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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Talking With the Bears 

About two weeks ago, Celeste really took to one of her stuffed animals, a big soft brown bear. Along with her Blankie, she's been carrying Bear around the house, making sure it's there when we read a book, and sleeping with it. Blankie is still her primary lovey, but Bear has become a valued secondary. There also is another bear that stays downstairs that sometimes joins/sometimes replaces Bear.

Sometimes while eating, Celeste will get distracted by the bears (or a book or a truck or something) and will want that item right away. When we tell her that she has to wait until after dinner, she'll sign ALL DONE, even if she's only had two bites of food and that's all she's had for a few hours. Over the weekend, we reached one of those moments, so I turned to feed her asparagus (or whatever it was) to one of the bears; Celeste thought that was great — and wanted to eat whatever the bears were eating.

This afternoon, the feed-the-bears play progressed to a new level. Celeste wanted to offer the bears some peas; I let her hold one up to Bear's mouth and made eating/yummy noises. When she popped the pea into her mouth, I made Bear sign THANK YOU. It took her a few times, but when she figured out what was going on, she got a big smile and signed BEAR, THANK YOU. I think she was a little surprised. Later, she offered Bear a pea, and then got offended when Bear didn't sign THANK YOU. She pointed at Bear and started signing THANK YOU, but in a way that made it clear she thought Bear was being pretty rude.

Airplane Afternoon

The other bit of this afternoon was a trip to see some airplanes. I've been wanting to take Celeste out to Gravelly Point to watch planes coming in/out of National Airport (DCA), but taking her into Northern Virginia on a workday afternoon seems like it's tempting fate — we'd probably end up in rush hour on the way home, which could lead to a cranky Celeste. Instead, we headed over to College Park Airport.

Because of post-9/11 flight restrictions (which the FAA now wants to make permanent, unfortunately), College Park Airport has suffered a lot. On weekends, you can see some planes flying in/out of the airport, but this afternoon we saw no takeoffs or landings — just 33 small planes on the ground.

With no action on the runway to keep Celeste's attention, we headed in to the Aviation Museum. She was interested in some of the planes and exhibits, but really liked the flight simulator game — although in her excitement, she kept hitting the reset button. After looking at some of the planes and other exhibits, we headed out to the patio where they have a bunch of wooden planes kids can play on: some are rockers (à la a hobby horse) and others are on wheels. At first she wasn't sure about them, but I put her on one of the rocking planes and she got into it pretty quickly. Then she protested when I wanted her to shift to a wheeled plane. Her legs weren't quite long enough to push herself along, but she loved it when I wheeled her around the patio ... for about a half hour.

Aviation Pioneer

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