No trip to the hospital yet, which leaves time for an update on M..

It’s official: I’m going to become one of “those” parents. M. has been exhibiting all kinds of strange, i.e. early development, behaviors recently and I’ve decided she’s a little prodigy. That big head is full of brain, apparently! She knows at least eight colors; all the ones in her starter pack of washable crayons. She can count to three and knows the number 8 on sight. Most of all, though, is her bizarre relationship with the alphabet. She’s had some magnetic letters for our refrigerator for a long time. They pop into a little player that says the name of the letter and the sound it makes. She never repeated those or identified them. For Easter, we got her some foam letters/numbers that go into the bathtub. All of a sudden, she started repeating the names of letters when we said them. Then she started saying them on her own. Finally, she began associating letters with people. D is daddy. “D daddy! D daddy!” Both S & G are for mommy. F is for Ampa Fred. C is for Mimi Carolyn. T is for Tia (Aunt Ann-Marie). J is for aunt Julie. H is for Henry (she has three friends named Henry). Both M and W are for M. (she doesn’t discriminate between right side up or down). Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. When she doesn’t associate the letter with a person, she can at least get the name of the letter. It was really freaking us out each night at bath time for awhile. Now she’s started to transition to picking out letters anywhere and identifying them. She had a book the other day and went through the letters on the cover, saying the name of each one that she recognized. 21-month-old kids aren’t supposed to do that, right?

Her vocabulary grows by leaps-and-bounds each week. It’s pretty amazing how she can go from repeating something once to using it on her own within a few days. Our favorite words are purple, pronounced “purckle,” and pretzel, or “preckle.” The other day I asked her if she wanted a purple pretzel and she tried to say it, then just gave me a confused look. S. told me to stop. If you can’t warp your own kids, who can you warp? I’ve probably given her a speech impediment that will cost us thousands to repair.

Today, S. was watching Oprah and M. walked into the room, looked at the TV, and said, “Oprah!” At least she said b-ball and Jayhawk months ago.

Oh, one other fun word. I loved those Volkswagen commercials that were aired earlier this spring, where the diabolical German “Unpimpsed zie car” by destroying non-Volkswagens. I especially liked when he said, “Oh snap!” after tossing a Nissan off a cliff or whatever. So I’ve started saying “On snap” around M. just to see what happens. Over the weekend, she was sitting in her sandbox and accidentally dumped a bucket full of sand on herself. “Oh nap! Oh nap! Oh nap!” was her distress cry. I laughed and made her say it for awhile before I dusted her off.

She’s obsessed with the sky. Planes in the sky. The moon in the sky. Tweet-tweets (birds) in the sky. She’ll go on-and-on. When we read her bedtime books, she gets all crazy anytime she sees a moon (“Issy moon!” which as S. pointed out sounds a little like the French “Ici” or here) and grabs the page so we can’t turn it. Funny when every moon totally wows her. “Ohhhh! Issy moon!”

In addition to her regular stack of books, she got a big sister book last week. She loves it. She’ll say “Big ickter, big ickter,” and bring the book to us. She points at the big sister in the book and says, “M.,” so perhaps she’s understanding a little about what will happen to the household soon.

We attempted to branch out from the Baby Einstein and Disney Channel fare by picking up an Elmo video at the library. She loves Elmo, even though we rarely watch Sesame Street. I can whistle the theme song and she starts talking about him. We made it about five minutes into the video the first time and she got all agitated, waving at the screen and saying “Bye bye, Elmo.” It turned into full-on tears so I had to shut it off. It was close to nap-time that day, so I figured she was just tired. I tried again Sunday and got the same reaction. Not sure how she can love him when she sees a doll or picture of him, but freaks out when she sees a video.

She’s already demonstrating anal tendencies. For quite awhile we’ve walked into a room and found books or blocks lined up perfectly. For a long time I wondered if S. was doing it just to freak me out. One day last week when S. was at work, I found M.’s five mini-farm animal dolls lined up, perfectly square, along a window sill. Spooky. If I could just get her to tackle the closet in my office, we could put these talents to good use.