Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear Gwen: Month Twenty-Three

Dear Gwen,

Today, you are twenty-three months old. As you yourself might very well say, Holy cow! Seriously, didn't I JUST write your last newsletter, like, two days ago? Time is flying by in a truly ridiculous fashion, and I wish to lodge my complaint.

Your language development is absolutely snowballing. You are putting more and more words together all the time. For example:
“A park! See it? Right there!”
“You stuck, Dada? You okay? Nee hoep (need help)?”
and my favourite: “Bye-bye, Mama! Hug! Kiss! Bye-bye, sweetie! I lah-loo (love you)! Have good day!”
You talk so much that we can hardly get a word in. And so well that for most of what you say, anyone can understand you. It’s really amazing to see what you come up with, and I love having this glimpse into your mind. My favourite is when you use a phrase that we have no knowledge of having taught you - for example, a few days ago when I picked you up from daycare you gave me a hug and said "Nice to meet you!" You are very fond of imaginative play these days. Your favourite “plays” include putting your doll or stuffed animal to sleep, and changing your doll or stuffed animal’s diaper. You usually try to get me to change the doll's diaper before you will consent to having your own changed. Another habit is that if we are reading a book with a picture of food, especially fruit, you will "pick" the fruit out of the picture and eat it, sharing happily with Mama and Dada, of course.

Thanks to your friends Steve and Blue, your interest in drawing or “cunnin” (your word for both ‘crayon’ and ‘colouring’) has grown immensely. It's funny how all my anti-TV and especially anti-licensed-characters sentiment has pretty much dissipated since seeing how much you have learned from that show. I think your problem-solving skills have improved, too.

Your dad and I recently finished an eight-week parenting course and one of the lessons there was that for a child to learn a new skill, you had to break it down into manageable steps. Your dad is BRILLIANT at this, and you really respond to it. Thanks to this, you now know how to put books away on the shelf (make a space, then PUSH) and are learning to eat with utensils (scoop, then IN THE MOUTH!). Another tactic we learned about was "planned ignoring", which is what we are supposed to do when you whine. This is the hardest thing ever, as my preferred response to your whining would be to pull your lower lip up over your forehead to MAKE IT STOP. But I'm working on it.

Recently, you have had some difficult nights, perhaps due to nightmares. It makes sense, since your imagination is so active these days. It's definitely not easy, though. I've tried bringing you into bed with us, but you are far too violently unrestful for that to work at all. What happens instead is that I cuddle and comfort you long enough to settle you down, and then when you start to get drowsy, I put you back in your own bed. You're not usually very happy about it, but it's sort of the only solution that involves anyone getting any sleep at all. Fortunately, these nights have not happened all that often.
Given that your second birthday is just around the corner, it's not at all surprising that your temper is starting to appear more often. However, YOU ARE SUCH A FAKER. When you decide to pitch a fit about something, you lower yourself gently to the ground, lie down carefully, and THEN start shrieking and flailing. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that you are the diva of temper tantrums. In all honesty, though, you are pretty well-behaved, and by all accounts you are MUCH better behaved than I was at your age. So I can't really complain.
You continue to be incredibly interested in music, and can now request most of your favourite songs by name. You love to help with the actions and some of the words - if I stop partway through singing a line of a favourite song, you will usually complete it. I's even more amazing when you start singing it yourself. You can do the same thing with many of your favourite books, too. Like I said a few months ago, you are obviously a genius.

Well, that's all for this month, Gwen-Gwen. Your dad and I love you so much and even though we know the next year is going to be full of challenges, we are looking forward to seeing who you will become. We hope we are equal to the task of parenting you, my little spitfire!


Amberism said...

hehehe - I love the gently lowering herself to the ground to have a tantrum. Claire hasn't hit the floor yet, she stomps her foot and uses the "Mama" voice to demand what she wants. It's kinda creepy because she does sound just like me.

I hear you on trying to ignore the whining - SO HARD. I was going to take an 8 week course out here, I've read some of the literature, and the same thing was said about the whining - I wonder if it was the same course? Anyway, mine got cancelled, hopefully it'll happen in May. I was totally bummed. Was it worth it? Did you like it?

Kat said...

I can't believe she's almost two. Are you throwing her a party?


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