Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Almost three

I haven't blogged here in a long time, and I feel bad about it, but there are good reasons, too. First, I've got a two-year-old! I'm busy! You often drag out the bedtime process, then I have a tornado to clean up. Also, it's actually a lot harder to quantify and list al the progress you make now. It used to be "Hey look, you know twelve words," and now it's "Hey, listen to this story that shows you understand elements of rhetoric and persuasion!" And finally, I've been putting a lot of stuff on Facebook, so the little cute stories from day-to-day end up there.

However, I do keep this, or try to, as a record for you. So to list some of your accomplishments -- you have been doing really well in pre-school. For as crazy as you can be at home sometimes, you are the model student. Even when other kids push or grab toys, you are polite and restrained. At a recent birthday party, some boys were playing rough, and you opted to leave rather than push back (and voiced very clearly that you had made that decision).

Your language use is unbelievable. It's impossible to talk about your vocabulary any longer, because it surpasses any kid your age I've ever met. What I can talk about a little bit is your language use. I mean, your sentence structure is so sophisticated. You use complex, compound, complex-compound, and all kinds of appositives, parentheticals... I mean, your use of language shows a really amazing innate understanding of language structure. Even your mistakes show understanding of the rules. Like, if you say "I goed to school," it follows from the rule that past tense usually has an -ed ending. Same with pluralizing mouse as mouses. You're following the rules in cases where the words themselves break them. It's really smart, even though it's wrong. And you pick it up fast when you hear the rule. Yesterday I corrected you on "mice" vs. "mouses," and today you brought it up again: "One mouse, two mice."

Better than that, even, is what you use language to DO -- you tell the most amazing stories, describe dreamy musings, pretend to be different characters... And you love to play with language. Pig latin, rhymes, puns, and our favorite -- replacing some sounds with others, as in turning "Twinkle twinkle little star" to "binkle binkle bittle bar."

Physically, you're just about 37 inches now (a little less, perhaps, but it's hard to get a good measurement). You're getting so good at using a fork, drinking from a glass, jitterbugging with Boompah, climbing anywhere. You haven't gained a single pound in over a year now, although you've gotten so much taller.

Your memory is unbelievable. I have stopped recording all the times that you bring something up from six months ago. But a few days ago, you asked Grandma why she had planted flowers for your birthday party. That was almost a year ago, and Grandma swears you and she haven't talked about it since.

You are very sweet and affectionate. You like to help out. We recently gave you a chore -- wiping down your place at the table after we eat -- and you do it with enthusiasm. Potty training is almost finished. You still wear a diaper at night, and you have recalcitrant days where we have to change panties 5 or 6 times because you leaked a little, but we're not having many big accidents.

Maybe most amazing is that you're getting really close to reading. There are a handful of words you recognize, plus you can spell a few words. You know most of the letters and what sounds they make most of the time. We sometimes spell things out to keep them from you, and it's not going to work for long. Today we had this conversation.
Me (to Grandma): I think I might get her a P-R-I-N-C-E-S-S D-R-E-S-S for her birthday.
You: What's D-R-E-S-S?
Me and Grandma: Well... what sound does D make?
You: Duh.
Me: And what about R?
You: Ruh.
Grandma: What about E?
You: Uh....
Me: Let's skip that one. What about S?
You: Ssss.
Me: Well, what do those say when you put them together?

Anyway, you're a lot of fun almost all the time. You are also strong-willed and independent and argumentative, and sometimes that makes things really hard around here, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm really hoping that it carries you into adulthood and that you remain independent, as hard as that will sometimes be for all of us.

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