41 months! That’s 3 years and 5 months. My baby is almost 3 and a half…unbelievable! This month, my ALMOST 3 and a half year old said phrases like, “Daddy was impressed with me” and “we had a whole conversation“. She used descriptive language like “razor sharp” and “squeals like a little baby pig”. She even utilized more complex language principles like similes when describing the way her fish E was sleeping; “hanging like an ornament from a Christmas tree.” I am often stunned by Lauren’s ability to use these grown-up words in the correct context. Here is a conversation we had while eating at a noisy restaurant:
LP: Look Mommy, where’s a do.Me: Where’s a do? What does that mean?LP: No, where’s a do…like what is left over when something dies up. RES-I-DUE. (1/22/10)
Not only did she use it properly (she was referring to some dried up cheese dip on the table) but she also knew how to explain it to me. I have days that I question she’s only 41 months old. However, as much as her vocabulary continues to grow “actually” and “yeah, but…” remain some of her favorite things to say.
She’s still super inquisitive, asking questions non-stop. I do have to remind myself that it is due to her strong desire to learn and not to just irritate me because there are times – around question #50 from the past hour – that can be challenging. However, her questions can be enlightening and amusing too. After reading a book about snakes, LP asked, “Mom, since snakes smell with their tongues, do they taste with their nose?” (1/20/10) And while I simply can’t believe how fast the past 3 years and 5 months have flown by, I regularly get the impression from Lauren that she doesn’t think she will ever grow up. I overheard her say to one of her baby dolls, “You’ll be an adult some day…when you’re nine or seven.” (1/21/10)
Babies do grow up so fast and I want to preserve those years as much as possible, however, I believe it’s time to find LP some fun and exciting ways to learn how to read. She already knows the sounds the letters make and can sound out some simple words. As we drove down the road the other day, LP said, “Look Mommy! That truck almost says up.” I look over to see a truck passing us that reads SUPERIOR.
Lauren has started sputtering off her dreams in the morning while getting ready. Generally I have the time to enjoy the story in the moment but as we start our busy day, neglect to write it down and often it’s soon forgotten. That’s such a shame because this girl comes up with some doozies. Here is one that I did jot down, paraphrasing but using as many of Lauren’s words as possible. Keep in mind that as she told me her dream, she acted it out.
There was a sea turtle that kept losing his shell. One time he lost it while he was swimming in the ocean (LP is on her belly on the floor. She’s kicking her feet and holding onto something in front of her like you would a floaty). It slipped away and he lost it (Lauren is now laying on her back). A fish picked it up, and put it on (mimicking putting on the shell like you would a shirt, pushing through her head and then each arm). He swam around pretending to be a turtle and hiding from the other fish in his shell (making swimming motions with her arms as she walked around the room, poking her head in and out of the shell). The fish then jumped high out of the water and threw the shell on the beach for the turtle (jumping and throwing). There was a princess with the turtle now keeping him safe. She helped him figure out how to keep his shell on with some straps they found that attached his shell to his back (walking around on her hands and feet with her back arched high in the air). Apparently there was also some talking corn. In LP’s exact words, “corn that grows tall in the back of a farmer’s yard – that is still growing with the paper stuff on them” (husks). The corn told her to stop so she could keep the turtle safe. She was now watching the turtle on a movie…so she pushed the pause button. Since she helped save the turtle and he had his shell on, he took a turtle train home (because, of course, what other kind of train would a turtle take). He lived at the zoo with his mommy & daddy. He was green and couldn’t wait to roll in some mud when he got home (rolling on her back on the floor). The end.
Her imagination simply doesn’t stop – ever. While eating pancakes recently Lauren said, “Mom, I’m going to call these platypuses. They are yummy and sweet!! They taste like… (smacking her lips and pausing thoughtfully for a second) peonies – those pink flowers!! Yummy! Yummy!!! (1/22/10) I’m amazed that she could come up with a story that included both platypuses and peonies…and honestly a little disturbed that she was eating them.
One thing I’m certain of. No matter how challenging or stressful things can get, Lauren only has to smile at me and say, “I love you soooo much” to make my day. As remarkable as I think she is intellectually, I’m most proud of how compassionate and caring she is. I’m not sure if that is something that is learned or if it’s just inherent in her. Whatever the case, we are so very blessed. Check out some pictures of her from this month’s photo shoot, click here.