(This post was begun on October 27th and not finished until November 10th. I think that this says a lot about our lives right now!)
There are so many cute things that Lea says and does, and we don't want to forget any of them. (What we do want to forget is the fact that she slept not at all last night, and instead kept popping her eyes open, calling out for one or another of us, and wreaked havoc with our already-fragile circadian rhythms. But that is a [sob] story for some other time).
Anyway, Lea has been super cute lately. Her vocabulary is phenomenal and she is speaking in complex sentences [most of them four to six words in length; she also follows multi-part directions really well. At least when she wants to ;-)].
She is a huge tease. When I come in to wake up Hallie in the morning, I often use Lea as my alarm clock. I'll say to Lea, "Lea, tickle Hallie!" And Lea will sidle over to Hallie (or leap frog over Sharon to get to Hallie) and start ticking her and will say "tickle tickle." She'll do the same thing to Sharon and Zen (who, being a cat, is mostly perplexed by this creature that used to be his size and now can take him down in a wrestling match).
But Lea enjoys being teased as much as she loves teasing. Her latest shtick is to encourage me to smooch or tickle her. She'll offer me her neck and exclaim "moochie on the NE--CK". The second I start smooching her, she'll giggle and yell: "Hey, stop it!" If I stop bugging her, she'll present her neck or belly to me, and ask for tickling, and then once more yell "Hey, stop it!" And if, ultimately, I comply with her request and cease and desist once and for all, she will start tickling herself and yell, "Hey, stop it!" She is a very odd creature.
I don't have a picture of Lea smooching us, but I do have one of her smooching the Mama Bear at Three Bears Park, which is often where I take her after school on Fridays:
The other thing she's doing these days is letting us know that she's pooped by saying (logically enough): "I POOPED". She'll then lay herself down on her changing pad, sometimes after grabbing a diaper, and present herself for a change.
Once I open up her diaper, she'll look up at me and say, "P-U, I stink!" I asked one of her teachers, Miss R., whether she ever does this at school, but she never does. So I guess it's a cuteness she reserves for us.
Speaking of school, Sharon just met with Miss R. for parent/teacher conferences. Apparently, Lea is the most verbal kid in her class and is someone who is trying to get all the other kids to talk (with some success). She's consistently using two -to-three word sentences and her goal for the next few months is to begin using three-to-four word ones. [To put this into some perspective: this was Hallie's goal last year (when she was three turning four). So it startled us a bit that this would be a goal for a kid who was not yet two.]
Lea also initiates play with her peers and adults and is more social than her mates. That's another way in which she is decidedly un-Hallie like.
But our two girls are very similar in a lot of important ways:
•Both love music and both know the words to more songs that I can believe. Both like to sing and hum all day long and are very enamored of learning the proper choreography/hand motions to the songs that they sing.
•Both are really into letters and numbers and were early alphabet-reciters and counters. We have no idea whether Lea can recognize letters yet (Hallie could at 20 months corrected) and we don't really care. We know that they both love words and books and that this will translate on its own into loving reading (this is something that Hallie already is working on).
•Both of the girls are really into art these days. Lea has taken the lead on this one: she's always loved coloring with crayons and markers (and happily doesn't mind if these markers are the Color Wonder variety). But lately Hallie is into real coloring, too. I suspect that she is finding it easier to hold her crayons and markers and not nearly as painful to draw as it used to be.
Lea does have a bit of a disadvantage in terms of height, though. This has not stopped her. She devised a workaround:
Lea figured out that, if you move the puzzle cube out just a bit, you can create the most delightful step stool. And if you get bored with your artwork, you can always dump those puzzle pieces all over the floor.
•Both kids are into jumping, a lot. Lea has long been a bit jealous of Hallie because her older sister can actually clear the floor. So Lea has been working on skill-building. She can now clear the floor and jump in place a bit. But that's not good enough for her; it's much more fun to jump off of something. Here she's working on jumping off of the aforementioned Three Bear statue:
•Both are chronically cute. Incurably so, really.
To prove the point, I promise to (eventually) upload some Hallowe'en pictures to the blog and to do so before Thanksgiving!