Earlier this week, Mo turned 22 months. In the last month her language has really exploded. I wrote about this last month, too, but even since then she's talking significantly more. She is stringing several words together and expressing all kinds of ideas. She has transferred all of her signs into words except "thank you" and "love." Actually it was kind of cool to watch the transformation. Up until a week ago she still signed "please," and a few days ago she started saying "peas" while signing, and now she has pretty much dropped the sign altogether.
Can I attribute all of this to TV? Nah. But it is interesting that her language took off right at the same time we started letting her watch TV. She only really watches PBS, and the children's shows on that station are very educational. So who knows, maybe it helped, probably it's just a coincidence. She does love TV though. It's crazy how quickly they go from oblivious to obsessed. Her attention span isn't long, which is good in this case. She asks to watch TV, but 10-20 minutes later she's on to something more exciting. Like pulling every single dish towel out of the drawer, laying them on the ground, and going "nigh nigh" on the kitchen floor.
We're still working on hitting. She picked up this bad habit somewhere last month, and even though she totally knows it's bad, she loves to test us with it. She even giggles while hitting, thinking this is a hilarious game we're playing. The best part though is that the whole thing lead to her first three word phrase. She hit our cat, and I told her no hit kitty, and she repeated "No. Hit. Wow wow." (Wow wow is meow meow, which is how she said cat until very recently.) The next few days, she walked around saying "No. Hit. Mama. No. Hit. Dada. No. Hit. Wow wow. No. Hit. Fwown (friends)."
We also had our first major stand off about a month ago. It was an unusally warm day in late October, and we were all in the back yard. Mo had a bowl of mixed vegetables that she intentionally dumped on the ground. I asked her to pick them up. She refused. I told her to. She refused. I told her she had to sit on the ground with me until she picked up her mess. She is usually really good at picking up, it's impressive really. So this behavior surprised me. But she sat there refusing for a long time. Finally I told her it was either she picked it up or it was time out. She refused. So I walked her inside, up to her room, and put her in her crib (usually we use a pack n play in our living room when she needs a little break from the action, but we had gotten back from an overnight away and had not yet reassembled the pack n play). A few minutes later I asked her if she was ready to clean up. She said yes, so we went downstairs and outside, but once there she refused. So back up to the crib. Repeat. Finally after our third visit to the crib, it dawned on me that maybe she didn't want to touch the grass. So I picked the veggies off the ground and asked her to take them from my hand and put them in the bowl. She agreed and did so quickly.
It was a good lesson for both of us. I learned that sometimes she's not misbehaving, that maybe there's a motive behind her actions, something legitimate. And maybe she doesn't quite have the language yet to explain herself. She learned, hopefully, that you can't out-stubborn mom. I was born with stubborness in my veins, and maybe she was too, but I've got 32 years of practice on her.
We haven't made much progress with potty training, but we haven't really tried. I decided, as a wise fellow mother told me, there are benefits to diapers. We're not in a rush to be done with them, and I'd rather wait until she is fully ready in hopes of fewer accidents. For now, I enjoy not having to constantly ask her if she has to go, and we continue to familarize her with the whole idea. She still likes to sit on the toilet, but nothing has happened there yet.
We had a good Halloween. Mo came to work with me in the morning - we had a Halloween brunch, and those of us with young children brought them to the party. Then I dropped her off at daycare, where they trick or treated in the neighborhood. And that night we drove up to my sister's and hung out with the family. It was very cold, too cold to really have fun. We hit five houses before calling it quits, but Mo loved every second. She was trotting along in the dark, trying to keep up with the big kids. She loves people, as I've said many times before, and she thought we were visiting everyone. She kept trying to go into the houses, and in one case she not only got in, but got all the way down the hallway before Mike caught up with her. Such a social butterfly! Maybe that's next year's costume...
PS Now she's obsessed with candy (or "tahn-dee).