Saturday, July 30, 2011

Talking to people - plus, urine-soaked Cheerios

Today we visited a group of friends and then a group of relatives. There were small children for AwesomeCloud to play with in both cases. I think he really, really needed the social time with other kids. It seems like he's been hanging out with his folks too much lately. We haven't even brought him to the big playground lately. Once earlier this week I took him to the playground across the street, which no kid ever, ever goes to. We just played with each other, as usual.

I think it's sad that the school playground is empty and silent all summer. It seems to me like it should be crawling with kids who wander in from neighborhoods on all four sides. In fact, it seems to me that those very neighborhoods are awfully devoid of kids. Maybe we should sign Cloud up for more activities so he'll have a chance to make friends. However, he already goes to some activities, and he never has time while he's there to make any friends - he's always too busy doing the activity.

Or not doing the activity, in the case of swimming lessons. He manages to avoid accomplishing anything at swimming lessons. However, when I'm in the water with him, he wants to kick his feet while I hold him. He wants to dip his chin in. He seems confident in the water. But as soon as I step away, it's all over.

On the bright side, today at the pool with friends, he was emulating the other kids and getting all sorts of wet. He was a kid playing in the pool, rather than a kid standing in water up to his knees and whining. It was pretty cool to see.

Know what else is amazing to see? He can talk and other people can understand him. Sometimes. I'm not saying his speech is as clear as a bell, and his syntax can be confusing. He speaks in keywords - noun, adjective, verb, and everything else gets skipped.

"Go Hyannis beach!"
"Socks on peeeze."
"Restaurant eat mac'n'cheese?"

But more and more, people react with understanding, and it always fills me with excitement and relief. My husband and I have a lot of practice understanding him, but it's nice to think that we won't be the only ones for much longer.

Sometimes he puzzles us, too, though. And he has a weird, annoying habit of saying "yeah" to all our wrong guesses. For instance:

"Pango." Points to fridge.
"What do you want? Yogurt?"
"Okay, here's the yogurt."
"No! No yogurt!"
"Oh, what do you want, then?"
"Um... um... orange juice?"
"Okay, I'll pour you a glass or orange juice."
"No! No orange juice!"
"Oh. Point to what you want."
"Point to it."
"Really? Really pineapple?"
"This here? You want this pineapple?"
"Oh, okay, here you go."

Sometimes I never guess what he's saying. Sometimes he says yes to all our wrong guesses and I never find out if any were right.

I would like him to utter the word 'the' someday. I tried coaching him, and I got him to say it twice, but it hasn't stuck.

I was going to write about the urine-soaked Cheerios earlier, but when my husband offered to take Cloud out somewhere, I was so relieved that I just scrubbed the kitchen really, really well and decided I didn't want to talk about it. It's not as weird as it sounds, anyway. Cheerios end up on the floor all the time. That morning, I thought I'd work a little bit on potty-training, but then some other stuff happened, and perhaps I wasn't as available for potty guidance as I should have been. Also, he'd refused to pee a few minutes earlier, so I figured that meant he just didn't have to. Anyway, it gave me something new to complain about, and resulted in a much cleaner kitchen. I guess ultimately that was a win. Except that, well, we'd originally planned to spend the day doing other things, so in that respect the whole day was a loss.

I think the moral of this blog post is that I like some things about Age 3. I like the improved talking. Other things, not so much.

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