6.21.2007

Twenty-Nine Months: Just Playin' Around

Dear Miriam,

You've discovered playmantes! More and more, you've transitioned from parallel to togethr play with your friends. You've been moving in this direction for months, asking for Pugawug, Henry LG and others, and truly interacting with them when they're around. But now you really play together, whether it's a screaming contest or a game of chase or showing each other whatever you're playing with and willingly passing it back and forth, the interaction has increased by leaps and bounds and it's a pleasure to watch.

I'm sure that's why our trip to Monterey was such a blast for you, you had a whole weekend of LG and Henry to play with and every morning as soon as you woke up you asked to go play. Contrast this with Mexico, when you were all about Go see ocean, and the difference is clear. When LG and his dad joined us for dinner while Roasted Squid was on a business trip, LG set out a picnic in the back yard and you two sat at the table chatting about who knows what-all. And you and Pugawug never miss an opportunity to go to the potty together. And you meet kids on the playground nearly every trip.

You also seem to have discovered fear this month. This development is probably title-worthy, but I don't want to make too big a deal out of it. Suddenly, you don't want to sleep with the door closed or the light off any longer. This after over a year of insisting on both. Those first few nights, we didn't really understand what was going on, and we'd close the door when we went to sleep, resulting in terrified screams at three in the morning. So now we have a nightlight and a whole ritual around propping the door open with a shoe and we tiptoe around while you're asleep. It's not a big deal at night, although you get up earlier, but it's a challenge to get anything done during your naps these days. I hope this is a phase but I hear it's typically a very long one so we're just trying to adjust.

Per my earlier post, this is also the month you taught yourself to do a somersault. You are just as proud of it now as you were that first day, but now you're cagey about who you will show and when. You get that this trick has some value and you're not wasting it on just any moment.

You definitely have a sense of the moment. You're starting to test when you should ask me or ask your Dad for something, or if you should go straight to your grandparents. If you don't like the answer you receive, you act as though you aren't hearing anything at all, turning your head slightly in someone else's direction to repeat the question in a tone that belies whether it's been asked before at all. This is another behavior (like being called Mom, which you have now changed to Mama) that I didn't expect for years, to be completely ignored by a toddler is kind of shocking. Particularly when you are not to be ignored when you want something. Miriam, you will ask the same question over and over until we acknowledge appropriately, I haven't tested it but I think you might be willing to go on forever.

"Acknowledge appropriately" is not an altogether clear concept. You ask questions repeatedly, even after we tell you the answer. I don't know what this represents developmentally, this asking of questions to which you know the answer. But it makes me a little crazy to answer the same question a dozen times, so I started asking you the answer after the third or fourth round.

Is that a convertible? That car doesn't have a top, is that a convertible?
Yes, that's a convertible.
Is that a convertible?
Yes, that's a convertible.
Is that a convertible?
I don't know Miriam, is that a convertible?
That's a convertible!
Is that fire engine red? (and so on)

This worked for a few days, you'd tell me the answer and then go on to the next thing. But I guess you felt somewhat foiled because now you're willing to go in rounds with the two of us asking the same question like some horrible Marx Brothers sketch. I have no idea.

But it's been another captivating month, Miriam. I am so proud of you in every way,

Your Mama

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