June 12 (Tuesday): RLF’s first full meal in which she fed herself entirely by holding spoon, dipping and bringing food to her mouth. She’s been working on this much more patiently than I’d expected. (She often gets very frustrated when trying something and it doesn’t work.) Milestone charts say most kids can “use a spoon or fork” by 19 months, but I don’t know if that means occasional dipping and moving to mouth or if it means skillfully for entire meals. If the former, then she’s a little ahead; if the latter, then she’s a little behind.
As usual, when I check any charts to compare, she’s ahead in some areas and behind in others. She’s just now (on the 11th) 20 months old.
* She can throw a ball overhand (having skipped the underhand step), which charts say half of kids can do by 21 months.
* Helps around the house (throws away diaper & trash, empties silverware from dishwasher, puts wet clothes in dryer, wipes table, etc.)
* Names body parts (eye, nose, ear, hair, hand, knee, eyebrow), which charts say only a few kids can do by 20 months.
* She’s been kicking balls for two months, which charts say half of kids can do by 21 months.
* Can name simple things from pictures in books: bird, teeth, ball, eye, hat (normal for 23 months)
* Stack six blocks (for most kids, that’s 25-26 months)
* Walks with smooth heel-to-toe motion (25-26 months)
* She can walk up and down steps without help.
* Most kids can scribble well by 18 months; she still has trouble with this (just taps crayon to paper)
* Some kids can sort toys by color/shape/size as early as 17 months. We’ve seen a few signs of this, but nothing definite. (With Megabloks, she’ll put two blue blocks together, and two pink blocks together, but never a pink with a blue.)
* Most kids can take off their own clothes by 20 months. She can get her shirt off any time, and can put pants on, but can’t take off pants or put on shirt.
And of course, it depends on which charts you view.
What are we working on with her? Mommy’s spearheading the potty training initiative and trying new foods every few days. I’m working with Rebecca on adjectives (colors, big/small, soft/hard, tall/short, etc.) and on naming objects / learning new words. Even if I know what she meant, I’ll try a few times to force the correct word out of her or to get a better pronunciation. I figure the better she can communicate, the easier it’ll be to fully learn things like potty training and other life skills.
Even though I’ve used simple sign language with Rebecca her entire life, she hasn’t really picked up on it, except for “no” and pointing at stuff. Her fingers have excellent dexterity but she just has never seemed interested in signing.
For lunch, we ate at Bush’s Chicken, and Rebecca had most of a serving of mac & cheese, which kind of surprised us. She’s eaten it before, but usually only a few bites.
Later that day (June 12, Tuesday) was also the first time Rebecca walked the full distance from our house to the mail box and back. Our neighborhood, like most of Killeen, has NDCBUs — Neighborhood Delivery Centralized Box Unit — down the street and around the corner. It’s a round trip of about 400 yards, or almost a quarter of a mile. This is the farthest Rebecca’s ever walked in a straight line (I’m not counting all the miles she walks every day, scurrying around the house and yard). Whether she’s walking or riding in the wagon, she watches the houses go by, and is starting to recognize the differences.
During the past two weeks or so, she’s begun grabbing one of my (or Mommy’s) fingers and leading us to something. She’s also done this a couple of times with our uphill neighbor. In our house, it’s sometimes obvious that she’s just leading me for the sake of it, and will decide on our destination as we go. A few times, though, it’s clear she was thinking of something specific when she grabbed my finger.
That evening, we watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals after Rebecca went to bed. It was nice to see a pro team from Oklahoma doing so well. But I still wonder why the team’s owners decided to flip the middle finger to the rest of the state by unnecessarily adding the word “city” into the team’s name, making it the longest team name in the NBA (most syllables, anyway). Surely they know that OKC’s economy — and thus the economy of the Oklahoma City Thunder — depend in large part on folk who don’t live in the city limits but regularly shop there and attend Thunder games. I’m looking forward to Game 2 on Thursday.
June 13 (Wednesday):
In the morning I set up some camera gear — two tripods, holding camera and flash with wireless trigger, and my handheld diffuser in the garage. One by one, I thumbtacked old drawings to the wall and took pictures of them. Explanation: I’ve had two cardboard storage tubes full of rolled up drawings from my high school drafting classes, and I’ve had them for a long time. My parents stored them for a while, and I’ve had them for 10 years or so. I didn’t see a need to keep the physical objects; I just wanted the memories.
(I photographed all my smaller drawings a couple of years ago; that was easy — just lay them flat and take pictures. The ones in the tube however were on oversized paper and rolled up tightly, so I’d been putting it off.)
RLF was fussy most of the morning, but had a 2.5-hour nap and was beautifully happy and playful all afternoon and evening.