This week we've all been sick, and then sick again, and then sick again. Colds, stomach virus, whatever you pass around, we are getting it. So I am pleased to report that there are some happy things going on around here as well.
Jambuca has become much more communicative in the last few days, and it coincides with his improvements in mobility. He's still cruising, but could walk at any time-- he can stand unsupported-- and he climbs onto - or into - everything he encounters. He's often in the dress-up box with one foot behind his ear, grinning like a goof. That's a lot funnier than when he climbs up to the kitchen counter on a swivel chair and starts going after the coffeemaker.
He's been pointing and gesturing at things a lot more, and although he isn't speaking as such, he has been signing milk, water, and cheerio. It is a shame that we haven't really been able to focus much attention on teaching him to speak or sign, since e-baby pretty much steals the spotlight at all times. It's hard even to read him a book without interruption. I wonder if he'd be as precocious as she was, given the chance. But still, he is a lot better at entertaining himself than she was, and he can tile the roof if we need him to.
Last night in his bath, I had a rare opportunity to work on some signs with him. We practiced Ball, Duck, and Cup. He mimicked me signing Ball, which was great, and when I asked him where the (Cup, Ball, or Duck) was, he'd pick up the right toy. I was so excited I frightened him with my "YES! GOOD JOB BABY! YAAAAAY!" I might have to learn to bring it down a notch someday. :-) He got tired of the game WAY before I did.
E-baby has started taking a strange turn in her imaginative play. Now, instead of it always being happy-princess-land with the occasional naughty child being sent to time-out, she has bad guys, good guys, in-cliques, out-groups, fighting, and even killing of rude characters. Sometimes it's creepy, and I don't know if I like it, but I suppose you learn that stuff when you're in a class with 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Not sure how to handle that. So far I'm just sitting back and observing, and when she does ask me to participate, I casually mention that killing is wrong, and that if Farmer Emily is angry at Cinderella, then Farmer Emily should just stop being friends with Cinderella. I'm afraid that making a big deal out of it will just make a bigger deal of it. Any ideas??
She is otherwise still a very sweet, kind and energetic kid. I think the imaginative play is partly a way to try out different scenarios and roles that she can't try out in real life.
Jambuca is getting big enough to play with a little, but he's also big enough to really get into his sister's stuff, so we have an alternating attract-avoid thing going on most of the time.
In other news, we are planning a huge garden, and come summertime, I hope to be living off the fat of the land with fresh melons, peas, beans, chard, carrots, strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and artichoke. Then we're also doing a bunch of flowers. Lots of work to do, but it'll be a fun family project. We'll also learn a lot about what'll grow and what won't in our yard.