More backlog! This should have been published on 4 July.
We have some excellent sharing happening, and the kids are playing well together more and more. Owlet seems to really enjoy offering people turns with her favourite things, or bites of a treat. On the other side of the coin, she is getting very defensive about perceived aggression, going so far as to shriek at someone to stay away from her if they turn in her direction on the other side of the backyard. I think this is a combination of running on old information (the people she’s hypersensitive about at preschool are the ones who had trouble reining in their excitement and understanding personal space this past winter) and a new understanding that an action arises out of intent and often can be signalled ahead of time. She will also attribute bumps or scrapes to people who hit her, when they weren’t even around at the time of the incident, when an educator tells us that she tripped or fell against a table or something. Again, old information, and that sneaky interweaving of truth and imagined events.
Her play is slowly becoming more self-directed, thank goodness. If I’m there, she wants to play right on top of me, but if HRH is the one there (or if I am Unavailable, as I am when I go upstairs to work), she’s pretty good at going into her room to play with her dollhouse or her ponies on her own. All we hear is an ongoing ripple of low-level conversation between her toys as she narrates whatever’s happening, and it’s great.
She has been doing some lovely taking-care-of-people things, too. I was sick this past month, and horrible stomach cramps were part of it. Owlet tucked me in on the couch(terfield) and asked if I wanted her to gently rub my tummy so I would feel better. I was charmed by how sweet and solicitous she was being, so I said yes. She gently moved her hand in light circles on it, then said, “There, I’m feeling you better.” And when Sparky was ill, she brought him some of her favourite toys and books to keep him company and cheer him up. (These are usually received grumpily, but we remind him to appreciate the gestures for the spirit in which they were made.)
In other ways, she is very much a child of her age. There’s a lot of ignoring us going on if she’s asked to do something she doesn’t want to do, or saying an automatic “Okay” when we insist on confirmation, and then doing what she wants to do anyway. This leads to repeated orders with the parent’s frustration increasing, until the foot comes down and there are Consequences enacted. Then there are tears and the “You hurt my feelings!” accusation, for which we are told to apologize. I wonder how much of the ignoring stems from the automatic “okay” said without really processing what was asked, and how much of it is unconsciously pushing to see how much she can get away with. Sometimes HRH asks her to look at him, make eye contact, and then repeat what he said; that occasionally has a better success rate. I’m going to try to remember to do that more often.
Her language has leveled up as well. One morning I was in another room while the kids were playing in the play kitchen. I overheard this:
Owlet: “Let’s eat the recipe.”
Sparky: “We don’t eat recipes, we eat the food made from recipes.
Owlet: “But… we make recipes, so… we eat recipes.”
My kids, debating the fine points of language at eight in the morning.
Her current favourite films are Mulan and The Legend of the Neverbeast. Those, plus The Song of the Sea, are on frequent rotation. Her very favourite book right now we only got on July 1, and it is Kate Beaton’s utterly fantastic The Princess and the Pony, co-starring her fabulous Fat Pony from her history comics at Hark! A Vagrant.
When Owlet goes to the ice cream parlour, her favourite flavour is “Pink!”
Fine motor control has leveled up; for example, she’s becoming remarkably proficient with a knife at mealtimes. She’s got that fork in a death grip, but she actually managed to cut up her pancakes!
Her art is becoming more focused and precise as well, although she does still like to make huge gestures with a lot of colour, too. Wonder where she gets that from?