Me: The ex-therapy momma in me got really excited this morning when Eleanor followed directions with two steps.
Me: That's kind of a bid deal for language development... when you can tell your toddler something that has two steps and they can understand and complete the task without further prompting. We were at Grandpa's and I said, "Eleanor, can you go get the newspaper and take it to Grandpa?" She walked across the room, bent down, picked up the paper and carried it back across the room and laid it in Grandpa's lap. Of course, after she gave it to him she wanted it back... but, still.
Drew: That's awesome! "Eleanor, go get Ribbit and bring him to me."
(I swear y'all, she listened as he said that, walked through the mess of toys in the floor, picked up her stuffed frog, carried him back to her Daddy, and laid that toy in his lap.)
Drew: This is awesome! "Eleanor, go the fridge and get Daddy a beer!"
Eleanor was puzzled, but Drew and I got a good laugh out of that one. (Disclaimer: We did not really make our toddler fetch her father an alcoholic beverage.)
She's also impressed me lately by pointing out when she sees a circle. She's been pointing out stars for several months. There are decorative stars on the walls at Grandpa's house, I've told her what they are and then she started pointing them out in other places. It sounds sort of like "car", but she spontaneously & specifically points out stars when she says it. Multiple times I've been surprised to look down and see that she really was seeing a star in a book or in a pattern on her clothing. She has a shape book that we read often, but I didn't know if it was making any sense to her until last week when she pointed to a circle and said it. I thought it might have been a fluke, but I took the opportunity to show her circles in tons of other things around the house and now she's doing it on her own all the time. Last Friday I put her in the cart at Target and as I was buckling her in, she put her finger through a cutout on the side of the cart and said, "circle". (The rest of the cart is a crisscross pattern, but that one circle was unique and there for fastening something.)
So, on top of talking up a storm, she's understanding even more. Don't think the kid understands what you're saying? Add in something like the word "Santa" to your conversation and see if there's a response. I promise she's listening and understands so much more than we think. Speaking of Santa...
Yesterday morning we went to do our Thanksgiving grocery shopping. We are about a quarter of the way down an aisle when I notice that Eleanor was leaning over the edge of the cart and waving to someone. It isn't unusual for her to wave or say Hi to people, but when I turned to see who she was waving to I saw this elderly man with a white beard waving back to her. I smiled, he continued walking past our aisle, and then Eleanor threw her hands in the air and yelled, "SANTA!". She learned about Santa a few weeks ago when the stores took down their Halloween decorations and replaced them with Christmas decorations. The grocery store had Santa balloons, I told her who it was, and now she's interested in Santa every time she seem him in a picture. After that nice man waved to her, she just kept yelling "Santa!" and other shoppers were stopping to ask if she was really calling that man Santa. We went on our way and a few aisles later we ran into Santa again. He wasn't a tall man, maybe 5'9", but he was the absolute perfect shape to be Santa and had perfectly white hair and beard. When Eleanor smiled at him, he stopped, waved at her & gently said, "Ho, Ho, Ho". She got shy and leaned into me, so he took a few steps back and gave her another little wave. She couldn't hide her smile after that. We visited for a few minutes and he shared with me that that happens to him often with young children and he really enjoys playing along. I thanked him for making our day, but I wish I had thought to ask if he would take a photo with her. I mean, it's not every day you run into Santa in the canned food aisle.
Proof that Eleanor is just a normal, messy, happy (and totally adorable in overalls & Converse) toddler...