Yesterday, the Nugget made up another song in the car. It went like this:
"Purple plane, a different plane. We ride plane 'gether. Plane go fast, different plane. Uncle J, on a plane. Oooo, a different plane."
The Nugget is growing more and more interested in craft projects. He loves seeing colors swirl on the paper. His art box so far includes: finger paints, tempera paints with brushes, stamps, stickers, crayons, markers (so far I have only been brave enough to do the Color Wonder ones and yellow highlighters), pencils, sidewalk chalk, children's scissors, glue sticks, and Play-Doh. Here he is pictured with a new Play-Doh gadget, a special gift from Nucas and Dawa's mom (those are Nugget-given nicknames, my friend did not really name her kids Nucas and Dawa - though you never know, it is 2010). I love seeing his concentration and pride in his finished projects. And I have to admit, finally seeing him sit (relatively) still for 10+ minutes at a time is highly gratifying.
I encourage the Nugget to look for different objects and ask him questions while we are reading books together. It interrupts the storyline, but it is always an interesting window into his mind. I get feedback on how much of the story he is understanding, he astounds me with new words I didn't know he knew, and he often makes up his own tangents to go along with the story. Today we were reading, "How are you Peeling?" and he told me that the apples were going to play soccer, and the peppers were going to play football.
This morning, the Nugget said, "Footsie is sad. Other footsie is sad." He grabbed his ankles, one at a time, and gently pressed the soles of his feet up to his cheeks for a snuggle. He closed his eyes and sighed peacefully, like a yoga guru. Then he looked at me seriously and said, "Footsies all better now." Then he grabbed the lotion tube out of the diaper caddy and spun it around, pronouncing, "Lotion is dancing!"
The Nugget's friend S came over for playdate this week. S is 5 months younger than the Nugget. He is mostly babbling, with lots of signs and a few understandable words. The more I've witnessed the Nugget interacting with other children, the more I am convinced that the verbal kids really can and do understand the preverbal ones. I saw it from the other side, when the Nugget was babbling and other children would ask him questions and listen thoughtfully to his indecipherable coos. This time, I got to hear S sweetly grunting and the Nugget responding in plain English, their little feet making tracks in the snow as they went out on an adventure together. What appeared a language barrier to us adults was nothing to them. They understood each other. "Look, they're like little cavemen!", S's mom exclaimed. I wish I'd had either camera with me, but the dash into the house surely would have killed the moment. I felt immeasurably blessed to have eavesdropped on their conversation, as fleeting as the tracks they left in the snow.