Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toddlerhood


These days, it feels like toddlerhood is firmly upon us. Kailey looks like a toddler suddenly... it's the "ponytail" that sits on top of her head, right? And, she has gained a new independent spirit which I adore, except in those moments when I am trying to get somewhere and her I-can-and-will-do-it-myself-if-it-takes-all-day attitude keeps us from doing anything else that day. Kai wants to put on her own shoes, buckle herself into her carseat, dress herself (including putting on her own diaper) and hollers every time we intervene to help her. She loves the word "help" when it comes to helping us (e.g. "Kai, do you want to help unload the dishwasher"... and she comes trotting over excitedly to hand us the cutlery) but abhors the word when it comes to us helping her (e.g. "Kai, can I help you put on your shoe?" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO").

Luckily, Kai's tantrums -- because we do, of course, intervene -- are short lived. They are also rather hysterical... she wants a reaction from us without hurting herself. So she'll carefully bang her head against the floor... and you can tell she is controlling her head so it won't really hurt. She's going for the dramatic effect. She also slaps her head, kicks her legs and "throws" herself on the ground, being careful not to bang herself too hard, of course. One of these days I will get a video of a classic Kai tantrum. I know, I'm a mean mommy.

Kai's flair for the dramatic has emerged in other ways as well. Lately, whenever she gets hurt, she points the injury out to everyone in the room... and then continues to point it out for the next several hours or days (depending on the severity of the owie). And, she has learned the word "boo boo" so she'll get a very sad look on her face, point to her injury and moan "boo boo", "boo boo". A true drama queen in the making.

And then there is her dramatic smile -- you know the one she has been perfecting for months. She used to save her smile for things she really liked, but now she does it because she has realized that it gets her a lot of laughs. She breaks it out whenever you ask her to smile. As far as she is concerned, the bigger and goofier the better.



Her favorite activities at the moment are climbing, jumping (preferably after climbing... the higher the better. And she has perfected the "seat drop"), coloring (with her orange crayon -- Kai has a first favorite color!), putting on our shoes and walking around (which she is quite proficient at), and dancing naked -- it has to be naked (every time we turn on music she starts spinning in circles and then comes running over to one of us and points at her shirt and then thrusts her arms in the air as if to say, "get this off of me!" Once she is down to her diaper, she starts running around like a maniac. I guess those clothes are just too constricting to let her inner-dancer emerge! And now, most evenings, she "asks" to dance by pointing at the ipod and then starting to disrobe... it's pretty funny.)

Note the orange crayon -- I hadn't even realized that she had orange until I was going through the pictures we took:


Ohhh... and make believe! Kai has started to get into make believe. She will trot her little figurines around making animal sounds, or play with her cars while saying "vroom, vroom." She got a kitchen for the holidays and she loves to "cook" and - just like her mommy - always cleans it all up by grabbing a wipe and wiping everything down when she's done. That's my girl!



She has been picking up new words. Our trip to Timberline resulted in her learning the word "snow" which she says as "snnnoooooooo" (it's a bit hard to decipher between snow and noooo). She loved Timberline, especially the hot tub and the pool. A few months back, she invented a sign/word for "hot" which she indicates by blowing. So, at Timberline, she'd indicate she wanted to go into the hot tub by signing "bath" and blowing for "hot". A hot bath! And, once in the hot tub, she would start off by saying "hot, hot". Too cute.





She liked the idea of the snow more than the actual snow -- mostly because I think she hated all the clothing she had to wear to go out into the snow. Ahhh... my clothing-adverse child.







She also says, "green" (which she associates with the actual color green) and "purple" (which she repeats when we say it, but I don't think she has actually started to identify purple things yet) - and she has learned her basic colors (orange, green, red, blue, yellow). Her other favorite new words are"Amy" (ever since we visited Amy, Dave and the twins Kai has been obsessed with Amy's name... which she says as "Mamie") and "baby" (Kai now points to all other children and says, "bay-bee". However, she is not among the "bay-bees". If you ask Kai if she is a baby she firmly shakes her head no).

In addition to learning new words, Kai has learned to use her vocal chords in other fun ways. Like screaming. And screeching. At extremely high pitches. Repeatedly. At a recent party, one of the other guests identified Kailey as "the child you can hear". I wanted to be offended, but, really -- Kai is loud. A joyful loud, but loud nonetheless. Toddler joy - nothing better (toddler whining though -- that I could definitely do without).

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