As an anniversary of last year, and the strawberry picking wonderfulness I took Katja back to the Strawberry Fields. This year with the impending departure to Nigeria we picked significantly less fruit.
It’s always interesting watching learning take place. After strawberry picking we played on the playground for a bit. She loves the tall slides. There is no fear. At the end when it was time to go home, I told her that it was the last one and that we wouldn’t be going again and then she wanted to go again. She ran over to the latter I told her to come back because we were leaving. In that moment she had a choice to either come with me or to go up the ladder. It took a bit of internal reasoning but eventually she decided to come with me.
Katja has recently taken up like in high heels. Not that I have done anything to thwart such a liking. This was probably most eloquently expressed when I took Katja to my cousins wedding in New Jersey. Blue bear was there so it was a great trip!
Today Katja discovered buds. In the past she has resisted anything on her head, on her ears or her eyes.
But today I was about to go for a bike ride and I took advantage of the fact that she likes to music, to show her that music can come out of earbuds because she was concerned with the things in my ears. It took a bit, but she started to hear the music by Coldplay. Within 3 minutes she understood how they worked and wanted the earbuds in her ears! It is fun to watch her learn.
September 20th was our first day back. That night was our first night in our own bed in at least 53 nights. Katja didn’t sleep very soundly or very long. She was in her own room in her crib. Finally at about 5 am (8 am east coast time) we took her to sleep in between us in our bed. She usually falls a sleep and will sleep about two more hours. This morning was different because I felt she asked me to sing to her. Now, how can that be? A child with production capability of about 3.5 words asking me to sing to her to fall asleep. Well, when I would sing she would lay her head down. And when I would stop she would questionly look at me or start talking to me. And when I would coo/hum at her she would lay down with her head on her pillow. So I sang some made up song on the spot. More like sonorous German, than a song but nonetheless singing. After a short while she fell asleep. I felt that she wanted me to sing. While I do thing that she has quite a few homophones and really only very few words I think she understands many more words.
A few posts ago I was able to write about the mental concepts she had. Now there are way too many to list. She acquires more everyday. This week she started pointing to her own head when asked: “where is your head?” We promptly started asking her where her nose was. Now she knows her head, eyes, nose, and (my) beard. We were walking in Jerry’s hardware store and I told her to put her hand in mine and she did (with a bit of repetition), so I think she also knows what hand is.
Kajta has also taken to reading on our long road trip (120 hours of driving over the last 53 days). When I get to read she points to objects which are the same. Today she even pointed to a picture of a spoon and then smacked her lips (which is currently one of her communicative actions). It makes me think that she actually is “reading” or at least understanding g son of the imagery in her books.
While reading she will sometimes babel to herself.
Where is your head?
I must admit that it is more fun than I imagined to watch her read.
I know I won’t touch all the mental concepts that Katja has right now. But here are some (more noun like concepts) that I can easily remember:
<æ> for Andrew
She has some verb like categories or actions that I think are salient as well. Some of these things are tactile motor movement skills which require some sort of mental conceptualization, while others are directional in nature:
up (which is not just vertical, but might include “hold me”, or switch people holding me)
Turn around to get off the couch or go down a step
Soft hands (as in gentle hands — when she is pulling my beard)
She also crawls and assisted walks
Feeds herself (we can assume that she can feel hunger)
Takes things off: She doesn’t like anything on her head, can take her pants off
She likes to reach out with her index finger and thumb and experience the feeling of hair
Reads a book while cooing to herself
Plays the drums
She is music aware
She is speech sound aware (she knows she hears a sound she is not making and that it is different than what she is making) for instance the difference between <ah> and <u> but can not yet pronounce <u>.