I am always surprised at the length of time between the quarterly updates. I have to re-read the previous update to see the major developments I was excited about three whole months ago, yet it seems like an impossibly short time between blogs. I am currently in awe of how big Sonja is getting. She is still small for her age, but she looks like this fully operational human being.
Speaking of weight, I mentioned last time that the plan was to ween her off the bottle and get her drinking milk out of a cup. As I suspected, this resulted in a whole lot of missed (or rather, not missed) milk. We made a compromise that if she wants milk she will ask for it, and she can have it in the bottle. So…not a whole lot of progress there. I tried buying milk in a squeeze box with a straw, hoping she might find that interesting. Nope. She wouldn’t even try it. I’ll take suggestions.
I wish I could get her to eat a more varied diet, but worrying about it sure doesn’t help, so I’ve tried to adopt a zen state of being when it comes to meals. I make spaghetti and rice and peanut butter sandwiches over and over. I have learned that I cannot use the word “try.” She hears that as a four-letter word, and refuses to “try” anything. I have to say something more along the lines of “would you like some?”
She loves to help me stir things when I cook and she’ll often use her fork or spoon to stir her water during dinner. I can also get her to “help” me cook by pouring pre-measured ingredients in a bowl.
Sonja’s vocabulary is getting bigger everyday, and everyday she puts together more complex sentences. She knows how to describe the location of things (the chips are in the kitchen, Sid is on the counter) and she can most certainly tell us what she wants and does not want (I want to watch TV! No, I don’t wanna take a bath!) Weird words she can use correctly are quesadilla, platypus and ornament. And recently, to my great surprise, she told me that Mama’s name was Jennifer and Daddy’s name was Shaun. True, but exactly when did she pick that up?
In addition to recognizing all the letters of the alphabet (which she has been able to do since about 18 months), she has started to recognize numbers. She can recite certain pages of some of the more popular bedtime boards books.
She loves to dance and has taken to wearing a tutu while doing so. Mostly we like Caspar Babypants, including his latest Baby Beatles album. Her favorite song is “All Together Now.” I am amazed that she can understand and recite lyrics like “sail the ship, chop the tree, skip the rope*, look at me!”
I also think she will be able to sing, at least better than her mama. I’ve tried to steer her towards better kids music like Caspar Babypants, and when I do sing, I try very, very hard – like ear-training test hard – to sing in tune. When she does try to sing something like Happy Birthday, I can tell she’s going in the right direction. Happy – UP – birth – DOWN – day – UP – to you. I want almost more than anything for her to have a better sense of pitch than I do, not that that would be a very difficult thing to achieve.
She is a little unsure about the new puppy. She seems to like her until she starts jumping up on her or chewing her toys, at which point she says, “No, I don’t want Pepper!”
She’s excited about our pretty Christmas tree, and likes seeing Christmas lights and decorations everywhere we go. She knows Santa when she sees his likeness, but I don’t think she remembers that Christmas morning is for presents. She calls the candy canes on the tree “candy cuties” because she has a shirt with a peppermint on it that says “candy cutie.” She’s made the connection that red + white = candy cutie.
We are headlong into the terrible twos, complete with big fits when she doesn’t get her way. On occasion, she’ll make a big fuss for several minutes while I do my best to ignore her, and then she will stop crying and tell me, “I feel better now.” She will stall when its bedtime, but she doesn’t usually fight it too much. I always read to her before bedtime, and in the last two weeks or so, she can’t/won’t go to sleep unless one of the books I read to her is Gossie.
She loves to be naked and tries several times per day to take her clothes off. At some point in the evening I give up and let her, though we’ve reached the compromise that the diaper stays on. I already have enough creatures in this house peeing on the floor.
One of her favorite toys is a black stuffed kitty that is the only stuffed animal in this house that I did not expressly give her. Shaun got it for me years ago and I had it on a vanity mirror in our bedroom. Sonja absconded with it one day and hasn’t let it go since. She also insists on taking four baby blankets and a pillow to bed with her at night and downstairs with her in the morning. First she asks for “the polka dots,” then with increasing levels of intensity, “and the froggies,” “and the flowers,” “and the colors,” and finally, in a near-frenzied tone of voice, “and the Jackson pillow!” The small, square, purple pillow is embroidered with a J, which I bought for “Jennifer,” but apparently my husband Mr. Jackson convinced her it stood for something else.
She really loves to watch Pocoyo, which Mom finds the most pleasant of all the kids’ shows, with the calm, stately narration of Stephen Fry. She has also been cycling through different movies like Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2 and Toy Story. She doesn’t usually have the attention span for a whole movie, but with a trim run time of 80 minutes, she has on a lazy day made it all the way through Toy Story. By the way, this is a better movie than I remember. Tom Hanks is hilarious. Although it really shows its age when we see the car seat for the baby is in the front seat. I know it’s only a cartoon, but that seems hideously unsafe. Although Sonja loves to watch things over and over again, and it can be hard to get her to watch new shows, she only has to watch something once before she can tell you all of the character names.
And that’s about all I can think of this time. There won’t be another well-child check until 3 years, so I won’t have official stats on weight and height until then. I weighed her not long ago and she was at about 20 and a half pounds. She’s definitely outgrown most of the 12-18 month pants, at least lengthwise. And those 2T shirts that seemed way to big just a couple of months ago are only a tad long in the sleeves. So until next time, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a good new year.
Oh, and she still doesn’t know how to jump.
*Pocoyo, since it is British, uses the term “skipping rope” for what we Americans would call a jump rope. Between “All Together Now” and Pocoyo, I’ll probably never get her to say jump rope.