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Jan 14, 2013

Talk to me

A picture of my sleeping baby--the only time she ever holds still.
Confession: I don't want Kate to give up her binky.

At her 15-month check-up in November, Kate's doctor expressed some concern that Kate wasn't talking.  At that point, she had four words in her vocabulary: mama, dada, hi, and uh-oh.  I attributed that completely to Kate's pacifier use.  (I know, I know...)  Dr. Yochim urged me to help Kate ditch the binky, at least during the day.

Turns out I'm as dependent on the pacifier as Kate.  It's such a wonderful soothing tool. Combined with Bunny Hopscotch, it's a mini-miracle.  Kate giggles when she gets her favorite loveys, and she'll melt into my chest and we can just sit on the couch and BE.  I love it.  Of course I worry that my method of soothing her will translate into an emotional eating habit later in life.  That's something to face another day, right?

Anyway.

I have tried valiantly to limit the pacifier's presence in our daily life, and, as expected, Kate's vocabulary has blossomed.  We are working on signs as well as words, and it's amazing how a little communication has impacted our household for good.

We're starting with the basic signs: drink, milk, help, please, and thank you.  Kate is pretty consistent with those signs, especially if I prompt her.  But she also has some new words that we love: hello (ey-yo), apple, Daddy, help (hup, combined with the sign), shoes, coat, and yeah.  Kate has developed very vigorous and deliberate head shakes for yes and no. She is definitely good at asserting her opinion, and she is thrilled when we understand her communication!

"Uh-oh" is also working in our favor.  Kate always says that in response to dropping something on the floor, but she also knows that hearing it when she is doing something naughty (usually climbing), she needs to cease and desist.  Sometimes when we say "uh-oh" as she sits in front of my computer, she will set her head down on her forearms and cry.  I personally love it when Kate approaches something she knows is forbidden and says "uh-oh" herself.  I guess our Love and Logic training is beginning to work!  However, Kate is developing a few tantrum tactics, as well as what I term the "wet-noodle resistance move."  This girl is a little spitfire and prone to dramatics.  She is definitely my daughter.

Kate loves her play kitchen.  She is also interested in the doll house, baby dolls, our various musical toys, her play tent, books, and the piano.  She dances to all sorts of music.  Kate is our best putterer.  She can entertain herself for long stretches, although she loves to be close to me and participate in whatever I am doing.  I think the next words I'll teach her are "sweeping," "laundry," and "dishes."  If I could get my house under control, then maybe I--ahem, she--wouldn't need a binky.
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