Caterpasta

A few weeks ago, I set myself a goal of writing around 5,000 words a week between this blog and my work blog. Travel, real life, and sloth have kept me from doing it, and a period of relative prolificacy has petered out into the recent stagnation both here and at my work blog. In keeping with the habit of late, this’ll be brief.

We’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately as part of our diet change, and we’ve had in particular a lot of the corkscrew pasta. The other day at lunch, Lennie ran out of pasta on her plate, looked at one of our plates, and promptly asked for more caterpillars. In the last couple of days, she’s started drinking a lot more cow milk and juice than previously.

I’ve noticed a trend lately when I’m giving her an early diaper change wherein she looks up at me and catalogues my facial features. Just out of the blue, “eye, nose, ear, eyebrow.”

She’s quite the singer now, and I think it’s pretty interesting that she can remember tunes more reliably than she can remember words. She pretty frequently sings “Twinkle, twinkle, little star,” and she gets the tune right but has to muddle through a few of the words. She does the same with the alphabet song (which is really a twofer, sung to the tune of “Twinkle, twinlke, little star”). She’s trying more and more to count, though she seems to have a particular aversion to the number four. Even in repeating numbers after me as we insert coins into her piggy bank or count out other items, she balks at four more than at any of the other numbers. In the non-musical arts, she’s been painting a lot with watercolors and coloring with various implements. She’s also taken up graffiti, doing several vertical scribbles on the wall in the hallway outside my office.

Lennie can almost jump (it’s a two-year-old skill, so she’s right on track), and she runs with more reckless abandon than ever now. She generally declines to sit in her booster seat anymore, preferring to sit on her butt or her knees while we eat.

In the people department, she asks for people by name all the time now and has greater object/person permanence. She and M went to Vanderbilt to visit Ashley while I was out of town last week, and she saw Ashley from a distance and started calling out her name excitedly. She frequently asks to look at pictures on M’s computer and has begun asking for particular people and particular pictures of them. For example, she’ll come up to M and say sweetly “Ella sleeping.” She’s also liked seeing pictures of herself and of a pretty recent visit with grandma and granddaddy. As for perfect strangers, she’s learned pretty reliably to identify general categories. She knows boys from girls and will point them out, and at a bookstore tonight, she saw a woman probably in her 60s and said “see grandma.” Most men are daddys. Lennie’s very good now about greeting people with a friendly “hi.”

She’s definitely started dreaming. One morning, she was talking in her sleep about sharing stickers. The morning I last left for California, Fleda stayed over to be around while M took me to the airport, and Lennie woke up early anyway, talking about Fleda, whom she had cried out for pitifully and at length the night before when she went off to bed. And then there’s the Easter Bunny fiasco and followup nightmare. M and Lennie and Stacia and Lowen were at the mall one morning after their baby/mommy group playtime meeting, and they saw an Easter Bunny kids could have their pictures taken with. From the second level of the mall, Lennie laughed and smiled and waved at the bunny, but when M took her down for a closer look, she cried and clung to M with no intention whatsoever of actually interacting with the bunny. That night, she woke up crying at some point, and it occurred to us later that what she had been saying when she woke up was “rabbit.”

We’re going on a beach vacation in a couple of weeks, and M was interested in renting bikes while we were there. A week or two ago, we had Dave take Lennie for a ride on his bike to see how she took to it, and her reaction was one of puzzlement and pleasure. So we went out and bought bikes and a seat for Lennie and helmets and a bike rack for the car. Her response to the bike ride itself so far has been pretty lukewarm, though she’s fascinated with bikes. She actually calls them bicycles. She’s interested in the idea but balks a bit at the fact of riding one. She’s not terribly fond of putting her helmet on, and on a couple of occasions, when we’ve tricked her into wearing it and have gotten her strapped into the seat, she’s lost interest. The last time we tried, we took a longish hilly ride around our neighborhood, and she seemed to like it. I think it helps when M and I are both around because one of us can ride along beside and provide encouragement and really try to sell the experience.

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