In typical Harper fashion, the girl remains inquisitive and this new phrase is one of her favorites. She typically uses the phrase not to ask the common noun name for something, but the proper. For example, we'll be looking at a picture of a chinchilla and she'll ask, "name is?" to which I'll reply, "Marjorie." Anyone reading to her has to think on their feet and get creative naming the animals, people, and sometimes even things for which Harper wants names. She already knows what everything is... yes, including chinchillas, meerkats, anything you've told her once. She even differentiates between different kinds of fish (blow fish, rock fish, angel fish, clown fish, nurse shark, jelly fish, etc.) and now she's naming different dog breeds when she recognizes them (Komondor, Visla, Toy Poodle, terrier, to name a few). Ever the sponge...
Babies and Books
We go to the library's story time every Wednesday morning at 10 and Harper calls it, "Babies and Books". She enjoys listening to the stories, but prefers the singing with hand movements best of all. She knows the individual names of her fingers (thumb, pointer, middle, ring, pinky) from the "where is thumbkin?" song. Over lunch the other day, I started to sing the "bear hunt" song and only got three lines into it before I couldn't remember any more. I turned to get Harper another bite, and to my surprise, she sang out the next line (which happened to be "What a beautiful day!"). She seriously, seriously has a better memory than me. I tell people it's like she doesn't have that filter that we all use to exclude information as not-important-enough-to-remember. She takes it ALL in, and is constantly surprising me with what she knows. Another lunch time surprise recently was Harper singing the entire "Twinkle, Twinkle little star" song-- every syllable-- by herself, no prompting. It's especially surprising because it's not like we're working on it. We've sung it when we read her nursery rhyme book or sometimes when we see a star, she requests the song. I was shocked that the entire song was up there in her head! A week before, she surprised me and sang "baa, baa black sheep, have you wool? es, sir, es, sir, three bags full. one a master, one a dame, boy lane" which was pretty cute. Harper also really likes the "Itsy Bitsy Spider".
Harper also enjoys being around all the other kids at the library. She calls them "babies" most of the time (while the majority are older than her). The other day, I overheard her walking up to a kid and saying, "Hi, baby. I'm Harper. I'm good." Hilarious. I'm trying to teach her the difference between babies and big kids (so she doesn't wound any egos). I think she's starting to get the idea because she calls herself a "big girl" more and more now. Also, when asked, "where's the baby?" she'll point to my tummy. It's a start! We got her a couple of books to help her understand there's a sibling in the works, and we read them occasionally. At this point it remains abstract.
We always take home a bunch of books from each visit to the library, and by the time I return them, she's got them all memorized. You can pause when reading any of her books, and most of the time, she'll say the next word or few words. She loves to read books. She's also started to be okay looking at them "by yourself". She'll pull books off her shelf, turn the pages, sometimes narrate with her memory of what the pages say, sometimes just look at pictures.
ABC's and Counting
Harper can sing the entire ABC song, and loves doing it. She's been able to sing it for the past month and a half. She recognizes all the letters (upper and lower case). Her counting took off a few weeks ago and she clearly understands that after you get to twenty, there's a pattern to follow. It's 21, 22, 23... and so on... then 30, 31, 32, 33... then 40, 41, 42, 43 and Ethan counted to 100 with her the other day, helping her out with the multiples of ten to keep her going. Basically, she can count. She also counted crayons at her "artist table" today, putting another in her hand until she got up to ten. That was exciting for me because it means she actually gets the concept that these numbers are quantitative... not just words in a sequence.
Dada and Ducks
Today, for the second time, Harper and I met Dada for a picnic lunch at Plaza park. Harper loves eating outside, watching the ducks, and getting a little mid-day Dada love. We don't get to see Ethan for lunch since he changed jobs and works across town, so these picnics are extra special. I plan to try to make them happen more and more often as the weather gets nicer.
Things have officially changed during the bedtime hour. After reading books with Dad, instead of the nursing, Harper now sings a couple songs with both of us, then Dada cuddles her and sings, "This is Dada's Harper girl..." until she conks out and is laid down in her crib. Most nights since the change (about a week and a half ago) it's been Dad to put her to sleep. Of course, she usually wakes when set down and Dad or I will have to rest a hand on her back until she's back asleep and we can sneak out of the room. It's exciting that the girl is officially weaned and is also enjoying Dad's cuddles more. She's growing up!