...or our incredibly, increasingly interactive little girl.
Over the past couple of weeks, Hallie has become even more interactive. Which, if you know her, is quite something, since she has always been an amazingly social busy-body. But something has changed, and her personality is emerging more and more each day.
First, the TMX reference. As anyone who has been to our home knows (or as anyone whose home we have been to for a Hallie feeding session also knows), our girl has a big, big thing for Sesame Street. She eats to any one of five or six Sesame Street DVDs, she seems to follow along with the plot lines even when there is just dialogue and no songs. Since she's not much of a verbalizer, we don't know what she gets from these plots, but she breaks out in laughter, gets excited in anticipation of seeing her favorite characters pop onto the screen, and the like. Anyway, the other afternoon, Hallie was in her room playing with her books and I noticed that it was 1:30pm, so I switched on Sesame Street (we pick up four or five PBS channels in the Philly market, which is great, since it gives us multiple opportunities to watch our show). A few minutes later, it was time for Elmo's World. The first few bars of that rather famous (in our home, ubiquitous) tune sounded and Hallie gasped---literally gasped---screeched, threw her books down, and high tailed it over to the television screen. She stood there the entire time Elmo introduced his audience to dinosaurs patting the TV screen, trying to pull on Elmo's nose and making all sorts of cute screechy noises. I swear, they must have test marketed Elmo for the toddler set before releasing him to the world---they have got the perfect recipe for toddler addiction all wrapped up in a cute, red, furry monster suit.
Second, Hallie has a new obsession: her books. We had to pack away all of the books made of paper since she was ripping and eating them, but this gave her a new free reign over the considerable collection of board books that she owns. Her old favorites, Peek a Who and the Baby Faces book, are now in shreds---she has mauled them, kissed them, bent them, sat on them, and now begun to eat them. We will replace them. Meanwhile, she is a new fan of Elmo Loves You (her favorite part is kissing Elmo at the end---she is quite a kisser, our kid), Oh David (with whom she identifies strongly since she is also prone to making a mess, having a stinky butt, being a wiggle worm, standing up in her crib, refusing to open her mouth, and, last but not least, being swept up in her mommies' arms and told 'oh Hallie, we love you') and the That's not my fill-in-the-blank series of books. She also has a demonstrated soft spot for The Nose Book and Hop on Pop. She's such a big fan of her books that, like most toddlers, she insists on multiple readings of each. And she has taken to pointing to creatures (sometimes demonstrating knowledge---like when she points to Big Bird when we ask her where Big Bird is---and sometimes demonstrating a random capacity to point and separate her digits but not much else). But she has also manifested her stubborn streak where books are concerned and, rather than use the sign for more (which we are pretty sure she knows), she literally throws the book at us. She got the corner of my eye the other day, and bopped Sharon yesterday. Our next lesson (which we are certain she will also resist) is to teach her "gentle, gentle."
Third, Hallie's crush on our neighbor Karina deepens and grows more complex. Hallie and Karina both screeched and squealed with delight the last few times they were in each other's presence, and the other night, when we told Hallie to "kiss, kiss Karina," she crawled up to her, pulled to stand, put her arms around Karina and gave her a kiss. She did this again last night. Poor Karina, though. Hallie insists on chasing and following her everywhere and won't let her out of her sight. It's all very sweet to see and we wish we could even see more of Karina. We fear that Hallie is a bit bored at home and even if she's in a bad mood all day, the second she sees Karina (and our friend, Ethan, too) everything gets better.
And speaking of bad moods, let's not forget Hallie's new teeth. Way back when in May, Hallie got her first two bottom teeth. They were very cute and took a while to grow in. We thought that this was the beginning of a trend since she continued to have very extensive teething symptoms. But leave it up to Hallie to take an untraditional approach to teething. She spent all summer growing those two itty bitty bottom teeth into quite nice-sized chompers but added no new ones until this past week or so, when she acquired at least SIX more. She now has a full set of four on the bottom, a fifth on the bottom that she is working on, and four on the top. And we're pretty certain that she's working on her first year molars, too, since she always has something shoved in the back of her mouth (fingers, toys, tags, etc). Her teeth are quite sharp and we have to be increasingly vigilant about her use of them in inappropriate ways (like chewing off the cape of an Elmo beanie doll, which she did last week). We're hoping that she starts using them in more appropriate ways (like eating). Perhaps more on this later, since she has a followup appointment at St. Joseph's in Paterson with the Feeding Clinic.
Well, that's all for now. I hope to write more later or tomorrow, and maybe even get some pictures up!