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There’s something about Charlotte

Over the holidays while she was home with us we noticed some pretty impressive changes in the God Empress of Burlington. For one thing, all of a sudden she’s talking up a storm. Everything has to be labeled, everything has to be commented on – she’s like Adam naming things in the garden of Eden.

“Boots, mommy.”
“Yes, those are mommy’s boots.”
“My boots!”
“Yes, those are your boots. Are you going to wear them?”
“No. Daddy’s boots!”
“Yes, those are daddy’s boots.”

Etcetera. She knows words I didn’t know that she knew, and that I don’t recall coming up in conversation. Of course, her comprehension has been spot on for a long time, but now she’s talking about it. 

We even got the first complete sentence that I’m aware of. I don’t recall if it was Wednesday evening or Thursday evening, but we were sitting her down in the kitchen to give her the daily dose of antibiotics. Charlotte does not love her antibiotics, although over the course she did come to a certain level of resignation. The first few days we had to actually lay her down, sit on her, and hold her hands down while we squirted the stuff in her mouth. Then she would gurgle piteously because she would choke on it while screaming bloody murder. After a day or two she learned to swallow in between screams, and by the end we could dose her while she was sitting up. Mind you, it still took both of us, and she was still howling. I think it was mostly for show at that point though – she wanted to make it clear that this was cruel and unusual and that she would be notifying her congressman and the Hague at the earliest opportunity. We could tell it was an act, because we utilize bribery for medication. After we torture her with antibiotics, we offer animal crackers – usually one for each hand. A couple of days in, she would start sobbing “Animal crackers! Animal crackers!” as soon as she saw the bottle, and the howling would shut off and turn to smiles as soon as said crackers were delivered. On that particular day, we sat her down and she screwed up her face and cried “I want animal crackers!” A full sentence! We were very impressed, and told her so. Of course, then we held her down and dosed her. But she did get her crackers, which is the only thing that was really important to *her.*

A side effect of this is that she thinks everything treat like is a “cracker.”

All of a sudden she’s also interested in sitting and being read to. And she wants to sit and stack her blocks, as opposed to just scattering them. It’s like some critical synapse in her brain suddenly connected and fired, because all of a sudden she’s charging forward, doing new things and taking new interests. She’s got an opinion on what she wants (or doesn’t want) to wear, and what she wants to eat, and what everyone else should be doing. For example:

We live in a house with a woodstove in the middle of the kitchen and two fireplaces, so we’ve been teaching her “hot” for about a year now. I figured that concept was going to be critical in our house, and she’s very good about it. She’s curious and very excited when we open the woodstove, but she stays back. She does, however, have very strong opinions about how things are supposed to be done. On Thursday when the in-laws were over we put a fire in the fireplace. Fireplaces need more tinkering and feeding than woodstoves, so I was in there a fair amount of times over the day. I wasn’t bothering with the gloves, because I just didn’t need them. Charlotte didn’t think much of that – “Mommy! Gloves! Mommy, gloves!” Then she ran out of the room and came back a moment later with the welding gloves from the woodstove. She knew that you’re supposed to have gloves on when tending a fire, and didn’t differentiate between a fire in the woodstove and a fire in the fireplace. Mommy was tending a fire, mommy needed to have the gloves on. My daughter, Safety Fred. I’m not sure how she reconciles all of this with the fact that the cats sleep *under* the woodstove, though. I would be interested to know how she processes that.

She’s getting “please” and “thank you” down pretty well. Quite a bit of the time she doesn’t need prompting. Now we’re starting to work on not interrupting.

It will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring. Will there be more changes, or is she going to settle in to process the current batch? Time will tell, I guess.

The interactive version really is much more fun.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Heheh. When took Zeph for his 2-year checkup, the conversation went as follows:

Dr W.: Is he using simple 2 word sentences yet?
Me: No
Dr W.:???
Me: Paragraphs.
Dr W.:... Oh... I see.

Zeph, naturally didn't say a word all through the visit.

They do that, the whole great leaps of progress followed by fallow periods of consolidation. It's fun. And impressive.

Jan. 8th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
It's just astonishing - I'd gotten accustomed to the idea of the automatic downloads, but this particular service pack was ENORMOUS. I suspect that installation is going to take a bit.
Jan. 8th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Obviously you are smart and did not allow her to spend time with Tanaka and learn that safety is rule number 8 in the shop. This is good.

I am sure there is no disconnect with felines under the stove. Different species=different rules. See. No dichotomy.

Complete sentences...that's better than lots of people I know.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
I don't believe that she has met Tanaka yet. I think I'll keep her away from Timothy for a while yet also...

Did I mention that she's started trying to pick Becket up? She waves the toy under his nose with one hand, and scoops under his ribcage with the other. I can't wait to see how this develops...
Jan. 8th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
Got to love those upgrades that come along like clockwork.

Clearly, you have yourself a superior model of toddler.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Well, I think so. But doesn't every parent?
Jan. 14th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
My last trip to NY with Victoria was jaw-clenching because she kept asking me if I was doing the speed limit. I really do have to crawl back there and figure out if she can see the spedometer...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )