Monday, December 8, 2008

Little Abbey Update

A sorely neglected topic on this blog has been what used to be a staple of it for a time, a Little Abbey update. In fact, some of my newer reader may never have read one of those so in case you fall into that category, Little Abbey is my daughter born two and a half years ago. As I normally do, I provide an update on her life in no particular order.

I remember in the early days of childhood when the doctors and such would give us a little fact sheet that would list milestones that your baby should reach during the upcoming month in their life. Little Abbey was pretty good at meeting most of those milestones so we never worried much. I remember reading one such milestone where it said that your baby should be able to stack at least three blocks on top of each other without them falling down. A couple weeks ago, Little Abbey set a new personal best by stacking 23 blocks on top of one another. It was so tall that she had to use the box they came in as a step stool to reach the top of the stack.

Do you remember the game Jinga? It was a tower of criss-crossed blocks that you built and then poked blocks out, stacking them on top until someone caused the tower to collapse. Well I've got a jinga master in training. Little Abbey and I often play with her blocks and I will stack them up in a pyramid with staggered joints between layers of blocks. Then Little Abbey will carefully tap blocks out from the bottom of the pile and stack them on top. Sometimes she can get an amazing amount poked out before the tower collapses.

I bought her a tricycle for her second birthday even though most children can't ride them until two and a half to three years of age mostly due to length of legs and reaching the pedals. Little Abbey being a long legged girl just like her daddy didn't have that problem and soon she was and still is riding that thing all over the house and driveway. Well a few months later, she also added riding it backwards to her resume.

That shouldn't surprise me at all since being a daredevil apparently comes naturally for her. She is forever flipping, jumping and once in a while falling off the couch. One of her more recent developments has been building platforms with her building blocks and then standing or sitting on them like furniture until they fall down. There isn't a counter in our house that is sacred anymore to her probing fingers and since she has learned to use other objects like broom handles to extend her reach, very few cabinets are sacred either. I think we are only left with the top of the refrigerator to hide stuff on out of her reach.

Vocabulary-wise, she was well behind most of her peers though she has now caught up. She knows so many words these days that I can't begin to count and I'm not surprised when she uses a new word. She is still slightly behind the curve language-wise in that her sentences are still only two or three words in length but that is improving fast, not because her sentences are that short because they aren't. I am just able to understand more and more words in her lengthy explanations.

Another milestone that I have no idea if she is behind is the potty training frontier. I know she is ready because she tells us when she did something in her diaper and what kind of remainder was left behind but despite our pleadings, doesn't seem to let us know ahead of time. She has successfully used the potty-chair once but I think now that was more a matter of it being in the right place at the right time rather than her actually setting forth to actually use it. She can take off her old diaper and darn near put a new diaper on herself so I am hoping that we can cross this training hurdle sometime soon. It will be a monumental day to be able to leave her diaper bag at home when going somewhere.

Going somewhere is getting easier and easier these days. She is able to entertain herself with colors, books and things for longer periods of time while in moving cars. This is fortunate as Little and Mrs. Abbey will be making a trip to the Philippines by themselves in a few months. The one thing that has really captivated her attention is Elmo. I remember reading about people getting into fights over Elmo several years ago and now I understand why. They all had two-year-old daughters at home. So I hope to pick up some Elmo DVD's and a portable DVD player for the trip because I have found that Little Abbey could watch Elmo every waking moment of the day if we would let her.

Probably the only other passion in her life besides Elmo is cooking. Both Mrs. Abbey and I love to cook and are often found in the kitchen with Little Abbey beside us on her little ladder. She loves to knead a small piece of dough alongside Mrs. Abbey, load ingredients into a mixer, stir bowls or pans and generally just imitate us in every way. I hadn't realized this was such a passion until one day the daycare lady Mrs. Z told us Little Abbey's favorite toy by far was a plastic kitchen set.

This time in her life is absolutely a fantastic one and I enjoy it tremendously. If I had to give it a name, I would call it the age of reason because it is only now that we can start to reason with her. I see her understanding more about action and reaction and cause and effect. If she refuses to pick up her blocks before bed, we simply tell her that a favorite item of hers, a bear blanket made by grandma, is now ours until she picks them up. She has never called my bluff yet. We can also tell her that if she wants more of item A on her plate she must eat the rest of item B. She understands this and does it. I love it and I am going to enjoy it for all it is worth until she enters into the age of resistance.


R. Sherman said...

Little kids are fun. Don't worry about the diaper training. One day she'll just start going on the potty chair.


The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh wonderful post.

Does your wifey speak another language to her? And I think parents do drug their children when they travel on the plane. Some drug with grape juice, or Ribena (another British thing). Some drug with cough syrup.

Hhmmm... probably it's a good idea that I don't have kid though, I may very well drive my kid crazy instead of the other way round!

Ed Abbey said...

R. Sherman - I'm sure you are right. I haven't seen any teens wearing diapers.

Mother Hen - Little Abbey knows words in Tagalog, the national Philippine language, and English though we mostly talk to her in English for now. Once she gets a good grasp on that, we will be speaking more Tagalog to her.

Beau said...

Ah, but we must hear about the kind of stories Abbey likes! With her father such an avid reader, I'm sure she will grow into the same. I was sitting with my 8 year old going through his old 'library' and he was laughing at the 'little kid' stories he used to love. He still loves them... :)

Murf said...

Your girls are leaving you behind? I imagine they will be gone for a couple of weeks for that long of a trip. What are you going to do?

Ed Abbey said...

Beau - I still have one of my childhood books on Robin Hood which was my favorite right behind the collection of Grimm fairy tales.

Murf - They will be gone for an entire month. I don't know what I'm going to do but it will probably be a lot of something that I normally couldn't do with a little one around the house. I have been toying with the idea of a bathroom remodel but with the economy, may hold off on that.

geri said...

I love this update. Little Abbey has amazing milestones. I think she's going to be an engineer like his dad. Evan hasn't shown any interest on his bicycle, maybe I will take advantage of the warm Philippines weather and buy him one in the Philippines. Mrs. Abbey will find many uses for that portable DVD player. I once brought ours with me during a dentist visit and had no problem with Evan waiting quietly. Or going out to dinner with friends. It's nice to get am hour to just talk to people I don't see often. I love the phrase age of reason. That is also what Evan is right now. Fortunately they can't reason back...yet :)

sage said...

Thanks for the update. I can't imagine being without her for a month, but then I spent a summer semester in San Francisco when my daughter was young--and it was a LONG time. But to be across an ocean, that seems really far away.

Tim Rice said...

This was fun reading. It is fascinating to watch kids grow and develop. :)