Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Conversationalist in Training

Striking a pose

Allie has been cracking us up lately.  She copies a lot of what Jonathan and I do, which is both cute and frightening.  Sometimes it feels like she's mocking us.  She fake sneezes after we sneeze, coughs after we cough, and over the top laughs when we laugh.  I'll sometimes ask her "Allie, are you making fun of me?" To which she replies, "Yeahhhhh!!" and smiles.

Now that she's talking more and usually able to get her point across, it has been so much fun listening to what she has to say.  She sings the E-I-E-I-O part of the Old MacDonald song over and over again, attaching her favorite things to the end.

"E-I-E-I-O Allie!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Mama!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Dada!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Minna and Wolf!" 
"E-I-E-I-O water!" 
"E-I-E-I-O milk!" 
"E-I-E-I-O bike!"
...  

It sometimes goes on and on until we're begging her to take up the wheels on the bus song.  "Noooo... Mama!  More E-I-E-I-OOOOOOOOO! E-I-E-I-O cat!"

From her perspective, the great thing about her talking more is that she gets what she wants more often.  If she asks for a glass of milk with ice ("Milk with Yice"), which I would never think to give her, she gets it.  Oatmeal instead of cereal for breakfast?  Done.  This improved communication thing has really reduced her frustration with us and has made us all happier.

She totally gets the If... Then conditionals too.  "You can have another piece of cheese if you eat a piece of broccoli."  She seems to mostly accept it (for now).  She doesn't eat the broccoli, she doesn't get the cheese.  It's such a trivial interaction but it has really helped with some things.

However, a big conflict arises when she wants to do something, she articulates herself, and I still say no.  We were walking through a store the other day and when it came time to go, I wanted to carry her and she wanted to walk.  She clearly stated her preference and got so mad when I picked her up anyway.  She slapped me and burst out laughing, which resulted in an impromptu time out in the aisle complete with crying.  Poor Jonathan was waiting at the front of the store while we re-started the time out three times because she kept scooting out of the designated time out spot.  After the two minute time out ended five minutes later, she apologized by signing "I'm sorry", gave me a hug, said "no hitting", and I carried her out of the store.

Maybe that's normal two year old behavior but it can be pretty embarrassing at times.  It seems to embarrass her too; I think one of us should go hide under a rock until she outgrows it.

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