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24-month Morgan Update
Miss Morgan had her birthday, and then her birthday party, and these were both wonderful things. For the party we had a whole pile of small children over for a pirate treasure hunt with monster cupcakes (cup-krakens) courtesy andres_s_p_b. Morgan had a blast. We've been opening one present a night since her actual birthday; the family presents lasted until the party so now we are working on the friend presents. Morgan adores making cards for people, so thank-you notes are proceeding very quickly upon the heels of the actual present-opening. Hurrah instilling useful habits.

Speaking of cards, her art skills are coming along. She's gotten much better at aiming stickers and crayon scribbles for unoccupied parts of the paper, and recently learned how to use glue sticks. Scissors are still a bit beyond her fine motor skills, but she likes to try them out.

She's coming out of a few weeks of frequently pretending to be a baby, and seems to have made some kind of cognitive leap in the meantime. I can't quite put my finger on it, but her language seems to be both more coherent and more inventive lately -- she'll stick to the same topic for longer, and she's making up imagined incidents in a way that is clearly creative rather than confused. She's also sorting out her sense of time. She's very interested in what day of the week things happen on. She'll talk about things that happened "this morning", "yesterday", "last night", "last week", or "last year", although there's no particular correlation between when the thing happened and the time word she uses. If you express interest, she can go on providing novel details about some past event for a surprisingly long time. She observes a great deal about the world, and she can tell you all about it or process it into generalizations and predictions very quickly. If you ask her about something she doesn't know, she will probably tell you that it is either "a kind of a fish" or "a kind of a bird".

She likes to sing, and to recite bits of her books. She's starting to recognize a few letters, though none particularly reliably yet. Counting usually goes "One, two, three, five."

Her default pronoun is still "she" but she is starting to figure out gender and has gotten a lot more likely to call men or boys "he". Nested categories confuse her a bit, so she knows that Papa is a man but appears to be under the impression that he is therefore not a human.

Cathy's been delighted with the appearance of incorrectly standardized past tenses ("torned", "clean upped", etc.). Her little linguist heart thinks those are just the cutest thing ever.

A week or two ago Morgan asked for underwear with her pajamas, and she's been doing pretty well staying dry at night. I think she's had two nights with small accidents, plus another night or two where she wore a diaper because the parent putting her to bed was on autopilot and she didn't object, but it seems like a pretty good ratio so far.

She's gotten much tidier when using spoons and forks, and likes to use a table knife to cut soft fruit or spread butter on bread. She would very much like to use sharp knives too, but seems fairly contented with the idea that this is a "grownup thing". She gets frustrated when we insist on helping with anything that is not categorically a "grownup thing", but she doesn't have the physical skills to do quite all the parts of getting dressed and getting breakfast and so forth that she would like to, at least not reliably, so mornings have been kind of rough lately. Also, she has started telling me not to do things like put my tablet where she can't reach it on grounds that "it could break", which is very clever linguistic judo as that is a phrase she has been hearing an awful lot lately as we remove her from drawers she is using to climb up onto the bed, the bathroom counters, the top of her dresser, Mount Everest, and/or the moon. It doesn't work for her to convince me not to do things any better than it works for me to convince her not to do things, but I expect we will both continue repeating it for quite some time.

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Our classic FMism is "I PEEDED!" Generally delivered in tones of horrified tragedy.

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She's 26 pounds, according to the big grownup type scale at the doctor's office, which she has now graduated to.

Wow, staying dry at night already! So impressive. Actually she sounds quite advanced in a number of ways. I love hearing these updates. Wish we could have come to the party! I so enjoyed seeing you guys at the Junebug's one.

Nighttime underwear may not last, but we figured if she wanted to try she could give it a go. (But do not get me started on poop. Poop is a less happy tale.)

She is pretty advanced in a number of developmental areas. The contrast makes some of the spots where she's more typical for her age a little ... not harder to deal with, exactly, but more surprising somehow. It seems like a kid who can describe her world so well should be able to realize when she's changed her mind about something, you know? But no. She has very little awareness, and apparently no memory, of her own opinions or requests, so occasionally we will bump up against something where she can't make up her mind and just flips back and forth like Gollum and Smeagol having an argument. "Want to go that way!" and we take a few steps that way before she flings herself to the ground. "No! Want to go that way!" pointing the other way. So we take a few steps the other way. "No! That way!" For the love of Pete, kiddo. These paths reconnect on the other side of that building, this is the least important decision we're going to make today.

Edited at 2014-08-06 06:19 am (UTC)

YES. I have taken to reminding myself out loud "He is only three." The Junebug is so verbal, it's easy to slip into expecting him to behave like a much older kid! And it's not fair. They're still so little.

I don't know child psych, but I can say that it strikes me as unsurprising to have decisions and preferences flipping... the sudden awareness of "we're going this way" brings the realization that "NO! WE CAN'T GO (the other) WAY NOW!" with an unformed sense of "what if we miss something that's *that* way?" even if you're not sure yet what it is.

PS: Love the thought of cup-krakens :-).

Actually, I think that's what was going on the _last_ time she suddenly couldn't make up her mind. For about a week there, she would dissolve into tears and screaming around every decision, flip-flopping madly, and then just as suddenly she started thinking about decisions longer, saying "ummmm..." and then deciding, without flip-flopping. I think that's exactly what was happening then, was that she was growing the capability to hold both options in her mind long enough to compare, and couldn't bear to give either up now that she'd suddenly realized she was in fact giving one up.

I think what's going on this time may actually be the opposite -- she doesn't like _either_ option and is just starting to realize that there are additional, unstated, options we haven't given her. I'm hoping she comes out of it with the ability to tell us what her third-option preference would be. If there must be fits, then they can at least be because we're denying her something she's asked for, rather than fits of inchoate frustration!

Edited at 2014-08-16 09:39 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I can get that :-). It can be so hard watching painful stuff going through young brains.

"she knows that Papa is a man but appears to be under the impression that he is therefore not a human": I labored under this impression for years. It thus delayed my willingness to identify as a male person for some time! I finally met a collection of men i respected, and got over most of it.

Tho I still have to be careful to not assume that women are, by default, superior beings...

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