Thursday, August 21, 2008

Emma Rose & Anabelle are Growing Up

Wednesday, Emma Rose had her first independent play date. We went for a walk after lunch, and on the way back, we ran into our across the street neighbors, Jeremy (the dad) and Harrison (the 3 year old son). Harrison is 2 months older than Emma Rose, and they play really well together. Harrison also claims that Emma Rose is his girlfriend. It’s cute . . . for now. Emma Rose went inside their house to play, and Jeremy told me he had to leave in 15 minutes to get his kids from the school bus and would bring Emma Rose back home if it was OK. After having a little, tiny pang of anxiety, I said OK.

After 16 minutes had passed, I began to get a little more anxiety. I went outside to put something in the car and just happened to look at Jeremy’s house across the street. Seventeen minutes had passed, and I had to take out some trash . . . Well, Jeremy walked Emma Rose back to the house a few minutes later, and she was fine! She had a great time playing with Harrison and never had any separation anxiety at all, which is amazing because almost every time I leave her, she cries. I think she must have been proud of herself because she told her cousin Rachael all about playing by herself with Harrison.

I told her how wonderful it was that she played without Mommy and let her know that it was OK to be places without Mommy. We’ll see how she does at ballet next week.

Very early Thursday morning (5:20 am), Emma Rose got out of bed with Baby Tigger to come in my room for anti-itch medicine. She has a couple of mosquito bites on her elbow. I got up and gave her the medicine. (She insists on putting it on by herself. If I do it, the medicine has to be wiped off and she must re-apply it.) She rubbed it in, collected Baby Tigger, and went back to bed. There was no request to be tucked in or to crawl in bed with Mommy. I stood there, listened to her door close, and picked up my chin from the floor.

Emma Rose Asleep with Baby Tigger on her Chest

Her language is even getting more grown up, too. She told me yesterday, “Mommy, you’re welcome to use my bathroom.” At dinner if we have a guest, she’ll sometimes ask, “How do you like your pasta?” and “Would you like something to drink?” I’m always a little surprised that my 3 year old is saying these things, and I'm so proud she is so polite! She is also still enjoying being with me in the kitchen, and we try to bake at least once a week. One of her favorite things to make is banana bread.

Chef Emma Rose making Banana Bread

To top it off, she woke up this morning with dry pull-ups! She is totally growing up.

Anabelle is still doing the crab-crawl: using hands and feet, no knees. She's also walking with us holding both her hands and is standing independently for short periods of time, maybe 30 to 45 seconds or so. I’m not rushing her to walk, but I think these things are the prelude. Thursday she climbed all the way up to the stairs. She stopped mid-way to look at me with a huge smile on her face and then kept going. She must have been really watching Marlee very closely! While she was here, Marlee would make a bee line for the stairs ever time she heard the baby gate come down.

Anabelle using her Tip-toes, Standing at the Easel, & Crab Crawling

Anabelle is much more responsive to subtle facial expressions, mostly to those that make her laugh. She gets a big grin when she toots, and I act surprised. She will often try to duplicate it to get the same reaction.

Late last month, she started to use a spoon. During the third week of July, my friend, Nicki, asked me if I had tried the spoon with her. I hadn’t because I didn’t think she was quite ready. I put the spoon on the high chair tray, she picked it up, put food in it, and shoved it in her mouth. Surprise!! I’ve been offering the spoon to her occasionally, and while she can’t scoop food, she certainly knows what to do with it once the food is on the spoon.

Anabelle is also occasionally saying “Mama” and “Dada.” She has said “cat,” especially right when Marlee arrived and repeated cat over and over. She had stopped saying it until today, and now she seems to be back on top of it again. She's also said “duck” and “quack,” but I haven't heard those words in a bit.

I’m not rushing anything as I know this time will pass all too quickly.

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