Ducklings

I’ve started calling my girls my “ducklings.”  I’m not sure why – it started a few weeks ago when I turned to see them trundling along after me and their little bobbing heads (well, mostly Kitten’s bobbing head – Beauty is a bit big for bobbing) reminded me of ducklings walking.

Since then Beauty has decided that only children under the age of six or so can be ducklings.  If I ask if any other family members or other adults are ducklings, I get a resounding “nooooooo.”  Other children are sometimes ducklings, depending on mood.

Beauty has really been blossoming lately, though.  I’m not sure what triggered it (time, probably) but the past month or so saw a whole little renaissance in how she thinks and interacts with the world.  She suddenly started coloring in the lines (at at least attempting to) and has colored several beautifully-vivid mandalas I printed from the internet.  She used to just stack stickers on top of each other, but now she notices what they are and creates abstract map-scenes depicting the interrelation of the items.  She speaks English far more than nonsense now, and she makes up “games” and tells Kitten to “fly like this, and then turn around, and then a big jump, and then…”  Admittedly Kitten mostly laughs and flaps her arms, but it’s the thought that counts.

She’s also (finally!) potty training.  Last time around I tried using treats, which was useful for getting her to try the potty but ultimately hurt the cause, I think.  This time we used a “paradigm shift”: from now on you use the potty because that is how it is.  It’s going pretty well.

Beauty still loves painting and still mixes all the paints together into brown most of the time, but occasionally she will keep them separate, and she always wants to tell me about what she painted.  Kitten is finally able to paint with a brush instead of trying to eat it, so I’m excited to see what she gets up to next.

And Kitten is racing around as fast as her little feet will carry her, which is faster than I expected sometimes.  She loves to find pieces of clothing – from the laundry, from the dresser, from the floor – and carry them all over the house.  She also likes dancing, and I see her carefully focusing on sequences of motions (first raise hands, then turn in a circle, repeat) when there is music on.  She likes stickers – mostly peeling them off the sheet and handing them to me, but sometimes she sticks them herself – and pulling all the spoons from the silverware drawer and waving them around with a gleeful flint in her eye.  My current theory is that she’s planning on turning them into shurikens somehow.

We’re also getting her first real words, aside from “yeah” and “hi.”  Beauty listened carefully and pulled out whole words at once, so that her vocabulary seemed to spring from nowhere.  Kitten has spent ages experimenting with all the sounds she can make, and now she’s starting to take a stab at the words they go with.  So she says “ma” for “more” and “me” for “milk” and “ah da” for “all done” and (cutest and happiest of all) “ah-la” for “I love you.”  She isn’t very consistent with any of them, but it seems to make her happy.

While Beauty has long enjoyed watching me shower, Kitten insists on getting in with me, and Beauty usually follows her.  This makes bathing interesting, as I’m sure you can imagine.  Kitten especially likes hugging my leg and letting the water pour over her – which is surprising given that I don’t make the water any cooler than usual.  (Though today Kitten decided to investigate the shiny silver knobs and made me yelp when she turned the water cold!)  But it’s a nice way to keep them both happy for half an hour or so.  It was especially helpful the last time Hero was sick – he would stand under the hot water until it ran cold, allowing the steam to help his congestion, while the girls cavorted in the water around him so I could have a break.

And that is my girlies.  I might add pictures at some point, if I’m feeling ambitious, but don’t count on it.

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