Bits and Pieces I Want to Remember About Anna at 21 Months

Anna has become good at recognizing stop signs, and she is very excited about them. We just flipped her carseat to forward-facing, which means she can see the stop signs when we’re driving—not just on walks. Whenever we are stopped at one, I hear a very enthusiastic, high-pitched “Stop SIGN!” which is often followed by “I stopped! No cars comin’. I went.” Or “Take turns. Mommy’s turn!” I don’t think I’ve ever been more amused at a back seat driver.

If we are using any electronic device, she comes up to us and says “Press buttons!!”

She has recently started saying “Yes,” (Ess, Ess), and in the past few days, this can be replaced by “that’s right!”

She has most sounds in English down, and has few predictable substitutions. She does, however, completely skip over any L sound or R sound. So Elliot, her best buddy, is not “Ewiot” as would be more traditional for a toddler, but “EYE-ut”. Lids (with which she is obsessed) are “ids.”

Anna loves, loves, loves black beans, as well as blueberries and the color blue in general (a chip off the old block). One morning at breakfast, we still had a Ball jar with M&M’s still out from ice cream sundaes with a guest (hi, Cindy!) the night before. Anna has never had an M&M before. She stopped eating her Cheerios (“O’s”) and pointed excitedly. “Want some! Want some BLUE BEANS!” Now that’s effective marketing.

•Anna loves to spin, or “fin.” One of her favorite things to do is “finning! In the kitchen!” She only turns one way, and doesn’t seem to get very dizzy.

•John and I both speak some Spanish, and have several kids’ books that are either bilingual or completely Spanish. When we’re reading them, we switch to speaking in Spanish. Anna has learned a few words in Spanish, and can easily distinguish between languages. Black beans and tortillas (“tee-yas”) are definitely amongst her favorite foods.

•Parents of young boys, skip this one. Anna is big on affection, especially from Mommy and DaDa. A few months ago, she noticed that the best hugs come with pats, so would ask for pats (“pah”). Now she says “big hug!” or “big hug from Mommy.”

•She has learned that books have authors, and “Docka Seuss” is the first one she learned. Almost without exception, she opens any book to the title page and says triumphantly “by Docka Seuss!” or “It’s by Docka Seuss!” before moving on. While odds are in her favor (Dr. Seuss might be tied with Sandra Boynton in our house), she is just beginning to realize that Docka Seuss did not pen every book ever written.

•“Uh-zaZaZaZaZa?!” an early exclamation meaning “what’s that?” is still around. She keeps going with the “Za’s” until she gets an answer.

•We try to do family worship a few times a week. This includes John plunking on the mandolin, both John and I singing hymns (we got multiple copies of the hymnal our church uses brand new for $7 a pop), and Anna and me on simple percussion instruments. Then a short prayer. We’ve been trying to sing the same hymn once a day for some time so that she (and we) get into it a bit more. The first time we tried, we asked her which number we should sing. “One!” So we turned to hymn one, which is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” (warning! Link has MIDI autoplay) It’s really easy to find in the hymnal, and Anna often requests “Holy, Holy.” On mornings we don’t have time for a few hymns, we sing the Doxology (for which we have coined the verb “doxa”). Anna started off clapping with us, and now will proudly supply the last word of every line if we pause. In our house, there’s a “holy goos.”

•Balloons are really, really exciting. We let her touch balloons at the grocery store. They do not come home with us. We were over at her friend Elliot’s house, and they had a balloon stuck on the ceiling of their 2 story great room. Three days later, I’m still hearing about the balloon that was stuck, and how Mr. Isaac got it down by putting tape at the end of a long pole with a duster on the end, and then she got to touch the balloon.

•Anna loves “Baby Vera,” her doll from Grandpa Bill and Darlene that we named after my maternal grandmother. Anna calls her “baby Vee-uh.” She often asks for her when she is scared, although Baby Vera tends to stay at home rather than be a constant companion. Baby Vera goes through a lot of diapers, some days more than others, and Anna helps put the diaper back on. Baby Vera used to be very interested in looking at our boiler, though now that Anna knows all of the parts and the heat hasn’t been coming on very much, Baby Vera’s interest has waned. Baby Vera also enjoys reading books with us sometimes, and occasionally has milk. Anna puts her in the “baby wagon” (like a little baby carriage) and covers her up with a “banket” to “take a nap” before Anna goes to bed.

•Current obsessions: shoes and socks; fruit of all varieties, especially grapes and clementines (Cuties, or “cooties” are the variety that Grandma brings); grandparents; Grandma and Grandpa’s hot tub; “go buy milk!” which is either the grocery store or a long walk to the shopping center; helping with spices (“fices”); slides (“go down side”); and reading books multiple times in a row.

•Whenever Anna wants to do something another time, she calls out “again, again!” Always twice.

•I’m not sure who she gets this from, but she says “hi, folks! Howya doin’?” She doesn’t know what it means, but it’s pretty funny.

•Anna likes nursery rhymes. Her favorite is “rub dub dub, 3 men in tub!” which she says as an invitation for me to finish the rhyme.

•Anna gives shout-outs during prayer, for people she loves, as well as items and experiences to be thankful for. She now knows that we pray for “people who need help” when we hear sirens or see an ambulance, fire truck, or police car with emergency lights on, and asks to pray for them.

•In a moderately successful campaign to replace whining with “asking nicely,” Anna has invented a new honorific. If I say “how do you ask nicely?” she says “Mama-ya” or “Dada-ya.” Often this is for desired food or when she is asking forgiveness for disobedience. If I am unavailable to, say, read a book, sometimes I say “go ask Daddy.” She walks up to John and says “ask DaDa!” while holding out the book.

•Several people have asked about her sign language, as she had about 2/3 of her vocabulary in signs at the peak, probably around 100 signs. Her signs have almost completely been replaced with spoken words. “Please,” “Sorry,” and “Thank you” are still around, though she can now say all of these, she is more likely to use them when she goes silent around strangers, or when she has been disobedient.

•Anna does know that I have a baby in my belly (a girl due late June/early July), and I thought she had a good understanding. That is, until one day in the bathtub, she pointed to her belly and said “baby!” Hmmm. Now I’m not just pointing out women she knows who are pregnant, but also people who are decidedly not.

•Anna came with me for my monthly OB checkup a few weeks ago. Usually I find someone to take care of her, and the only other time she had come, John was there as well. This time it was just Anna and me (and the baby). I got on the scale and was quite flabbergasted—I didn’t understand how it was physically possible for me to have gained that much weight in just one month! I mean, I knew I had “popped” and suddenly started looking pregnant to people who didn’t know me well, but wow! I commented as such, and the nurse looked down and said “well, there are three of you on the scale.” So there were. I convinced Anna that it was “Mommy’s turn,” and she got down. Much better. As soon as I got off, she announced “Anna’s turn!” and hopped up. I weighed her, and she proceeded to spend the next five or ten minutes climbing onto and off the scale enthusiastically.



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