Monday, October 01, 2007

10/01/07 Chatty Katty

"Ah-BAH-bah!" "mmm-bah!" "mm-ah!" "BAH-ba-ba-babababa...!" "ya-ba-ba BAH ba!"

Katrina, nonstop chatter today. I mean, really. YAKYAKYAK!!! She's as bad as I am!

But, it's getting more directed too. She's imitating "bah" and "mmm" sorts of sounds now, reminding me that the rate at which they acquire "words" is really telling. I remember now that Julian didn't start talking particularly early, but I remember being blown away by how quickly he acquired words and sounds.

Tonight as I was cleaning up, I heard Katrina rustling around for quite a while, and finally went to check on what she was up to. I found her holding a crayon and moving it along a pad of paper in a pretty close imitation of attempting actual writing.

This is one of those nebulous reasons I like picking Gabriel up at school: seeing what's posted outside his classroom. Today it was a bunch of colored-in sneakers, to mark an upcoming festival and walk-a-thon this weekend (something for which I'm sure we've already missed deadlines and not prepaid for something or other).

Gabriel has some very artistic classmates. Actually, he did a really nice job on his sneaker!

It cracks me up that he always insists on writing in his last name also, so as not to confuse him with any other Gabriel (which there isn't!).

I chatted briefly with his teacher, who told me that he had fun showing off his Student Of The Week poster. She said he did a great job and that he made sure everyone understood that the mixer he was holding in a picture was real.

Meantime, I also saw Gabriel showing off Katrina to a classmate, talking about her and playing with her excitedly. His classmates are universally delighted by her, especially the boys!

Gabriel also seems very happy when I pick him up; I can hear him exclaiming, "Oh GOOD, my Mom's here!" and he runs outside to give me a hug, and jumps up and down and says, "I love being picked up!" or "I'm so glad I'm going home now!" Yet I don't have that much guilt about his CDC afternoons, because he clearly enjoys that too and pretty much acts the same way when I pick him up from there, except that first I have to wrestle him away from some fun project.

Maybe it's because of the MWF morning daycare for Katrina, or maybe it's just because she's in a good phase now, but the feeling of constant demand and pressure from dealing with a pre-toddler has faded tremendously. For now, I've hit upon a good balance of doing things that have to be done anyway (shopping, cooking, laundry etc), and still interacting and playing with her, and doing other things during her naps.

The only remaining barrier to being able to turn my head for a moment is Julian, who relentlessly pesters her, blocks her, plays with her toys, hugs her, grabs her feet, pushes her sippy-cup into her face, bats her head with balloons or books, shows her toys and yanks them away and generally annoys her (and ME) in a thousand different ways. Most of the time, she's fine, but I'm never sure when he's going to go too far, and he so often disrupts a perfectly happy state. So, much of the time they're both around, he ends up banished to the living room or upstairs.

Come to think of it, though Julian acts up a lot when Gabriel's around, he also ignores Katrina a lot more too, so having Gabriel around is a big help. That is, unless Gabriel starts to play with her with Julian around, in which case, she gets the full brunt of brothers and it's only a matter of minutes before I'm barking orders at them. But Gabriel with Katrina alone is increasingly a big asset, as his genuine affection and caring and interest in her is unbounded, and more and more I can ask him to take care of her, watch her and report to me. This will be a big help in upcoming toddlerhood!

Wow, I still need to write about Katrina's party yesterday. Another post!


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