TBD is two years and eight months old, and has lived in this house for over half that time.
And now, suddenly, has that gangling older-toddler look. With this comes more activity/energy and longer attention spans. Imaginative play has overtaken reading as an activity, timewise. The toy kitchen (the big Hanukkah gift) was a big hit, getting several play sessions a day -- playing with trucks is second place (and that's sometimes combined with cooking, heh). How extensively play relates to things going on in daily life is something of an eye-opener -- we knew it happened, but it's practically everything at this point. The first future career to be announced was "I going to be firefighter!" -- others include driver of a dump drunk, doctor, driver of a train, and a grown-up. Basic emotions (happy, mad, sad) can be identified when felt, and the proximate cause sometimes described, with prompting.
Another seasonal gift, a picture book of English and Mandarin nursery rhymes, immediately went into high rotation, with songs from both languages being requested. Things related to China are of strong interest, especially people or animals there. (Time to collect a couple coffee-table photobooks.)
Speaking of English, there's been more talking talking, of course, with more attempts (with adorable fumbling for words) at full sentences. Some pronunciations remain unclear -- the newest hard-to-distinguish pair being "my"/"Mommy," where the latter's sometimes rendered as "m'y" -- but others improve. "You" remains a name for self, as well as a pronoun for someone being addressed, but uses of personal name to mean self have shown up (along with "I"/"my" as first-person pronoun). Wrestling with idioms and abstractions gave the most amusement:
After playing "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "Row, Row, Row" on an ocarina and showing TBD how to blow into it,* then playing them again, I play another song:
TBD: *sitting up startled* "'Sing Roo'?"
Me: *nodding while still playing*
TBD: *wide-eyed* *taps ocarina* "That['s] in there too?"
When told about picking me up after work:
TBD: "Daddy too heavy?"
As we start driving to grandparents:
Janni: "Let's hit the road!"
(Surely I jotted down more? Apparently not.)
Said Christmas visit with grandparents went very well -- TBD especially loves grandpa ("Baba," which is "Daddy" in Mandarin, to everyone's amusement), but now sometimes follows grandma ("Mama," or "Mommy" in Mandarin, to everyone's confusion) around the house and gives her spontaneous hugs. We again took two days driving there, but given TBD's increased endurance in the car-seat we made it all the way home in one, spending 10 hours on the road -- though it took promising we'd see our cats and a visit to the local Children's Museum
to get over the disappointment (!) of not staying in a hotel.
More and more singing as well. TBD was surprised we knew "Jingle Bells," since we'd never sang it, but greatly enjoys singing it with us (favorite part: shouting out "HEY!"). Little songs get made up, mostly sung to self, and songs on random topics get requested of us. Janni is excellent
at improvising at length. Much better than I am.
So it goes. May the wintertide holidays have been good to you all. * FWIW, it is completely my own fault that I need to replace my ocarinas. TBD handles them with all the care due to breakable ceramic ("glass," which makes owie shards). I just need to learn to put them in jacket pockets that close.
---L. Subject quote from "Spring View," Du Fu (tr. Mark Alexander).