Friday, August 31, 2007

Little Abbey At 15 Months

When I sat down to write this months Little Abbey update, I almost didn't know where to begin. It's not that so much has changed, though there have been a few significant ones, but because if feels as if she has been that way almost forever. Time spent with Little Abbey is a slow fast time. Comfortably slow when you spend it as when compared to the next day, everything is about the same. But terribly fast when I look back at pictures or past blogs and see how different she is today than back then. It just seems terribly confusing so I hope you all can figure it out as I sort through them in no particular order.

But there is no mistaking why I write about her learning to walk as the first topic. SHE CAN WALK! About two weeks ago, while we were enjoying the evening, she turned around from the couch and walked two thirds of the way across the living room. She did it a couple more times and then it was bedtime. The next day we went down to my parent's place for the afternoon and all she did was walk, including clear across the driveway and up the long sidewalk to the house. From that moment on, she has done nothing but walk everywhere. The first few days were in some sort of half sideways crablike shuffle with lots of spills but she has progressed rapidly to where she rarely falls down and walks in a straightforward E.T. kind of waddle. Even that look is quickly disappearing as she gains confidence and experience. Last weekend on our impromptu trip, she would have been unhappy sitting in her stroller for that long so we just popped her out and let her roam around. We spent a couple hours touring that steamer and she has never been happier exploring her world. Many, many people told us life would change and that she would be into everything once she learned to walk. Well because she learned to walk later than most, she had been into everything for a long, long time. Perhaps once she gets a little faster, I might whistle a little different tune but for now, things are the same except she walks everywhere.

As I've mentioned before, she babbles all the time but struggle as I might, I fail to make any sense of it other than to know that she uses the same babble for certain object. My scientifically wired brain just can't grasp the abstract sounding tones and make them into some common word. But what I have come to realize recently is that she knows lots and lots of words even if she can't say them in a way I can make sense of them. For example:
1. She knows how to throw something away in the kitchen trashcan when told no matter what part of the house she is in.
2. She can go get a book when you ask her by name.
3. She can go get her trike when you ask her by name.
4. She can go get a diaper when you ask her by name.
5. She can point to her nose, belly, and mouth by name.
6. She can go get her shoes and attempt to put them on.
7. She can put objects back as long as she recently got them from some kitchen drawer.
8. She knows what I mean when I say it is time to eat.
And these are just some of them off the top of my head that I realized. Even if these objects aren't even in the same room, you just mention their name and she is off to retrieve them. This is really handy when I need my sandals and she goes and gets them for me wherever I may have left them. So after coming to realize that she does have a large vocabulary already even if she doesn't speak it in a way I can understand, I'm happy.

One little thing that she once used to do a long, long time ago but then lost the ability and recently regained it these last couple months was the ability to wave goodbye or hello. Now she does it all the time once again, even if I am just a foot or two across the dinner table.

Another cute little things Little Abbey does is brush her teeth when asked. Mom of course loads the toothbrush up with a spot of toothpaste and hands it to her and she will walk around brushing her teeth, all six of them with the seventh poking at the gums. After she has finished, we will lift her up to the sink where she will hold the toothbrush under the water and then tap the water out on the edge of the sink just like mom and dad does. Every time I see her do that I can't help but lose myself in the cuteness.

Geri mentioned this about Evan in her blog but Little Abbey is the pro of tantrums and has been for some time. Since she was about 12 months old, she would kneel down and put her forehead on the floor whenever she was upset with us. As the months go by, she has added to this act. For example, if mom took away her empty snack bowl so she wouldn't play with it and break it, she would go find me and after making sure that I was watching proceed to kneel down and howl. If I don’t respond in a quick enough time, which is normal since I let her cry it out, she will look up now and then to make sure I am still watching her. Sometimes if she feels that this isn't working, she will fling her arms over her head and let herself fall over backwards. Fortunately she has learned only to do this when she is on the couch or other soft object.

Almost without trying, we weaned Little Abbey of the pacifier. Although we had said that she could keep it until she voluntarily gave it up so to prevent teeth alignment ruining thumb sucking, we still secretly hoped that it would be sooner rather than later. There are still some kids in our circle that are only just being weaned of it at almost three years of age. I don't know about you but I just find it kind of disturbing in a way to see a three-year-old kid with a pacifier in his mouth running around. Kind of reminds me of Hannibal Lector. So anyway, we forgot to pack her pacifier in her daycare bag one day a couple weeks ago. She only used it anyway during her nap at daycare and at night at home and Mrs. Z said she did just fine taking the nap. So we purposely forgot to give it to her that evening when we put her to bed and she has done without it ever since. Most importantly, she hasn't replaced it with thumb sucking. So the bottle and pacifier are now history and I hope next up are the diapers.

Along that line, we've already started the potty training with the purchase of a brand new kiddy potty at a garage sale for a couple dollars. Right now she still thinks of it as a cool chair that her parents put her on whenever they take her diaper off but in time, I'm hoping she will learn. A Russian friend of ours said that in her country, they typically start training them by one year old or as soon as they can walk to be potty trained. I don't know why Americans are so different in this aspect as Mrs. Z is still working on potty training some three year olds and I think all of the two year olds are still learning. I can't wait to get out of putting on diapers, even if my wife seems to do change the lion’s share of them.

Well I'm sure there is more that I'm missing but this is turning into a Phil length blog post and I don't want to get into that happen. Have a good weekend.

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