on the remote control. If I go around the house picking up things, she picks up things.

Housekeeper. She will throw away anything we ask her to. She loves to blow her own nose (which is bizarre and funny), throw away the tissue, and tell me "thank you!" She learned this trick awhile back, but now I can tell her to throw away anything I give her and she'll oblige.

Animal noises. She can imitate the sounds of cows, horses, dogs, cats, sheep, and I forget what else.

Body parts. She can find any body part on herself, any person, or any toy. And she might decide to find your nose-- waaaaay up in there--- when you're in the middle of a nose-free activity, like paying at the grocery store.

Monster in the closet. She stands in the closet and says Boo! over. and over. and over. and over.

CRAZY face. E-baby has started making this maniac-neck-muscles-tensed-lower-teeth-bared face that probably all toddlers eventually learn. It sometimes comes on with such intensity that she'll shake a little. It's the most hilarious thing EVER. She does it just to make us laugh, usually when I ask her if she's cold. It makes me laugh so hard I snort.

The Nixon face. If she's suspicious of a person or of a situation, she gives The Nixon. She has become famous at daycare for the serious intensity of this face, but it was her Grampy who coined the term "The Nixon."

About 2 months ago I was having trouble keeping track of all the new words and signs she was using, and I didn't want to forget when anything funny happened, so I started keeping 3x5 cards in the kitchen to make note of anything new that was happening. In the last few weeks she's changing so fast that I can't even keep up with the cards.

Perhaps the only people who will find this post interesting are the grandparents, but this blog is as much as anything a way for me to keep track of things that are happening for posterity. Or for posteriority, as I like to say. Right now e-baby is sitting next to me having a complicated and serious conversation with the iPod cable. I'd better make sure they keep it peaceful.


Lizard Breath said...

Love the videos! E is getting so grown up! I thought the second video was super because it showed so much. I mean, she feeds herself, signs that she's thirsty and wants water, drinks out of a regular glass then shows interest in identifying everything else on her tray. What a smart cookie!

PartnerInCrime said...

Those videos are awesome! She's so funny, I can't wait to see her in March. I'm really hoping that c-baby will be walking by then so she can (try to) keep up with her cousin. :)
I've heard that most babies have sort of a "language explosion" during that 12-24 month phase where they suddenly start talking like real people. I can't wait for that.

Cat said...

I laugh my head off at the face in the 2nd video. You see where she laughs mid-Nixon? That was when she spotted SNG walking by the doorway.
C-baby and e-baby will have a ball together, whether they're walking or just hanging onto the coffee table. But I bet she'll start walking really soon. She is motivated to catch those kitties. :-)

Mom said...

I love the videos! It's only been a month since I saw her and she's changed so much!!!
L, Mom

Peace said...

The videos were great! I might have to steal a few clips for my "Here are the smartest kids I know" Sign Languae website.