Sunday, February 24, 2008

Baby animals

When my brother was a toddler, in the manner of most toddlers he had certain favorite books that my mother was required to read over and over again. Two of the most notable were I Am a Bunny and Baby Animals, which my mother could quote for years afterwards. My mother gave us I Am a Bunny for K's first Christmas, but while there are any number of picture books called Baby Animals, she was never able to find the one we loved so much.

But we found it tonight. It's by Gyo Fujikawa, an artist we really like - her board book Babies is one of K's favorites, and I spent many hours as a child reading Oh, What a Busy Day, which is now sitting on K's bookshelf.

It's a wonderful thing sharing the beloved books of my childhood with daughter, even at such a young age. K absolutely loved Baby Animals, and I'm looking forward to having Mom read it to her the next time we're home.


K has been driving us crazy in the sleep department lately. I prefer "refuse to go to sleep at bedtime and instead wreak havoc in her room and run around upstairs for hours" to "wake up in the middle of the night and keep us awake by wiggling around in bed with us," because the first at least lets me get uninterrupted sleep. But it still drives us around the bend.

The lack of sleep, I think, is due to the huge mental leaps she's been making lately. Just in the past week, we've seen a big improvement in language. She's more intelligible and uses more complete words and sentences. For months, she's been coming up to me with things she wanted opened and demanding "Op! Op!" This week, she suddenly started coming out with a very clear "Open!"

She's also becoming more social. She's starting playing with other children she meets on the playground - real playing with interaction, instead of parallel play. She's also become more outgoing with adults. She waves and says "Hi" and "Bye" to stragers without prompting, which often leaves a trail of bodies of people she killed with her cuteness in her wake. At the same time, she can still be quite shy when people focus their full attention on her. Often, she has to dive behind her stroller or my leg when someone talks to her, periodically peeking her head back out until she's more comfortable. This is also insanely cute.

Despite the sleep issues, being K's mother is pretty fun these days. I won't say that her newly developed snotty teenage attitude where she has to deliberately do the things I tell her not to as well as doing things just to bug us is particularly fun, but overall she's pretty neat kid to have.

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