The latest doings of my daughter.

The Post-Pacifier Era has gone relatively well. Naps are a problem; she’s pretty much not taking them most days. Bedtime was actually very good the first three nights. For some reason since then, we’ve had difficulty. But that corresponds with Daylight Savings Time and the sun being up until about 8:00. Even though her bedtime was right around 7:00 for months, she’s had no trouble staying up an hour later. So little trouble, in fact, that it’s been a chore to get her to calm down and fall asleep. Last night we finally went back to the 10 Minute Cry method, and after only 25 minutes of screaming she was asleep. Better than the previous three nights when either S. or I spent well over an hour crammed into her bed with her, waiting for her to relax and go to sleep. But she hasn’t been asking for a binky. In fact, the only time she mentions it is to say “Binky go bye-bye,” anytime she sees a balloon. The Newmans are geniuses.

She did surprise us Wednesday morning. She’s also been sleeping later thanks to the time change, so we usually don’t hear her rustling until after 7:00. Most mornings she starts working on her family vocab, talking about S. and I, her aunts, and her grandparents. “Mommy night night. Daddy night night. Mimi bye bye.” And so on. Wednesday, she just made a couple happy sounds and then went quiet again. S. rolled out of bed (literally, as she is 32+ weeks now), opened our door, and started laughing. “Look what I found!” M. had escaped her bed, opened her door, and was running to our room to wake us up. At least it was 7:15 and not 5:15 the first time she did that!

The kid is really impressing us/freaking us out with her verbal skills. Over the last week she’s started identifying colors. She can do white, black, blue, red, yellow, green, purple, and pink. She points at things and says what color they are, or responds to our questions about what color objects are. I asked S. if that was advanced for 20 months. She looked it up in one of her reference books, and supposedly kids should be able to identify four colors between the ages of three and three-and-a-half. OK, my kid is definitely smart, but doesn’t that seem a little extreme? Seems like most 2-3 year olds can point at things and say what color they are. Maybe I’m wrong and I should go ahead and start working on her Notre Dame application.

Beyond colors, she mimics counting. She’ll point at things and say “One, two, three,” then revert to gibberish for the rest of the numbers. “Yowie” is some number, I haven’t figured out which one yet. She can’t actually count, though. Trust me, I’ve tried to get her to do it. She’ll repeat almost anything she hears, sometimes with uncanny accuracy. Probably a good thing she started doing that a few weeks after KU’s season ended. Some things are “Yucky.” We can’t isolate a pattern there, although over the weekend she saw a leaf on the ground, called it yucky, and when the wind blew it towards her, she burst into tears. This is the same kid who picked up leaves and crammed them into her mouth last fall. One of her favorite things to say is “Swoosh,” which she says anytime she sees a Nike Swoosh. I forget how many Nike shirts I have (I officially can’t wear Nikes anymore, as my feet have apparently become 25% wider in the past three years and I can’t cram my feet into the traditionally narrow Nikes), but she reminds me by running up, pointing at the logo, and saying “Swoosh” over-and-over. So I think she’ll warm up to Uncle Billy and Aunt Stacey just fine when they visit this summer. The final funny thing she says is her identification of our cars. Anytime she sees the Sienna, she says, “Daddy’s car.” When she sees the Passat, “Mommy’s car!” S. is very pleased with that, especially since I actually drive the Passat most of the time and she’s usually carting M. around in the van.

If M. plays basketball, and since she lives in Indiana she will, she’s going to be a point guard. Although she still loves to run and dunk on her mini-hoop, and she’s even begun “shooting” from close range in addition to dunking, she’s learning how to distribute as well. After she gets a couple of her own shots off, she’ll get her rebound, turn to me, bounce the ball my way, and then yell at me to shoot it. Then she grabs my rebounds and passes me the rock again. She knows her dad always wanted to be a chucker. The picture above was taken a couple weeks back. We took her into our neighbor’s driveway, cranked their goal down low, and I lifted her up so she could shoot a real ball. It was fun that day, but now anytime she’s outside, she goes running over there yelling “B-ball! B-ball!” Since the house is for sale we don’t think the realtors or our former neighbors would appreciate us hanging out when some prospective buyers drive up. Finally, M. has days when she’s obsessed at putting anything through her hoop. One day I went over to check on her after she had been playing quietly and found one of her dolls, her sippy cup, and three books all stuck in the net. She was just standing there, admiring her work.

We’ve given the concept of Time Out a couple of attempts, but I don’t think we’re anywhere near being able to use that as a true discipline tool. Two problems: she doesn’t understand sitting still in one place unless Baby Einstein is involved and she always ends up doing something hilarious while she’s supposed to be thinking about what she did wrong, which generally sends me into a fit of laughter. I’m no expert, but I think laughing defeats the intent of discipline.

She’s still working on getting her final two teeth through. Seems like they broke the skin three weeks ago and we can still just barely see the tips. So, she’s still got the Motrin monkey on her back. But it sure helps, as her mood swings have been awful lately when she needs to be medicated. I’m not going to talk about her tantrums, because I’ve learned you’re just supposed to ignore them.