Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eighteen Months!

HAPPY 18 MONTHS TO MIRIAM! We've been saying that she's "18 months" for so long, that it's amazing that it's finally here. I can't believe so much has happened in the time that it takes a sister to go on a mission. Then again, the 18 months of the mission took a long time to get through. Maybe it's about even. Anyway, Miriam is absolutely wonderful. Here are some of the things that have fascinated me about her lately.
Her budding sense of humor: This girl is funny! I once used a big sombrero in a music class I'm teaching, and for the next week or so it was sitting in the office. One Sunday morning Miriam went to go get her bike, a common occurance. She busted out of the hallway riding her bike, screaming, and wearing the sombrero. She laughed and laughed, going around the table a few times, then went and put the hat back, knowing that it had been funny. Another time I slipped while I was going down the stairs and fell down about 5 stairs. As I sat there taking note of whether or not anything was broken, I heard Miriam's little voice coming from the top of the stairs as clearly as I have heard her say anything, "all fall down!" Sometimes when she laughs at something that she does, she puts her hands on her knees and leans over. Oh, I think she's a funny one!
Her language acquisition: It amazes me how much she soaks up. She can understand most of the directions I give her, find objects in a book, and frequently can tell me what she wants. Whether or not I understand is another matter. One day she wanted to go on a bike ride. It was still pretty early, so I told her I needed clothes first. She turned around, and pointed solemnly to her nose. Close, but no cigar. The next day we were reading a book and it had a part where eyes open and close. I said "open and closed," and she immediately pointed to her clothes. Again, close. But she's getting much more accurate. She knows the letter "M," but doesn't realize that there are other letters. Any time we see a sign with prominant letters, she points to it and enthusiastically says "M!" Sometimes there really is an M, which makes it even more exciting, at least for me. She knows flag and star and flower and dinosaur and elephant and really most any animal you can think of and cracker and cheese and milk and water and eat and please and high five and gosh she has lots and lots of words. It's interesting to figure them out though. She knows how to say "icee," meaning a popsicle. One night on the trampoline she kept asking for icees, but would never eat more than a bite or two. The next night we figured out that she was actually asking for "ashes," apparantly what she calls Ring Around the Rosie. That evening went much more smoothly with more dancing and fewer uneaten icees.
That she knows to do even things that she doesn't like: Miriam is not a fan of face washing. When she is sitting on the edge of the sink with a washcloth, though, she'll dab her nose and chin. She doesn't like getting her temperature taken, but when she picks up the thermometer, she'll hold it close to her bum. She also doesn't like lotion time, but when she finds a lotion bottle, she'll sit and make the "lotion-putting-on" sound that we do, and rub her legs, arms, and belly. She doesn't like to wash her hair, but when she's in the bathtub she'll ask for some soap and rub it on her head. She doesn't love diaper changing time, but one day it was strangely quiet so I checked on her while she was watching Sesame Street. She had a the package of wipes open, a pile of freshly used wipes next to her, and the upper front area of her pants surprisingly wet. She had just sat there wiping herself with the wipes. Not because she likes it, mind you, but because that's what you're "supposed" to do with them.
That she knows the "routine": I love hearing her giggle when we get to the page of the Spot book that the monkeys get tickled. She knows she's about to get tickled. I love that she can ask for specific movies and books. I love that when I tell her it's time to eat, she'll go to her chair. One of her favorite times of the day is when we wave goodbye to dad as he rides his bike off to work. Sometimes, she'll be on the front porch waiting to give the high five before he even gets out the back door to get the bike. And speaking of bikes, when we are getting ready for a bike ride, she'll get out her helmet. I love seeing her little diapered bottom run down the hallway to wait at her crib when it is bedtime and I offer her a "baba."
I could go on and on... I love this stage of her learning things so fast and having preferences and figuring out how to portray them. I love that she can say Mama and Dada, and sometimes when I ask "what do you want?" she says "Mama!" Oh it just melts my heart.
The next things we're working on include being okay when she says please for something and the answer is still "no," staying in nursery for longer than 10 minutes without completely falling apart, not throwing things at my head, and sitting at the dinner table for longer than the time it takes for me to sit down and start eating. Fun times for everybody.

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