Last weekend, Allie said her first two word sentence: "More water!" ("Moe wawa!"). This is a totally big deal that I almost forgot to share. This milestone bumps her into a new phase of language development, from learning words to understanding syntax. We are continuously impressed at her language development especially since her stroke wiped out the area where a typical adult's speech center would be (shown to the right). Her brain is doing a great job outsourcing to other areas and all of her therapists are very impressed.
To celebrate Allie's independent steps yesterday, she and I went to the splash park (shown below). We had been to a similar park before for a field trip and she was not the biggest fan, but I figured that we should give it another try since she is now a mature toddler.
Her progression of emotions was amusing. We walked from our house to the park and as soon as she got within view of the fountain, she started shouting "Wawa! Wawa!" I helped the excited girl out of her stroller and held her hand as she bravely charged towards one of the spouts (specifically, the one of the very far left in the photo above). She got about a foot away from it when the first big splash of water landed on her head; she froze and gasped. The water was cold, the splashing was loud, and the other kids were running laps around us. I was sure that she was going to have a meltdown. A couple more splashes hit and a few more dramatic gasps passed, and then she burst into a huge smile and started reaching into the water stream. We stood in that exact spot for 10 minutes, by the end of which we were both totally soaked. She had a shockingly good time.
About 100 feet from the fountain, there is a little patch of grass with big rocks that kids are always climbing on and running around. Allie and I walked over to the rock and she timidly interjected herself in a group of 4-year olds who were having a very serious meeting to establish the rules to their game of tag. The kids all looked at Allie like "why are you here?" and then at me (I'm holding her hand so that she can walk around) with even more confusion because I am awkwardly standing there, avoiding eye contact, and trying my hardest to not be a distraction. Eventually, the older kids decide to move their game meeting away from the toddler and her weird mom to another area of the grass. Allie then made her way to one of the rocks where she could play at her own speed. She particularly enjoyed picking up wood chips and throwing them (shown below)---oh, the excitement! Note how she is using Righty to hold herself up on the rock while she hunts for just the right wood chip.