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General Observations

Before I forget, I thought I’d take a minute and jot down some of the new things Simon is saying and doing.

On the verbal front, we’re still not getting sentences, but we are hearing lots of new words. He says things like “yo-yo”, “circle”, “mommy apple”, “mommy mean” (sigh), “pee-pee”, and “shirt.” More notably, most of these words come uncoached. It seems like each day he’s likely to look at an object in our house or in a book and, without notice, tell us what it is for the first time.

On the bed-time front, our little guy is losing his love for his bed. He still sleeps well, but we’re starting to get attempts at postponing bedtime. The usual scenarios involve his pulling down a new stack of books to read or running around the upstairs opening and closing doors. He’s also developed two new bedtime companions: Bob, the giant rabbit his Nana brought him for Easter last year, and a toy bus or fire- truck.

When it comes to reading, Simon has discovered some new favorites and is more emphatic than ever about letting his opinion be known. Most days before his nap and before bedtime, he picks a group of books, stacks them beside me, backs up into my lap, and then puts the books he wants me to read in my hands, open to the first page. You know, just in case I missed the hint. 99% of the time, those books will be Moo Baa La La La (which he calls “la-LA”), Kitten’s First Full Moon, and Tickle the Pig. If I try to sneak in a book of my own choosing, odds are he will whine, shake his head vigorously, and throw the book to the side.

Notably, I chose none of the current favorites . One belonged to his cousins first, one was a gift from friends Lucy and Malcolm, and one was a gift from friends Beth and Bob. The love of Kitten’s First Full Moon especially surprises me, as it’s a subtle story of a kitten who mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk, and it is illustrated in black and white ink wash drawings. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and playful, but I wouldn’t have expected it to be such a hit with the under two set. Since Simon is dead-set on reading this at least twice a day, I’m glad we both are such fans.

Simon has also decided that I am a fun object to manipulate. When we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he grabs my right forefinger or thumb and has me press the digit into every hole on the book. He used to do this himself, but now it seems to be more fun to have me serve as his proxy. He also enjoys pushing me around like a stroller, buggy, or cart.

Which brings me to a new favorite game in general: pushing and pulling. Any object that may be pushed or scooted is. It’s not just toy lawnmovers, poppers, strollers, or toy buses and cars that are pushed, but also foot-stools, chairs, and me. About a week ago, he discovered that that which can be pushed can often be pulled. Maybe I can con him into taking me on the next wagon ride.

In terms of mobility, Simon has discovered two new ways to go down stairs. When he’s feeling particularly tall and big-boyish, he walks down holding on to—or suspended from—the banister. When he gets tired of swinging from the banister or gets nervous about the sheer drop of the stairs, he now slides down on his belly. We’re not seeing very advanced climbing skills, but we are seeing crazy initial attempts at climbing. And finally, while we are still having issues with him trying to run into the street or running away from us, he’s decided that he loves walking across the school parking lot holding my and Matt’s hand together.

The cutest anecdote I have comes from one of his classmates. For weeks now, Matt and I have thought of one little girl as “Greta the greeter” for the way she always rushes the door and hollers out “Hi Simon!” when we arrive at school. Today Greta topped herself. No sooner had we arrived than Greta ran over from the play kitchen and excitedly called out “Hi Simon! I made coffee!” Maybe you had to be there, but I’ll be smiling over this one all day.

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