Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Gerund Report: Celeste

There are times I think I really should have been doing monthly letters to Celeste like Dooce does for her daughter, but I haven't been so when Celeste is older and wonders what was up during her infancy, toddlerdom, and childhood (assuming I keep this up that long or longer) she'll have to slog through the archives to see what was what.

That said, she's been doing a plethora of new things over the past week or two (and not doing one old thing — sleeping — but I'm going to keep this post positive ...), so here's a quick rundown, gerund-stylee:

Celeste Reading IntentlyReading ... Celeste loves books. Reading isn't just fundamental, it's essential. She loves flipping through books; pointing out buses, cars, cats, dogs, and other things in the background of pictures; having you read to her; reading to herself; and so forth. The only downside is that books are not a calming thing for her: For Celeste, books key her up so there're no nice bedtime stories.

Last week Evelin decided she had to remove all of Celeste's books from her bedroom. The bookcase there was too big of a distraction when it was time to go to bed, to get ready for her bath, to head downstairs for breakfast, ... Now we have two bookcases in the diningroom/playroom, filled with books, yet Celeste occasionally still wants to head upstairs to look for other books ...

Climbing ... Which leads to this gerund — climbing. After the books came downstairs, Celeste still wanted to head upstairs to see where her books had been, but Evelin was determined not to carry her up the stairs, so Celeste had to climb them herself ... and she did. She's been doing the two steps up to the landing and the window there, but going all the way upstairs had been beyond her ken; now it's an everyday occurrence. This afternoon, she climbed upstairs four times.

Celeste on the FarmThe new thing is that today, she made it all the way down the stairs by herself twice. She won't back down the stairs, but — with me going ahead of her and patting each step in succession, encouraging her to sit on it — she will slide down on her diaper. She did occasionally stand up and lean forward, wanting me to pick her up, but if I encourage the step-by-step slide, she would make her way down the stairs. One time, she bumped her elbow, which necessitated a kiss to make it better ... and then a new kiss for each step whether it was bumped or not.

Crawling ... Yes, our little girl walks and runs and dances (more on that later), but she doesn't really crawl, except at the very top of the stairs. She moves about two inches on her hands and knees to clear her way on to the second floor, which I will gladly accept as crawling so as to say that she can crawl.

Busspotting ... Less well known than trainspotting or planespotting is the hobby of busspotting, spying and noting every bus one sees. Celeste raises busspotting to an art form. This afternoon, on the way to the grocery store, she excitedly called out "Bus! Bus!" and pointed wildly to every bus she saw — school buses, Metro buses, The Bus buses, ...

Celeste Splashing in a Slush PuddleHushing ... This maybe belongs with reading, but one of Celeste's latest words is a very cute whispered "Hush" [MP3] which she picked up from the "old woman saying hush" in Goodnight Moon.

Splashing ... Not uncommon for her age, I think, but Celeste loves finding a good puddle and doing an in-place quickstep to scatter as many bits of water as she can. Of course, she then gets upset about the water beading on top of her shoes, but she loves the splashing.

Dancing ... Her signature splashing move is also her main dance move. If you ask her to dance or if she likes the music she hears or if she's just in a good mood, she will do the in-place quickstep. She used to do a really cute head bob, but that seems to have been left behind.

Her First Album CoverGoing ... She's far from potty-trained, but Celeste is getting more and more interested in her potty, often sitting on it for seconds at a time. This afternoon, she took her bear and her blankie, plopped them on/in the potty and then sat on them for nearly a minute, flipping through a magazine. I asked her if she wanted to move bear and/or blankie and to try sitting on the potty without a diaper and she just looked at me like I was crazy or something before saying "No."

Naming ... Which brings us to one of this weekend's new developments: Her teddy bear has a name, "Dee-Dee." (Celeste hasn't confirmed this spelling, so I'm just working on a rendering that seems to make sense.) She still refers to it as BEAR (using the sign), but if you ask what the bear's name is, she says "Dee-Dee" and if your talk about Dee-Dee, Celeste looks for or points to the bear.

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Anonymous said...

I believe busspoting is genetically encoded in toddlers. Conor can spot a bus well before I see it. It may be a genetic survival instinct thing that really means..."Look out daddy ---Dinosour!" After all a bus is a very large moving thing that can squish you like a bug!

T. Carter said...

That's a good point, Dave! Of course, the warning effect misfires when a giant scream of "BUS!" comes from the backseat, distracting the driver greatly ...