Featuring Joy & Geoff, Big Brother , Little Brother , Sis , and various household (and outdoor) critters...

Friday, 16 September 2011

18 Months' Eve

Yes, another Caye post. Everything about her development just stands out so much right now. It's a fascinating time! Again, this is partly for my own sake, to look back on down the road. Even tonight, reading her bedtime story, I was struck by the sudden and significant changes in this little person - she was interacting with me and the book in ways I have not yet seen - repeating sounds, pointing out familiar animals and objects, laughing, mentioning events/characters from previous pages...

Over the past few days, she has been consistently using two-word sentences (and I've heard a couple of three-word ones). Lots of "Hi Cat!" and "Look, Mommy, Look!" and "Eat cracker/cookie" (while attempting to open the pantry cupboard). A few weeks ago, her "first" two-word sentence was "Eat cruk-cruk [cracker]" while in my bedroom, before heading downstairs for the day. It was the first time I heard her talking about something she wanted to do, something other than the concrete here and now. Tonight, at bedtime, she looked at me, glanced into the hallway, and said, "Tub", which seemed to be an effort (the first I have seen) to discuss an activity she had been doing previously (Daddy had given her the bath, and she seemed to want to tell me about that experience). She attempts to imitate so many words and phrases throughout the day, and uses such effective tone and expression. At the mall this week, she tried out "Thank You" a minute or two after we disembarked from an elevator, following me having said the same to the woman holding the door for us.

Lately, Caye is also waking in the morning and asking for her brothers (Kitch in particular), wanting to see what they are up to. This morning, the baby gate at the top of the stairs had been left open, and while I was occupied in my bedroom I realized I was hearing her voice from the main floor, as she had headed down to join her siblings. This is fun to watch, although it was sometimes easier when she was more oblivious to their activities (such as when they are outside playing while I prepare lunch, and she decides she really, really wants to be out there with them). One of the benefits of Caye's increased abilities and desire to be with her brothers is Lute's growing interest in her. Initially, he demonstrated a combination of disinterest and occasional resentment at having a baby sister around all the time (keeping in mind that he only met her last Christmas, and had very few visits with her before we came along). He was never unkind, but perhaps saw her as a hindrance to his interactions with me. Occasionally he would hand her a toy or alert me when she was upset, but would typically respond that he didn't really like having a sister. Recently, though, he has even asked to play with her, and has approached her to help her with something in a big brotherly way. I try to find ways of encouraging his protective and nurturing side with her whenever possible, and he delights in having any sort of "responsibility" for her, including "keeping an eye" on her while playing (even under my supervision). Today he came up to me and stated that "it's fun having a baby sister" and has also referred to her as "my baby". He has also been noticing when she imitates himself and Kitch, and is pretty tickled by that. Now our issue will be Lute attempting to be her parent, but we'll keep an eye on that, and be thankful that he's enjoying his role as her big brother.

To anyone who has parented a child at Caye's age and stage, I know I am seeing what every other parent sees - but it is pretty neat to watch for the first time. Exciting, but with fleeting moments of wistfulness when I realize how soon her baby days will be a foggy, partial image in my mind.

(I am also feeling sentimental about beginning to dress her in full-length pants and long-sleeve shirts and closed-toe shoes - covering up those little arms, legs, and feet until next spring and summer. Sundresses and cute sandals are much more fun. Same goes for the boys, other than the sundress part - love to see them in little khaki shorts and collared t-shirts - jeans and long-sleeve tees and runners just don't say "handsome" and "adorable" in quite the same way).