About me and my blog

martes, 24 de julio de 2012

What's new? A room of "her" own

Whenever I find myself trying to escape writing I know the time has come when I most need it. The feeling sick and tired is sometimes an excuse, the need to look for interesting ideas to do with my toddler is often another excuse. But I know M really deserves my keeping trace of all the new things she's doing and the changes that occur in her life.
We have done a great deal of socializing lately, spent time with the extended family, visited friends with kids, held play dates. Of all her relations with other children, M seems to prefer older girls and I wonder where does she draw the line. Does she see a 3-y-o girl as an equal, a 6 y-o? Today the lady who helps us with the cleaning came with her daughter and she and M spent the morning playing. Her ways were sensible and girly at the same time, and although she is only 11, she is almost taller than me, and certainly taller than her mum. I wonder what's that to M? Is a very tall girl still an equal, or a very small adult still an adult? Does a toddler care at all? Isn't the way they feel treated the most important thing? It might have been that the girl felt a bit shy but I've seen her treating M very respectfully, not pushing her to do things or reprimanding anything. And M must have felt very comfortable 'cause she has told her she wanted to use the potty, which she has successfully done, not a common thing when she is with strangers. 
My girl surprises me almost every day. Upon hearing the sound of eggs being whisked from a distance she started shouting "egg, egg" -one of her favorite foods-, and although she had already had supper, nobody could convince her of going to bed without having an omelette first.
There are several things that get her excited and that's so nice to witness; she loves hearing bells striking, which doesn't happen often since we don't have a bell tower nearby. 

She loves her colors, which she asks for several times a day, her pom-poms, for which I really need more ideas if I don't want to have them spread all over once and again, making castles of blocks, a brand-new thing. She also enjoys playing in the sandbox from time to time but to my surprise it is no favorite of hers.

At the beginning of the summer she seemed to be scared of big pools but after several afternoons of pool time, she shyly likes what she calls "jumpin', dancin', splashin'" in water.
But of all the novelties, the new bedroom is perhaps the biggest change. After seeing her face lighten up when entering a friend's own bedroom, I thought it might be the time she would like to have a bedroom of her own. Without any pressure from our part for her to use it, we set up a simple room with a beautiful hand-painted wooden bed, lots of cushions, another mattress on the floor -just in case-, an improvised bedside table with a lamp, and her rocking duck. We also moved there her bedtime basket, which includes several bedtime books, a stuffed moon her aunt made, and a music box. This was about a month ago and she has been sleeping there just fine. She really seems to love her bedroom and can be found there sometimes, often rocking on her duck.
I will post some pictures when I've learnt how to upload them from my cell phone...
I think the change was definitely more difficult for me than for her, specially since bedtime is spent with her dad since "we" weaned. But I am finding ways to get our cuddling moments. Several nights I have been able to get her to sleep laying by her side and singing lullabies, and I often move to her mattress on the floor after my 5.30-6 a.m. visit to the toilet, so we can wake up together. I am just grateful for those moments. She usually awakens very well-rested and contented and loves hugging me and saying her "maahmaa" in a sweet tone.

martes, 3 de julio de 2012

What's new: much in terms of language acquisition

It's been three months since I last posted about this passion of mine: seeing how my beloved daughter acquires language. In these months I've been adding words to the list of words she regularly uses but I guess now it's time for me to stop. Just let me update it before I quit writing down words.
English: ball, chair, more, teeth, knee, fork (po), spoon (pun), egg, kiwi, avocado, pigtail (piteil), blue, giraffe, moon, bob pin, headband, colors, car, ants, hat, keys, iogurt (blu), pitcher, pepper, cookies, pants, pit, potty, cherry (xouxou), pocket, floor, girl, pinwheel, pasta, lid, plate, sandals, pool, raining, dancing, painting, red, bottle, tail, gloves, ladybug (vacala).
Catalan: pedra, sabó, taronja (nanana), foc, cuc, peix, llibre (bitlle), bé, galeta, do, sol, cotxe, pipi, caca, nens, això, aquest, arbre, fum, plat, cargol, nespre (eppe), bici, piscina, tro, bolquer, cua, pota, sorra (xolla).
And well, many others skip my mind right now.
The time has come when she gets several new words every day, so from now onwards I will try to keep trace of the new grammar rules she seems to be internalizing.

Well, my dear daughter, you are talkative... oh boy, are you!
At the beginning of May you added another preposition to your vocabulary: "off", and you've been asking to take off your clothes ever since (it was really warm over here). Now, you also use "on".  Prepositions are used in a different way in Catalan so up to now you prefer to use just English for that.
You have also been using "no" and "yes" -in the fashion of "nah" and "heep"- showing clearly that you mean them. The "no" is very clear. The "yes" sometimes seems to be a bit more random, but most of the time you mean it when you say it.
In terms of adjectives, you have a good command of the "cold" vs. "hot". My shoes are "big" and an old bunnet from last summer is "small". You say the dog we are babysitting is "content" when he moves his tail, and answer you are "bé" when asked if you are ok.
As regards adverbs: you seem to like bossing around and you give orders of the kind "teddy aquí (here)", "mama aquí"... An addition I specially like is "back" since it helps to keep things in order. You keep repeating "back" while putting things away. Well, unfortunately this doesn't always work when I ask you to help tidy up.
I don't know why but most of the verbs you use are in Catalan: nem (let's go), vine (come), punxa (prick), pesa (it is heavy). I guess "open" is one of the few exceptions.
You've changed the generic noun "aya" for the name of the girls that used to be called so: your aunt Iris and cousin Clara, and you also call your friends "Lila" and "Mariona". Some other names of people and relatives are: Pepe (uncle), abu (granpa), pille (grandad), yaya (both granmas), Bhabha (the dog), Carles (neighbor)...
Some words you've been using for many months have suffered some changes as of late. The cat -originally "pah" has got its name right "cat", contrarily, the teddy, word you pronounced correctly has become "teia", I don't know why.
One of the most amazing improvements is the use of plurals. Whenever there is more than one item, you add an "s" to the noun, hence expressing multiplicity. The funniest thing is that you make really sure the "s" sounds. When pronouncing "ants", for instance, no letter is left aside, they all sound.
We are delighted by how attentive to things you seem to be and how you express this by using language. As daddy pointed out the other day, you pay attention to size, temperature, weight, number, and taste.
I am very happy for you 'cause this command of language enables you to voice many things and reduces frustration a great deal.