Brown Bear

I feel like sometimes Maya’s life is like a little game-show where she’s the contestant and we’re Alex Trebec or Pat Sajak, quizzing her constantly — except instead of money the prize is always a hug or a kiss. 🙂

She doesn’t seem to get exasperated most of the time as we ask her questions, but I’m sure sometimes she’s thinking, “Mommy, I just SHOWED you where my car/train/Minnie/belly is!”

[I know we’re just a few years away from chronic eye rolling … might as well prepare myself now!]

Repetition is how babies learn to communicate, so we’ve been doing a lot of it — ever since she was born, but especially now.

It’s not like she’s doing anything special — she’s engaging in completely age-appropriate activities/progress — but I guess I didn’t realize just how much she is absorbing!! Seriously, kids this age are sponges!

For example, I didn’t even realize she knew which foods she was eating, but when I asked her — out of curiosity — where her cheese, chicken, soup, grapes, goldfish crackers, etc. were — she pointed to each food. When I asked her where her spoon was, she reached for it, and began eating with it. I honestly had no idea she knew the word.

Yesterday she repeated “apple” — it sounded like “ah-poh” and I can’t wait to hear her using the word (beyond repeating me saying it).

I didn’t realize she knew what her “stroller”,”wagon,” “kitchen,” and “buggy” were … but she does know. She can point to each of them.

She’s finding objects in books now,  on her blocks, on TV. When she sees a cow on a block, she moos. A ball in a book? She says “ball.” A dog on TV? “Gock-co” (Rocco) [This one is pretty funny, as ALL dogs now are Rocco].

And she knows that birds and cars belong outside. She signs for bird and then I say “bird” and she repeats in her super-soft voice “buuuuhr” which reminds me of how my little sis used to pronounce it 🙂 I didn’t realize she knew “car,” but earlier this week she pointed out the window and repeated me saying “car” and now she says it appropriately — to the cars outside, her car inside.

All of which brings me to tonight.

We were getting ready to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? before bed and as soon as she saw the book come out, she said, “Bow Bahr” — her version of the title!! I was in complete disbelief, until Luis told me that she’d done the same thing when he read it to her earlier today. (i.e., not a fluke).

When we got to the last page — which she’s stumbled on a few animals the past few times we’ve read it– she pointed at each animal correctly (dog, horse, goldfish, bird, duck, cat, etc.), and I welled up with pride.

While she’s several years away from being ready to read, I truly hope all the reading we do now will help her develop the same passion for books that her daddy and I have.

Like my mom said, “There’s no stopping her now!”

There’s something incredible about watching your child learn. I have friends whose babies are learning to use a sippy cup; friends whose kids are starting kindergarten and learning to read and spell; friends whose kids are learning to play sports; friends whose kids are headed off to college. Each stage of a child’s life is an amazing learning experience and, as a parent, I’m finding so much joy in simply observing her.

I should note, here … this toddler time is also crazy — there’s so much excitement and newneess, but also some frustration, as toddlers don’t have the language or coping skills to deal with their emotions and can be difficult. Hence the nickname I’ve seen on the interwebs: “toddler tyrants!” I don’t think Maya’s a tyrant (yet) but she definitely lets her feelings be known.

Exhibit A) Dinner usually ends up in Rocco’s mouth (read as: I don’t want to eat.)

Exhibit B) She knows to hand us her sippies when finished drinking but often throws them on the floor (read as: This is much more fun and I want to have FUN! Plus, you pick it up and give it back to me every time so hahahahahhaha).

Exhibit C) She ignores instructions when she doesn’t want to do what we’re asking (read as: I’m 17 months going on 17 years. Like, duh, Mom).

All that said, overall, it’s been quite an amazing ride, and I look forward to what’s to come.


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