Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dear Fern (part XVI)

Dear Fern,

We're going to call this the "month of parlor tricks."

There's probably a more technically precise term from the field of child development for the astounding leaps you're making, but since we don't know the correct nomenclature, we're sticking with "parlor tricks." Or maybe "baby vaudeville" because it's so fun to have you perform in front of our friends and playmates. Here's what you can do, mostly new this month:

  • The Animal Sounds Game. Impress your friends by giving correctly and in succession the correct sounds for cat, dog, sheep, owl, donkey, elephant, snake, and lion!
  • Do You Wanna Rock?! When we say this, you throw up your arms and we all say "Let's Rock!" Even better is when we start out like we're with Metallica: "Hey, Cleveland! DO! YOU! WANNA! ROCK?!"
  • Find the Body Part. You successfully locate your head, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, shoulders, belly button, hands, knees, feet, and toes.
  • POILs (Phrases of Impressive Length). You say "olive oil" and "belly button" (in addition to some 45 other fairly typical words). We're working on "meritocracy," "ambulate," and "self-immolation."
  • Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet. Thanks to Music Together classes, you clap, stomp, drum, strum, and hum on command.
  • Please and Thank You. We've got you using the signs for "please" and "thank you" and you're picking up the spoken word "pweez" -- often even on your own. We're not positive you really know what "please" means, but then again, does anyone really know what "please" means?
  • Playground Tricks. Since you're an old hand at the playground, you've picked up a few stunts that seem impressive for a 16-month old but are simply habit: hanging and dropping from the monkey bars, doing somersaults, belly-swinging by yourself, and digging for bugs.

So it's been a banner month for your development. We'd be guilty of evasion if we didn't mention the downside to that: we've just come off a week where you had a few horrible sleep nights -- up every other hour, sometimes not falling asleep until the double-digit PMs, and getting only 10 hours of shuteye some days, when 13 or more was your average. Such sleep disturbance, some of the "experts" say, can be a sign of a growth spurt of mind or body.

Thankfully, though, the brief sleepless phase seems to have passed, and you're back to your previous pattern, which was becoming more and more regular. We're going to chalk up the anomaly to a surge of growth and learning.

So here you are, one-and-a-third years old. It seems like it won't be too much longer before you'll be writing these blog entries on your own. Your mom and I are just starting to get the first "gee-you're-not-a-tiny-baby-anymore" pangs, but nevertheless: We can hardly wait for what's to come!

We love you very, very much,


Mommy & Daddy.