Tuesday, Apr 21 2009
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
Will is 3.47 years old today. He now verbalizes lists of people and objects and using his fingers to tick them off. His facial expression of concentration is priceless during this activity.
He has shown some improvements behavior-wise. Nothing I’m ready to write home about yet, but it isn’t quite the living nightmare it was.
He talks about “abenchures” – aka adventures. I can’t quite figure out what he thinks they are. Sometimes he talks about them as if they are physical objects, other times he describes them as trips. Its fascinating to see how language and thinking develop hand in hand.
Will utterly loved Steve’s birthday – giving him presents and singing to him. He (Will) jumped up and down with joy.
One of the first tangible signs of a desire for dressing independence – he wants to be the one to zip his coat up. He does it fairly well, even with a zipper that catches cloth. I like seeing this because I’ve been wondering if we’ll have to dress him until he’s 12.
He had developed a bizarre phobia around both Barney (his previous love) and Bert and Ernie. After lots of mutual frustration and parental mind bending (why would you want to insist your child ENJOY a TV program?), we’ve arrived at a state where he truly has internalized that if he doesn’t like a TV program, he can leave the room. I don’t think he really understood that he had that choice and control. Ellen loves these programs, so we wanted to find a middle ground. Barney has become okay again, but not Bert and Ernie.
Will can recite from memory several long books – “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Ann Dewdney, “Nocturne” by Jane Yolan, and “Dancing with Tiger” by Malachy Doyle. Its amazing to hear him wrap his mouth around phrases like, “In the night, in the velvet night, in the carpet starlit velvet night, tucked up under eiderdown, I nestle down, wrestle down, my hullabalooning thoughts.”
That said, he’s been stuttering quite a bit lately, at the beginning of sentences. W-w-w-w, and I-i-i-I and ya-ya-ya. We been trying to coach him to slow down, and say the word he wants to say very slowly, which seems to help. But the other day he broke my heart when he turned to me after a frustrating (for him) attempt to communicate and say plaintively, “My mouth won’t stop talking, Mama.” He seemed so sad about it. Later he put his hand over his mouth and said, “Stop, mouth!”
In the car this weekend, Ellen was throwing a tantrum. After valiant efforts on Will’s part to calm her down (passing her water, food, talking to her, etc.) he finally leaned over to her, about 6 inches from her face, and screamed, “Take a deep breath!” I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard.
Will has literally the best giggle in the world. The other night Steve said, apropos of the kids’ schedules, “I may be a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I like change.” It made me laugh, and that made Will laugh this lovely giggle.
Ellen is 1.32 years old. She is handful right now. She is truly exploring her independence, and it’s new territory for us. Her attempts to do things on her own have come much earlier than Will’s, and at a stage when her physical and cognitive skills aren’t necessarily an asset to her efforts, so she gets very frustrated fairly often.
She is ˝ walking and ˝ crawling. She climbs anything she can – if her brother didn’t already have the moniker “monkey” we’d have to call her that. She is pretty smart about her movements, though, and is generally aware of her surroundings and potential dangers.
A disturbing development is that Ellen is biting people and objects when she is anger. It really hurts. We’ve had to be far more verbally firm with her than I would have ever thought appropriate with a 1+ year old, but we cannot be afraid that every time we try to comfort her, or remove her from danger, that she will sink those sharp front teeth into our necks, arms, etc.
Not tons of communication development – I think I’ve mentioned before that she understands a lot, and follows simple commands, but she isn’t saying more than a few words. She says “up” and “mama” and “more”, and signs for food, all done, drink, and blanket. She does say “nernie” to mean Ernie and Barney. And recently acquired Will’s habit of saying “No!” while pushing things/people out of her way. Its not an endearing feature.
She loves being read to, and her attention span is good. She can listen to two or three books through as long as each page isn’t unduly wordy.
We have finally transitioned away from formula in a bottle to water in a bottle at night and early morning. My mind is finally at ease about her teeth.
She imitates almost everything from putting on lotion to yelling to singing to dancing. She tries to put on hats, socks, etc.
Loves her cotton mini blankets. She has about 12, all over the house, and they are an instant pacifier when upset.
She totally dances with her head – like the SNL guys in the movie “Night at the Roxbury”.
No significant hair growth in a while.
I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from her lately – as if I can’t quite get a sense of her mind and heart. I think this is a sign I need to make sure to continue spending as much one-on-one time with her as I can.