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Dear Zella: Month Twenty-two

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  • Commenters Satya from India

Dear Zella,

At one point this month, your dad looked at me and said, “uh…can she just say anything now?” Yes, you can. Whatever we say, you can repeat it. Multi-word phrases. Three syllable words. You’re even copying your brother and calling us Sarah and Sandy sometimes.

You love to incorporate phrases that you hear us use. You give us things and say “there you go!” or stare into your drawer and muse, “how ‘bout…this one!” You also have an arsenal of key little sister self-defense phrases. “My turn! Stop that! I have it!” You say “bless you” when we sneeze and “thank you” when we give you things and “excuse me” when you want to get by. You tell us to “stand up!” and “sit down!” You still use your special word “dofe” about things you want to do yourself, but more and more you say the full phrase “I do it dofe!” This has led to Ezra telling us that he wants to do things dofe.

You have entered the phase of memorizing books. After just a few reads, we can stop mid-sentence and wait for you to fill in the rest. You have names for all your favorite books, and demand them in very specific terms. Some days are sheep days and some days are gosling days, and woe to the mama who can’t figure it all out. Luckily, you love reading books alongside Ezra, so now we’re all memorizing nursery rhymes together (you are very fond of the Owl and the Pussycat, which does lead to you murmuring “pussy” over and over again in public), and imitating the frog from Papa’s favorite Tubby the Tuba (“Hello! Bargum! Goodbye!”)

This month we went on a trip to Florida to see Papa Pete and your uncles. You followed Ezra down the hotel hallways like a little duckling, and reveled in all the attention. In a group of very big boys, you held your own. And you continue to be the adventurous one of my kids. On the second day, I put you down in the hotel room for a nap, and then went out onto our room’s balcony to read. After a few minutes, I noticed a rustling of the draperies by the door, and looked up to find that you had somehow climbed out of a pack ‘n play and come to find me. “No nap!” you told me forcefully, pointing outside. “Go ocean.” You loved being at the ocean, burying your legs in sand over and over again, chasing birds, and wading in tidal pools.

You did well with all the travel, keeping it together through layovers in both directions. For better or worse, you have developed a great attention span for the same movies that Ezra loves, and the two of you snuggled up and watched Totoro (“Todo!”) and Mary Poppins (“Mommy Poppinsh!”) on the iPad on all four plane rides. You adore Mary Poppins, and one day we noticed you singing “Docious! Docious!” so now our new favorite game is to say “Supercalifragilisticexpiali-” and then any two syllables other than docious. It sometimes enrages you and sometimes causes you to sigh resignedly at our stupidity. “No,” you tell us. “DOCIOUS.”

This month a neighbor offered us a toddler bed, and since you’re around the age Ezra was when he moved into his bed, we decided to put it together. We had a bunch of false starts, but eventually you started asking to nap in it, and sleep in it at night. We’ve found you in the middle of the floor a a few times, and you’ve fallen out at least once, but you seem to be finding your groove. No, wait. I take it all back. After just a week, you realized that bed=party, and began to go crazy instead of sleeping. Oops. Back to the crib for you for a little while…

The end of this month has coincided with Hanukkah, and our Hanukkah book was actually one of the first you memorized. You would thrust it at me, demanding that I sing “Kana o Kana!” and asking to play “daydel.” You demanded your own chance to light the candles (dofe, of course — though you were a bit suspicious of the flames) and loved opening all your presents, though perhaps not quite as much as Ezra loved opening all your presents.

A few weeks ago, we got a giant beanbag chair, and you and Ezra now use it as a safety net for stunts. You fly as high and jump as far as he does, and “two…three…JUMP!” is among your favorite phrases. The other day the two of you got up on a coffee table and held hands and when he jumped you did too. Two feet down. You don’t really know how to land from that height on a hard floor, and you tumbled a bit. And then you got back up and did it again.

And then you danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon, you danced by the light of the moon.


Satya from India

Jan 2 / 01:17
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