Wednesday, May 25, 2011

who needs english?

we have been struggling with language. luciana seems to have not realized how important language was going to be until recently. she focused on puzzles and books and dancing and finding really great hiding places for toys and not on learning words. she is getting frustrated because she can't express herself, which leads to lots of tantrums and tears. this summer we are going to work on potty training and english.

in the meantime, luciana is randomly and inexplicably learning other languages. she doesn't have english down, but who cares? she is learning sign language, french, and german!

about a week or two she started signing "more." sometimes she'll say and sign it at the same time. "more" has made life a lot easier. no more crying when she wants another helping of something and can't express that. now she can put in requests for more gogurt, more milk, more books...

over the weekend luciana brought me a number 5 from one of her puzzles and asked "what is this?" I told her that it was a "five." she said "no" and asked again "what is this?" I repeated that it was a "five." she said "no. c'est cinq." I thought I might have just misunderstood her. I held up the five and asked her what it was and she confidently repeated "c'est cinq" and walked off.

today luciana came into the kitchen where I was putting dishes away. she climbed onto her walker and got ready for a ride (she loves being pushed on her walker). she turned and looked expectantly at me and said "bitte bitte bitte." I asked her what she said and she repeated "bitte bitte bitte" and pointed with this expression on her face "like come on lady, I said please now let's go!"

edited to add: we aren't intentionally teaching her these things. I have no idea where she is picking them up!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

the sixth thing I love about L

luciana has taken to singing quietly to herself. she'll be playing with her toys or sitting in her carseat and quietly she'll start to sing--recognizable melodies and lyrics and adorable hand gestures and all. her current favorites are the itsy bitsy spider, the wheels on the bus, and something involving ducks that quack (I don't know that one, it must be a daycare song). there is very little cuter than a toddler who is playing with her trains, only to have to stop to do a little ducky dance before she and thomas can continue on their journey.

sometimes she loves it when you sing along, and will clap excitedly when you are done and say yea!

other times she gets quiet when you join her and claps politely when you are done, but she'll wait until you stop and go away to start singing again herself.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the fifth thing I love about L

toddlers are weird. (I know, I know--that's the understatement of the millennium.) sometimes toddlers are shy and clingy and other times they can't get enough of people. luciana is often fairly reserved. it is almost as though she has figured out that since she is so stinking adorable she can get away with being a little rude to people. people will come up to her when we are out to rave about how beautiful she is. about half the time she'll completely ignore them. the other half the time she'll give them a big silly smile.

I was a little worried when my grandparents came to visit that she would be reserved with them--I knew that it would hurt their feelings and my mom's feelings as well. luckily, she seemed to sense that these were special people and part of the family. (she had met them before a couple of times, but she hadn't seen them since august.) she warmed right up to them and they quickly became part of the games and the rounds of hugs and cuddles.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the great blabla saga

luciana has a doll named blabla who she loves passionately. blabla is her baby and her best friend. blabla is the doll that she sleeps with every night and the one she drags around with her all day. she got blabla for her first valentine's day last year and they have pretty much been inseparable ever since.

she loves blabla so much that she was blabla for halloween.

after I put them in bed at night, luciana will lie awake talking to blabla about everything she did at school and all of the trouble the two of them will get into together tomorrow.

since blabla comes everywhere with her, blabla had to come to the zoo a few weekends ago to hang out with luciana. blabla and luciana saw the polar bear and the seals, they played in the playground, and explored the trails.

on the drive home I went to hand blabla to luciana for naptime only to discover that blabla wasn't there! we had left blabla behind with the animals.

when we got home I called the zoo, they said they'd keep an eye out, and I ordered a new blabla, but it was saturday and she wouldn't arrive until wednesday. we settled down for a very rough couple of days, but the next morning made it clear that blabla was necessary. luciana hadn't seemed too concerned when I put her to bed saturday night, but when she awoke sunday morning and there was still no blabla, she was inconsolable. screaming, crying, flailing on the floor, lashing out at us.

nana, aka the greatest grandmother ever, said that I should call the zoo back just to see if they had found blabla. and they had! so we piled into the car for the hour and a half drive to the zoo. luckily luciana fell asleep in the car, waking up just in time to be reunited with blabla, who had some leaves and grass on her, but otherwise looked like herself.

even though we had been reunited with blabla I didn't cancel the replacement order. having lost blabla once, I was not risking the happiness of our family again.

the new blabla came and I decided to switch off. it worked fine and I didn't think she noticed the change.

(the old blabla is the long skinny one and the new blabla is the short round one--luciana has a habit of pulling blabla out through the bars of the crib by her hair which stretches the poor doll out.)

and then a couple of days ago, I had to pack the diaper bag for luciana to spend the day out of town with her grandparents dropping the great-grandparents off at the airport. I put the old blabla in the bag, figuring that this way luciana would have her and I wouldn't have to worry about remembering her in the morning. I got the diaper bag all packed and ready to go and left it by the basement door.

I dropped luciana off at her grandparents the next morning and was showing my mom where everything in the diaper bag was when I realized that blabla wasn't in there. I was sure I had put her in, but she was missing. I figured either I hadn't actually remembered her or luciana had taken her out of the diaper bag. my parents, remembering all too well the blabla-less day, decided to swing by and pick her up on their way out of town.

my dad ran in to find blabla and discovered the two blablas lying on the floor in the family/playroom right next to each other.

luciana apparently figured out that there are two blablas and wanted us to know that she had discovered the truth. she doesn't seem to mind, she just wanted us to know.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the fourth thing I love about L

I love that luciana believes that all of the furniture needs to be rearranged and dammit she is the girl to rearrange it! it doesn't matter that she is just a toddler, she can move it all--the dining room chairs, the rocking chair, the ottomans... sometimes she decides that the living room ottomans belong in her bedroom and sometimes they belong in the fireplace. sometimes the dining room needs to be chairless and sometimes she figures I might want to sit in a rocking chair when I eat dinner. and the pillows? well, all of the pillows belong in big piles in the middle of room. perfect for a toddler to throw herself onto in exhaustion after a tough day of moving furniture.

and the furniture arranging doesn't end at bedtime. she likes to move her crib--while she is in it! I put her in the crib at night and she rolls over and promptly sits up to make silly faces at me as I turn on the noise machine and close the door. after spending a few minutes telling blabla all about her day and rolling around in the crib I can hear the scraping of the crib as she pushes it away from the wall.

I have seen her eying the sofas as though she thinks they would work better someplace else.

Friday, March 4, 2011

the wannabe daycare thief

luciana and I have the longest daycare pickups imaginable. all of the other parents come in, grab their kids, and go. most days a couple of kids are successfully picked up while I am still trying to get my kid to leave. it isn't that she doesn't want to leave or that she isn't happy to see me. rather, she takes ages trying to figure out how to steal the daycare toys.

yes, we have toys at home. yes, she enjoys playing with the home toys. but for some reason she is desperate to steal the daycare toys.

it started a couple of weeks ago when luciana tried to hand me some little people to slip in the daycare bag when we left. she seemed so disappointed when I wouldn't pocket them, so I just sort of dropped them to the side when I lifted her over the green baby gate.

after a couple of days of this, she figured out that the toys weren't coming home with us. then, she started to push or drop toys to the other side of the gate to recover on her way out. mean mom mom that I am, I would push the toys back or discreetly hand them to the kids who gather to say goodbye when we leave.

now she decided that subtle isn't the way to go. if she is going to succeed at stealing toys, she might as well go big. she has been trying to steal the farmhouse and the schoolhouse sets. no luck.

the latest? the classroom just acquired a small shopping cart. luciana is desperate to take it home. she tried just pushing it to the gate. I suppose in hopes that I would simply pick her and the cart up willingly? or that I wouldn't notice the big red and yellow shopping cart that was coming home with us?

when that didn't work, luciana decided that maybe she needed to lay claim to the cart. she has started putting her blankie and her sippy cup in the cart and then pushing it to gate. maybe I'll just accept it as a package deal?

today, I finally got her out of the room only to discover that one of the classrooms had watched a little tv this afternoon. there was a tv cart in the hallway with a copy of a thomas the tank engine video sitting on the shelf. luciana saw this and made a beeline for the thomas tape. she held it up to me making her chugga chugga chugga choo choo noise and looking around as if to say "come on, mom mom, no one is around. they'll never know!"

we are watching thomas now while I write this. we are streaming it over netflix, but I kind of hope that luciana believes that I am the cool mom who took the tape from daycare for her.

Monday, February 28, 2011

the third thing I love about L

luciana's hair is getting longer and longer and, like mine, it doesn't always cooperate. it is wavy when it is humid and has lots of silly little cowlicks. I try to wrangle it into pigtails every morning, but sometimes they fall out. and sometimes, I just don't have the patience or strength for pigtails. luciana does not like getting her hair done. she REALLY doesn't like getting her hair done. kicking, wiggling, and lots of whining.

when the hair comes out of the pigtails, it falls right in her eyes. and when her hair is in her eyes, she brushes it out of her face with her hand while making a slightly exasperated expression. exactly the same way I do.