How to go downstairs on her bum. Finally, she can go downstairs as well as up! Till now, I have carried her downstairs every. single. time. Have I ever mentioned that her changing table is upstairs? And all her toys are downstairs? Yeah. Anyway, I'm not yet confident enough to let her go down the stairs by herself: our method involves me saying "on your bum" (which she usually echoes enthusiastically, "BUM!") to remind her to sit down at the top of the stairs. I sit beside her, and we bump down together. She often chooses to hold my hand as we do so. She has already extrapolated from this lesson, going down steps at the playground in the same way, so I'm really hopeful that she will stop falling down the stairs at the homes of friends and family.
How to give kisses. She will usually give them when asked, though at other times she'll respond to "Got a kiss for Mom?" with "no." (Which is STILL pretty cute.) The sweetest kisses, though, are the ones she gives unbidden. It melts my heart every time. You know that old saw about how if men had boobs, the wheel never would have been invented and civilization as we know it would have never arisen, because they'd just be at home all day playing with their boobs? Well, if the creation of civilization was up to me, and I had the distraction of Gwen-kisses to contend with, we'd all still be struggling to create fire. Well, you all would be. I'd be revelling in smooches.
How to say "Mom". Finally. FINALLY. I exist!
How to co-operate. I'm not saying she's turned into a model of well-mannered teamwork, but she does seem, upon occasion, to play along with our requests. Yesterday, she had the Forbidden Cupboard open and I instructed her from across the room to close it. AND SHE DID. At which point, of course, we heaped praise upon her; when she listens and obeys, we act like she just invented calorie-free chocolate.
What a bum change is all about. As mentioned, her change table is upstairs, whereas we spend most of our time downstairs. A week or so ago, Gwen walked to the gate at the bottom of the stairs and said "bum". Sure enough, her diaper was dirty and she needed a change. Impressive, no? Furthermore, if we tell her "let's go change your bum," she will walk to the bottom of the stairs and wait for us to unlock the gate. Once she gets to the top of the stairs, if we remind her "let's go change your bum," she will head into her room (rather than the several other, intricately tempting locations on the second storey: our room, the bathroom, and Chris's office).
How to impress her mother. Gwen has a little play table with a bowl on it. Occasionally, Chris will put some snacks into this bowl for her: being attached to the table, she can't do her usual trick of flinging the snacks all over the floor. A couple of days ago, I gave her a container with a few orange segments in it. I was cooking dinner at the time and not paying a lot of attention to her: I registered that she left the kitchen, then returned a few seconds later with the empty container, saying "all done". I was *certain* she hadn't eaten the entire orange in such a brief time, so I looked around for a pile of fruit. I found it in the play-table bowl. She'd walked to the living room, emptied the container into the bowl, and come back to return the empty container to me. My mind was officially blown.