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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Reader's question

Hi my name is jessica I am from belleville ontario canada I have a 10 month old little girl who is just to cute for words... I was wondering when your little girl started saying actuall words and putting them into proper sentences or sort of any way.....?

Hi Jessica! My grandparents actually grew up in Deseronto, Ontario so I have been to Belleville a few times in my youth. Welcome and congratulations on the newest addition to your family!

My daughter said her first word at about 13 months. After nursing, she stared deeply into my face and said, "Eyes." I was overjoyed! We started using baby signs with her at about six months and she used her first baby sign at about 10 months (waving to a neighbor). The use of baby signs actually stimulates the growth of the language portion of the brain, so I believe that the baby signs helped her speak at such an early age.

You can go to for more information and to purchase the books. The Garlic Press also has some baby sign board books that are actually based on American Sign Language, rather than random movements that have meaning for each specific child.

That being said, it has taken her a lot longer to put words into grammatically correct sentences. I have HEARD that most children aren't developmentally ready to use proper sentence structure until age 3. That seems late to me, but Arianna is a little ahead of the game. Babies speak their first word anywhere from 12 months to 2 1/2 years of age so there is obviously a HUGE spread in the "normal" range of language development. She started putting several words together around 18 months.

Thanks for the great question!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Talking to strangers

The cashier at Wegman's asked, "What's your name?"

"Arianna," says Arianna.

"How old are you?" asked the cashier.

"Got shoes," says Arianna.

"Yes, those are very nice shoes you have."

Pointing to the clerk's shoes, "Got nice shoes."

"Thank you!"

(If anyone figures out how shoes are related to age, please let me know.)

Later, at the playground, Arianna got nervous around some noisy kids. Daddy said, "There's nothing to be afraid of." We are working on our bravery and this is our latest mantra.

After watching the kids for awhile, Arianna got up to play and said matter-of-factly, "There's nothing to be afraid of."

Gee, brainwashing really does work. Thank you Vygotsky.

After soaking a load of diapers, I put them in the drier after they spun out -- totally forgetting that I never washed them. Um, yuck.

And while we're on the subject of non sequiturs, I TOTALLY didn't see that ending coming for the season finale of Alias.

who will be celebrating her tenth wedding anniversary with Andrew on Friday.
We are planning to see Revenge of the Sith. We geeks really know how to party!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Too cute for words

Arianna's speech and language is quite developed for a 22-month-old, but she still has trouble saying her Ls and Rs (which is totally normal). She also reverses the sk blend in the middle of words like "basket."

So Andrew said, "Say BASKET, Arianna."

She says, "Bakset, Arianna."

What a little wise guy (or should I say, girl).


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stubborn as a mule

I have been a "single parent" since Monday afternoon, when Andrew left to check out some real estate deals in New Hampshire. Andrew has a mentor and his methods are bringing in LOTS of prospects. He already has 3 deals and signs one contract tomorrow. I am so proud of him for pursuing his goals. He wants more time home and less time at work, and earning extra income from real estate is part of our plan -- and it seems to be working!

Anyways, I have been totally focusing on Arianna. I put my baby sling e-book on hold this week. We went down to visit Grammy and the cousins. I have a playdate scheduled for Friday. As long as Arianna is busy, she is the happiest child in the world. So we are busy, except it feels like double busy for me because I don't have a tag team partner right now.

We went outside to go for a walk in the stroller, but Arianna climbed into her Little Tykes car and refused to get out. I thought about hoisting her out of the car and dumping her into the stroller and going for a walk, despite her obvious preference to play in her car. I, after all, really needed to go for a walk to clear my head. Then, I thought, "In Tai Chi, they say it is better to go with the flow than to try and resist it. Stop being such a stubborn old mule and give up the stroller idea."

I considered pushing her down the road in her car, but that is noisy and hard on the back and she always drags her feet, which makes it ten times more difficult. Then I looked at the garden and saw it in desperate need of weeding. I pushed Arianna and the car over to the nearest bed and started yanking weeds. As I moved along, Arianna moved along too. I ended up sitting in the grass as I attacked a particularly virulent bunch of creeping charlie when Arianna came up to me and said, "Hugs."

I hugged her and we rolled around in the grass. She sat on my lap and we saw the gibbous moon in the sky. A little while later, we sat on the porch swing and stared at the lake. She learned a new word (mourning dove) and we watched the sunset as we chatted about what we saw and heard.

I hope our relationship is always filled with lovely moments like these. Maybe parenting a toddler isn't so bad after all.

P.S. Who did you think the stubborn mule would be when you first read the title?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Independence Day

Arianna woke up yesterday morning, opened up the refrigerator, plucked a strawberry from the shelf and started eating her own breakfast.

Now I just need to train her to make breakfast for ME!


Arianna is using the potty a lot (okay, it's solicited, but she will pee in it). Yesterday, she jumped off the potty and said, "Arianna peepee-dee-peed!"

I looked inside and said, "That potty is as dry as a bone."

To which she replied, "Bones are for Tucker (her cousin, Hayden's, dog)!"

I was rolling over in hysterics.

She's got humor, that one.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Home again, home again

Well, we stayed an extra week in New Hampshire so Andrew could work on a business idea. It looks like he will be returning to NH next week to do some follow-up work. So far, so good!

Andrew started reading Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge books to Arianna. I have quite a few of them, since I used to teach first-grade reading. I am amazed at how much she enjoys the simple plots and the beautiful relationship between Henry and his dog. I thought these books would be over her head, but I was wrong!

I can't wait to share my other favorite children's books with her. Parenting is just too much fun!