Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Development Update II

Ok, so I hope by now you've had a break, had a whizz, watched some bad tv and are thinking "I'll just check and see if that crazy woman is blathering on about her child any more". Well here I am to make sure your insomnia-driven nights are packed with Harriet fun.

Drawing - Harry has washable textas and some washable crayons. Let's face it, if they aren't Crayola they just don't cut the mustard as far as washing them out of skin and clothing goes. Also the Crayolas are easy for baby hands to wrench open. /advertisement But the thing with Harry's drawing is that we just do it on the floor out the back where we have the old cork floor. This old cork floor that we deliberately didn't rip up because we thought it better to let Harriet ruin it first before moving on to the good floor we'd like to have in here, well that decision has proved a wonderful one. This old cork is fantabulous for toddlers. Plates bounce, wee wipes right off and textas...well textas barely glance the impenetrable force that is the cork seal. This stuff is magic. Nevertheless we still mention to Harry that drawing on the floor is not a great idea. So what does she do? I bet you're thinking "She draws straight on the floor! I know, I know!". Well put down that waving arm, because you are *wrong*. This girl has her texta slip off the paper and draw the odd line on the floor and she is not a happy camper. She calls out "Marmee" and points down to the floor and says very seriously "No, no" and I say "It's ok, we'll just wipe it up" and she has to help me do it. Very cute.

Pegs - Harriet loves to stand on the table out the back and peg up washing with me. I can only dream of sharing her enthusiasm. Anyway, she has until recently insisted on using the pegs with the open arms pointing towards the clothesline. We've both showed her how to work them properly but she has been quite happy with her method so we left it. Then she seemed to take a renewed interest in what I was doing the other day and she worked it out! So now she will proudly *squeeze* (done with much force) the open arms together and peg it on to the line. Of course she lets go of the squeeze before getting it over the clothesline but she works it hard enough so that there is some residual gap in the teeth and it manages to hang on there. But still, pretty good dexterity I think.

Pointing to her Ear - This is a personal favourite. When she hears something she doesn't recognise, thinks is interesting, wants explained, startles her, you name it, well she cocks her head gently to one side and holds a finger up to her ear. She then looks at me for an explanation/reassurance/discussion. It is SO cute! There are no concerns here about her hearing either, because this girl can hear a dog bark from miles away and will query a train blowing its horn from blocks and blocks away. Often I don't even know what she's asking me, and then she'll cock her little head full of curls, put one finger up to her ear and I'll realise that somewhere, far off in the distance, a baby is crying. I would never have known.

Seating - Kristie just ask Harry what to do when it comes time to do your seating plan for the wedding. She likes to organise everyone into where they're going to sit and when. If someone is away from the table Harry will point with gusto to where they were sitting and demand they come back "Now!". She will also walk around the table (wherever we are) and say the names of whoever had been sitting in each chair. It's handy in case you want to bags a good chair and still want to go to the toilet - Harry will remember it was yours!

General Order - I know this is normal for children coming into their twos (Harriet is now almost 20mths) but she really does just love everything being in a special place. Not in an abnormal autistic spectrum kind of way, but in a "this-is-how-things-are and this-is-therefore-how-things-will-be" kind of way. Of course this doesn't stop her throwing things to the floor, leaving textas strewn all over the playroom, and of course leaving piles of lentils and other poured materials all over the place.

Helping - Tying in with that, Harry also loves to help me with the cleaning. Admittedly not much gets done around here, but when it does she is there to help. She won't use her Harry-sized broom though, she must take my adult broom to sweep and will take a wipe in order to wipe down any marks left on a table. The best way to get anything done around the house is to involve her with the activity. So I have her carry the laundry outside with me, she helps with the pegs (as mentioned earlier), I'll give her an item that needs to be put away and she will do it. In fact she loves this and will ask for more things to put away. Sometimes I have to invent them!

'More' Talking - At the end of the day when we're in the bath together, Harriet's favourite activity is to have me give her a verbal rundown of the day's events. In fact I can do this at any time and she will stop whatever it is she's engaged with, turn around and stare expectantly at me for more information. And I have to go into incredible detail. For example, say we were playing with a ball in a park and some othe rchild joined in. I have to mention the ball, who threw it to whom, where it went, what the other child's name is, where we all were, what it felt like to have the ball roll away, who else was there, what we did immediately preceding and following..it goes on and on. Sometimes there just isn't any more to tell. But no matter whether I have a lot of tales or just one, Harry will patiently ask for "More". I ask her "More talking?". And she nods very seriously. Then I go back over what we were talking about. I can do this for so long that I have occasionally got a hoarse throat from talking so much. As James says I finally have the captive audience I've been looking for - and I can't keep up with the challenge! Cheeky bugger.

Sooner and Later - Harriet finally also has some understanding of temporality now. Thank god! I can say to her that we will do things in a certain order and she understands that the next step takes her closer to the final goal. Every now and then she gets impatient, especially so if there are a lot of steps and the goal is something she wants desperately (like going to the park) but at least now we can discuss what needs to be done and that will calm her down. Often she'll 'help' expedite the process by getting me something for the nextstep (eg: racing to get her shoes when she knows she needs them before we leave) and it can be very helpful!

Cooking - You may remember that at Festivus time Harriet received a kitchen and some kitchen utensils. Well she now loves 'cooking' and will stir up a frenzy with her ladle, then offer it to me. When I'm about to take a 'sip' from the spoon she cautions me that it is hot. I then ask her to blow on it for me to cool it down, which she does. I just cannot convey how cute this is. The whole thing. Just gorgeous.

Massages - Nothing like getting your money's worth with these kids. James was giving me a neck massage the othe rnight because my neck had cricked out of position from lying down with Miss Harry in a funny way. Harriet watched closely the whole time. When he'd finished, I was ordered to sit "DAHHWWOOOON" and I received another massage, this time from my sweet baby Harriet. She places index finger and thumb in the right manner, and then gives the lightest fairy touch ever - it is so light that it's allI can do to stop from squirming from its ticklish-ness! But we can wrk on technique in the future. Right now we're just treating this as normal - yes, all children give their parents a 10 minute neck massage very night.

One More - I'm not a big fan of the phrase "Just one more and then we're goin". But occasionally I've had to use the phrase "one more" with things like going on the slide before it gets so pitch black we won't be able to find our way home, or only one more wipe down of the bench so that the sloppy dishcloth dosn't produce another downpour along the side of the sink. But seeing as I use it so infrequently I was amazed to hear Harry say "One more!" when we were about to leave the park a few weeks ago. She had one more turn on the slide and that was it. Since then she has said it a few more times and each time obviously knows what it means - one more time is just the once. Of all things she's currently doing I find this one probably the most remarkable - it shows numerical understanding, self control and temporality.

Bananas - This is ANNOYING! She loves bananas. Apparently. Well if you listened to how often she asks for one you'd be convinced. But if you actually peel one for her and offer it, well she will always say no. The only time she doesn't is if we're out at the park. So bananas have become our park food. At NO OTHER TIMES are we to offer her bananas anymore. The number of half peeled, fruit-fly covered banans that could accumulate in a day if permitted, well, the mind boggles.

Roll - There seems to be no problem with the fact that rollis both a noun and a verb. The bread product is loved and the verb is performed. As is the noun fly and the verb fly and the hand palm and the plant palm etc. But she loves to get things between her hands and proclaim "Roll" and then proceed to roll it between her palms and show me. She also loves to get things and roll them down my back. Don't ask - the mind of a toddler is a dark, dark place indeed.

Playground Independence - Well it was coming soon, she has been behind other children in this regard. But Harriet is now more than happy to slide down big slides on her own and also loves to spin around on the pole spinner on her own and even fly on the flying fox on her own! So that little hurdle has been cleared. Now all we need is for her to run around the playground on her own and I'm on my way to taking the paper and a coffee with me to the park. Aaahhh, what a life that will be.

Clipping - Does anyone else have a child that vehemently resists fingernail clipping? This one will scream, cry, go red in the face (of course we don't really let it get to this stage!) and do anything to prevent us getting those clippers anywhere near her. We have tried discussing it with her, doing it to ourselves to show her, letting her play with the clippers so that she knows what they do and feel like. Nada. Oh well. She did get very upset when we showed her that her nails hurt us, and kept returning to that later on during the night, so perhaps she'll allow us to do it in the near future. We can only hope. In the meantime I'll put up with the nail scrapings on my boob. *sigh*

Library - She loves the library. Loves it! When I say we're off to the library it's full steam ahead. When we get there she runs up into the library and almost as reliably she will do a poo in the library. Well sometimes books can make you THAT excited. I can appreciate that. For Harriet that book is 'Maisy Goes to the Library'. In it one of the characters (Tallulah - the name of a stripper if ever I heard one) makes a funny face. And it makes Harriet crack up! Constantly! She barely reads the rest of the story, because that little Tallulah picture is just too hilarious.

Blue - Ask her the colour of anything and it is "blooo". She actually knows her colours for the most part - she gets them correct about 70% of the time. But if you ask her then it is always "blooo". Sometimes it is "Gwee". But mostly things are "blooo".
Whispering - Get up close and do some tickling whispers in Harry's ear. Go on, do it - she loves it!

Ok, I think that's about all. Apart from the fact that today she said a whole heap of new words again (including "away" and "triangle"). Let's face it, I can't keep up! But that's just what is so cool about having a little person around the house.


jodes said...

My God
Xav and Harry should have been twins. I am reading about Hazza and thinking "thats what Xav does etc etc'.
It is good to know he is on the right track, although the daycare lady said he should be saying around 200 words. Now he talks all day but he doesnt say 200 words.
The photos of Haz are gorgeous, how tall is she now and how much does she weigh? Xav actually weighs more than a 4 year old local girl here...

jodes said...

These kids are soooo similar its as if I was reading about Xav.
The photos are gorgeous. She looks really tall, after papa Jimbo.
Hope to come to visit in July...

Jimbo said...

Hey Jodes

That 200 words is a pile of rubbish - most references I can find say that a child the same age as Harry and Xavier should say around 50 words. Harry does that easily, although most of them sound the same and no-one but us can understand them (actually, I don't understand most of them but in context they make sense. Cass is better at it than me).

I have no idea how tall/heavy she is. She's taller that most others we see around her age, and is very heavy when you're carrying her (she has a habit of wanting to be carried but not really hanging on properly...)


Sif said...

Gawd, I was going to say, 200 words is more like the upper limit of normal!

Um, just a thought, could the asking for banana be signalling that Harry wants to go to the park? Like, go to the park and have a banana? Erik used to ask for things in a round about way like that sometimes, and I know another little boy who is a master at the round-about request!

casso said...

Hahaha!! Oh Sif I wish! No, if she wants to go to the park, she knows how to ask for that! :o) She grabs my hand, drags me to the front door and yell sout "PARK!" continuously (it's a problem being able to see the park from the front door!). But great lateral thinking, I never even thought of that!

As for word limits we were listing them the other night in bed and it was quite a list. I might write it out and see how many there are.