Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy 21 Months, Helen!

Holy crap, Helen,

You have turned into Sleeping Beauty and I love, love, love it. You see, even though your dad is an absolute champ about splitting morning weekend duty with me (in general, he wakes up with the first child on Sunday, I wake up with the first child on Saturday), I never feel like I actually get to sleep in because I feed you first thing in the morning. So, even though I get to go back to sleep, my sleep is interrupted. But now?!? Every since we got back from vacation, you have decided that you like to sleep, and sleep you do. Your record is 10:30. To be fair, you went to bed late that night, but still, this is fantastic. Basically, you sleep 12 hours from the time you go to bed, which means I really have to try and get you in bed by 8:00 so that I don't have to wake you before I go to work just to feed you. Now, if only you would rub off on your brother in this respect!

You are the master of two word phrases, and have strung together a fair number of sentences. For example, you've been known to say "easy does it" and "pipe down". Only, when anyone else says "pipe down", you start screaming. When you say it, you hope Connor stops screaming. Almost every night when I put you in your crib for bed I can hear you chanting over the monitor for a few minutes. Your most common phrase is "hold you, Mommy" which is said in the saddest voice possible trying to lure me back into your room. You also can be heard chanting "oh no, oh no" "sit down, baby", and any number of other things.

When the Georgetown Early Learning folks came by, they told me you were the best talker that they had worked with in their studies. I told them that perhaps that made up for the fact that you failed the test - for the first time ever! For this study, Elmo tried to teach you how to stack cups of descending sizes into one another. You watched the television patiently as Elmo played, but when it was your turn, you happily grabbed the cup and demanded some water. Then, when no one got you water, but instead we all just sort of stared at you thinking "do what Elmo told you to do, little lady", you said "from the faucet". And you repeated this a couple of times "Water...from the faucet" and then you marched over to your little kitchen and showed us what a faucet was, pretended to drink, and then offered each of us a pretend drink, and then said "Helly needs some water". Then one of the researchers asked you if there was anything else you could do with the cup, and you sat down and started to stack them. Only, rather than stacking them in order, you stacked them until you got to one that was too big, and instead of taking out some cups and putting the big one in its place, you banged it on top of the others as if sheer brute force could cause the cup to fit inside the others announcing "too big, too big!". The researchers told me this was super helpful as they could tell what you were thinking, when normally they cannot tell what someone your age is thinking. Now I'm really interested in their conclusions about whether children can learn from television.

You love to chase rabbits. When you see one, you hold your little pointer up to your mouth and say "Shhhh...rabbit". Your dad and you chase these bunnies around our yard regularly.

You can now anticipate what is going to happen with a bit much precision, and this is not good for me. For example, when we head upstairs for naptime, you might say "no nap".

You are the master at extending bedtime. We read, you play, we nurse, I put you in bed. During this time, you might ask to say good-night to Daddy just one more time, and to Connor, and you might do this a dozen times. Then, if I've managed to get you into bed, you might call out "Helly made poopie", which may or may not be true - but because the consequences of it being true require a diaper change, I go in to check on you. You also duped me one night by saying "drop baby", because I think you know that if you do, in fact, drop your baby, I will come give it back to you - mostly because I'm sure baby is at least partially responsible for your awesome sleeping.

The crew you sleep with now includes two babies, 1 mouse, 5 dogs, and 1 sheep. Many nights, you will tell me to take one baby back and put her away.

You continue to be stubborn, and now include in your repertoire the cutest little arm folding over your chest when you really need to make a point. You also throw food with great precision, enjoy washing your hands in your water glass, and ask "why" all the time. These are not my favorite characteristics, but we get by.

You love to go swimming, but what you really love is the warm shower afterward. You like to pretend to float in the little pool and go underwater. Often, when we are in the big pool, you will demand I let go of you so you can float all by yourself, because apparently you believe you can swim. You can't. I humor you by letting go and placing my knee so you can stand on it, but as soon as you realize you are standing on my knee and not floating, you realize it was a ridiculous request, and either go back to jumping into the pool or playing on the stairs.


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