So much of life to date with Sofia has been one way conversation. Don’t climb In the wet shower tray, don’t eat the hand cream, isn’t this swing fun… You don’t get much back, a few smiles, tears or general indifference, more the latter. So this is where we are at after nearly 14 months.
I’m not sure when it started but she is far more interactive now. There were signs before we went away, where she started to acknowledge and point to things, basic words or sounds started to appear. Going on holiday seemed to add “no” to the equation and a general start of irritation when not getting her own way.
She is also continuing to be really good at walking. To the point where she wants to be doing that all the time. She is definitely copying us as parents, which is good on the mobility front, I know we walk most places and take the car only when needed. So this is all good and helps with the interaction.
According to the book, The Wonder Weeks. This is all part of developing programmes and then learning to take the principles of that programme and apply different approaches and outcomes to that approach. Interaction and feedback follows from that as it allows for her to say No!
There haven’t been many No’s yet but you can tell they are coming. Picture us in Naples airport walking through duty free with Sofia in tow dragging mums very expensive handbag across the floor while purusing the most expensive whisky and perfume bottles in the shop, casually wanting to pick one or more of those bottles off the shelf. At this point try asking the little shopper for the bag back or to leave the bottles alone. This is met with a no, dip of the shoulder and a angry paddy in the middle of duty free. Much to the amusement of the several thousand passengers walking through with us.
It’s not all bad though. She has continued to shut doors wherever possible. We have locks on the kitchen doors and if we leave one off or unlocked she now tells us of this fact and tries to lock the door for us. She does this also with the stair gate and to be honest any door open. I am not arguing with this approach and actively encourage teaching her how to lock the door. She might just be reverse engineering and one day I will find that she has got out of bed, opened the stair gate, gone downstairs and eaten food from the cupboard, retrieved my credit cards from drawers she hid them in and gone out to play. She is crafty, she has that glint in her eye that she knows more than she lets on.
She knows what we are saying now. She has been pointing at animals and saying what they are for a while. Any bird is a duck but most other animals such as the local cows she can point to and go moo. She has also started to say the odd word, Dum has featured strongly along with a point to a dummy. Pointing is a thing and is definitely used where words don’t work.
In the last week though interactions are increasing. She has started to try and find clothes to wear. She turned up with trousers and a top recently. Often you don’t know whether this was a one off bit of luck, as this is often never repeated making you unsure of whether she is messing with you. She is exploring her world though, walking home last week she opened a box of raisins, ate them till she couldn’t reach then closed the box and shakes them to loosen the remaining. While away she stood in a room and shouted loudly as the echo made her laugh. It’s pretty awesome when she does this stuff.
She definitely understands more than she speaks. This I can apply to my knowledge of Italian. I know some words and meanings and can usually piece together what’s being said based on the situation. As long as it stays on topic I am fine. Sofia is much the same. Go get your toy dog, brush your teeth, point to this, don’t do that, is usually understood. Again you wonder how much do you know? Again you think she is playing with you when she brings back the panda and not the dog.
She is more accepting of separation. She has always enjoyed wandering off as long as we are in sight but hasn’t enjoyed being left alone with people she doesn’t know. Not that we leave her with people we don’t know. Anyway now she is getting better, she left me at nursery yesterday and went off to play without tears, this felt much like her leaving home. However this feeling has been saved by the fact she now comes to give me a hug goodbye and a kiss when I leave to work of a morning. It’s nice, this coupled with sitting together on her step in the hall or on the kerb outside is a nice moment of reflection in a otherwise chaotic world.
You can start to see patterns in her which link to everything we’ve done with her, going out and walking, teaching her to wave when people leave and come home, to try lots of new food, to explore, to close doors, we took her to see farms and the local ducks. It’s all reflective. There was a recent article that said you have to continually encourage new things and not to give up. If they see you give up then they will too, so there is much to be said to fighting against a chaotic world and show her how to positively navigate that. It’s something as she becomes more interactive becomes more fun to do.