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Sixteen Months Update
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tiger_spot
So I have this toddler! She runs and climbs and talks and signs and sings and helps unload the dishwasher and cleans up her own spills and requests specific books by title and has finally started calling her various parents by distinct individual names.



She thought Halloween was the best thing ever, and has been pointing out all the porches that used to have pumpkins on them since then. She's very disappointed that they keep vanishing. I look forward to her reaction when Christmas decorations start showing up.

She remains remarkably physically adept. She can climb just about anything you'd think is vaguely possible, so there's some additional childproofing we need to do now at about grown-up eye level. Today she hauled one of the chairs over to the wall so she could reach the kitchen light switch and turn it on and off and on and off and on and off. She runs at speed. She crawls symmetrically now and then (she thinks crawling is funny). She can swing on the big-kid swings, although she's not tall enough to sit down in them herself yet. She can also grab the edge of the baby swings, pull her feet up, and swing herself back and forth that way.

She loves balls, pumpkins, cars, and dogs. She is not entirely unwilling to wear clothing that does not have pictures of dogs on it, but she's a lot more enthusiastic about the clothes that do.

Her fine-motor skills are coming right along. She's eating much more neatly now, which is particularly convenient in restaurants. She still likes basically all food, especially cauliflower, meat, and bananas. She drinks from an open cup two-handed without spilling (and then upends it in her lap because that's fun). She's interested in simple puzzles, and knows which piece to fit in which space, but hasn't quite figured out how to rotate pieces to fit properly. Once she gets that physical skill sorted out, I'll be interested to see how the mental aspects of puzzle-solving develop. She enjoys scribbling but still tries to eat crayons and chalk so she doesn't get a lot of opportunities to practice.

She's very interested in doing things for herself, like brushing her own hair and getting dressed or undressed. We've been doing a bit of rather casual potty training, and she's definitely making the right associations but doesn't recognize all the necessary bodily signals quite yet. She loves sitting on the potty being sung or read to.

Her taste in songs has changed a bit; she doesn't seem to be interested in recorded music at all, and she doesn't let me play piano any more because she wants to take over. Her favorite songs right now are the ABCs, The Wheels on the Bus, and If You're Happy and You Know It. She sings and/or signs very enthusiastically along with parts of these. (I should try to get video sometime, but the longest accompaniments tend to be in the bathroom.)

While we were traveling in October, we didn't have access to bathtubs, only to showers, so she learned not to be afraid of showers. Now she insists on showering with me after breakfast, and tries to head in there on her own earlier in the morning. Next summer, swimming lessons for the water baby, definitely.

Her speech development is interesting. She seems to be taking a little bit of a break or slowdown in vocabulary acquisition to work on refining her pronunciation and increasing the complexity of her grammar. She's started using two- and three-word sentences and talking about events that happened in the past. A lot of the two-word sentences include sound effects, like "car whee!", or greetings/farewells, like "bye-bye doggie". My favorite three-word sentence so far is "pa mommy baby" which meant "[the car] stopped [for] mama [and] Morgan [while we crossed the street]". You can tell if you've gotten the translation right on the more complex utterances because once you demonstrate you understand she'll stop repeating herself. Her pronunciation is all in that stage where she'll say something, we her parents will respond appropriately, and outside observers will look at us like we have three heads because they could not understand a word. Except "doggie". Everybody can understand "doggie".

We have a lot of arguments of the form:
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie
me: Okay, it is a quadruped, and it's a similar color to our dog, but it's a kangaroo. Look, it's got this rectangular face and long back legs. See how it hops? Notice the pouch, and the upright stance, and the very thick tail. Kangaroo.
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie
me: kangaroo
M: doggie

Or the alternate version:
M: meow
me: seal
M: meow
me: seal
M: meow
me: Seal. See how it doesn't have any back legs? The powerful tail helps it swim. It's fluffy like a kitty, but it has flippers instead of paws. Seal.
M: doggie
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Little kid language skills are the most awesome.

metaphortunate recently described conversations with her 2-year-old as like Infocom game exchanges. Sounds like you're getting close.

I love language development in little kids! Thanks for sharing.

Aaah, I am so jealous of your showering baby! Showers are so much easier/faster but they make the Junebug scream like he's being flayed.

Give it two weeks and come visit us. We'll head out at night. The Make A Wish folks had theirs up BEFORE THANKSGIVING.

Or you could wait til the 23rd or so and come with us to Mardi Gras. And by Mardi Gras I mean Eucalyptus Ave.

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