So my week of gratitude idea flopped royally: the husband was gone most of the week, the boys and I all got sick at various times, and I cleaned the house a LOT because I decided to host Thanksgiving for 8 adults, 4 kids, and 3 babies under 1. So, umm, while I was and am thankful for much, you will just have to infer most of it.
I can, however, tell you that today I am thankful for Toddler J and his ever increasing ability to speak. I am not a good mother to babies, I have decided. I don't talk to them enough, don't stimulate their growing minds with quality offerings, don't feed them literally and figuratively with choice morsels, etc., etc., etc. BUT, while I may still not be a particularly good mother, I am a much happier mother with a talking toddler. Reason, while still in its early stages, has finally returned to my house, and we are all the better for it. While J's pronunciation is, shall we say, quixotic, his ability to express himself and articulate, more or less, his needs, has improved our interactions dramatically. Talking to someone WHO CAN TALK BACK and, just as important, wants to talk back, really is the bee's knees, my friends, whereas babbling on to a baby just made me crazy. As a bonus, now I am sure that Baby E is getting much more exposure to language than his brother before him (though that lack of exposure certainly doesn't seem to have stymied him much after all). So, some recent gems...
After dinner at Chick-Fil-A: "My balloon is going to get out of my car and say 'How dark it is!'"
While trying to get said balloon on his own at the counter: "I was hanging on a big shelf and no one would hear me."
After I asked him why he couldn't do something one day: "It was too big a job for one little boy."
On a warmish day after a cold spell: "This is the hottest day in five years!"
When explaining himself: "I are freezing so I needed just one candy."
A frequent plaintive request involving his younger brother: "Can we read on the couch? And you make E. not grab the book?"
While looking over my shoulder at a recipe in a women's magazine: "We need to make these cookies with candy in them. I think you will like them a lot."
After finding a pad of paper on which I often write shopping lists, while bustling around the room: "Where is the library? Where are the houses? We need to buy all these numbers."
Later, while still carrying that same pad of paper: "On my shopping list I have food: oranges and eggs and food. I need to go to the dollar store."
As you can see, one of the results of this increase in language has been a little light shining on some of my own habits, which is entertaining, if a tad frightening. For example, J has taken to telling E "You're driving me NUTS" whenever E tries to swipe a toy. Hmmm, I wonder where he heard that? J also expresses himself VERY dramatically. When something isn't operating correctly, he moans "This is NEVER EVER going to work." When he is told to apologize for misbehaving, he says emphatically "I am going to NEVER do that again!" And he begins almost any story by telling you the bad part first, as in his description of a trip to a dinosaur museum. Even now, a month later, when telling the tale, he begins "And I didn't want to leave! But we had to go and I didn't WANT to! And we saw a T-rex with big teeth and a long tail and funny ears and there was a skeleton and it was big and there was a picture of a stegosaurus and a head of a dinosaur I did not know very well....etc." AND, perhaps most telling of all, J never met a story he didn't want to tell, again and again, ad infinitum. Does any of this remind you of anyone???