I've been jotting down various new quirks as they happen in a paper diary, but as Humuhumu seems to have undergone a big cognitive leap recently, it seems like a good time to make a longer update on her development.Words
She has lots of ways of referring to things that probably aren't obvious to anyone who isn't her parents. For instance:
- "Door", accompanied by pointing to a specific kitchen cupboard. She knows that her special treat-foods are kept inside, such as "Pouch" (for an Ella's Kitchen fruit smoothie pouch) and "Cake" (can be either a rice cake or an Ella's Kitchen Nibbly Finger - a sort of chewy grain bar thing).
- "Bey", which refers to the nursery rhyme "Wind the Bobbin Up". Usually she says this when she sees one of us holding our smartphones, and it means she wishes us to engage its most important function: playing YouTube videos. Today, however, she used it in a particularly devious fashion. I had just made a big bowl of popcorn, which we were sharing as a snack on the sofa. The bowl was sitting between us. She took a kernel, popped it in her mouth and then turned her big brown eyes on me. "Bey," she said. "Pull, pull, clap clap," she prompted, doing the arm motions.
I started to sing. She smiled happily. Pulling the bowl onto her lap, she turned to face the arm of the sofa, giggling and stuffing popcorn into her mouth as fast as she could.
- "Key", aka any cotton muslin square. Means "blanket", the corners of which get clutched tightly in her fist while she sucks her thumb. Probably explains why Iggle Piggle is her favourite In the Night Garden character, since he always has his "key" with him.
- "CUGGLE!" Almost invariably shouted at the top of her voice as she hurls herself bodily at you. OK, this one probably is obvious even if you're not her parents, but she screams it so enthusiastically it's not always comprehensible.
These began fairly recently, and have been coming on in leaps and bounds. My favourites include:
- "Bless you Mama (or Dada)", when we sneeze. She says it so promptly and clearly. My heart melts every time.
- "I like/don't like [insert thing here]". Said things usually fall into one of four categories: foods, apps, YouTube videos or CBeebies shows. She uses "don't like" when she has grown tired of something temporarily.
- "Night night Mama/Dada/Nani". Yes, she says good night to herself.
She loves her alphabet-based books, particularly A is for Aloha
, which was one of mine when I was a child. It has a mixture of Hawai'ian and English words along with some beautiful black-and-white photographs of Hawai'i. She requests this one by saying, "'Loha". She also loves her Brian Wildsmith-illustrated ABCs
(also ancient). Her identification of letters goes like this, depending on which book she's looking at. The ones with dashes are the ones where she can't say the word yet, e.g. canoe and elephant.
- A is for: "'loha" or "Apple"
- B is for: "Beebee" (baby) and "Boll" (ball) or "Fly" (butterfly)
- C is for: --- (canoe) or "Meow" (cat)
- D is for: "Dada" or "Fff fff" (dog - I think this is her attempt at "Woof woof")
- E is for: "Nom nom nom" (eat) or --- (elephant)
- F is for: "Suki" (friend) or *puffs out cheeks, makes popping noise* (fish)
- G is for: --- (gecko) or "Goat"
- H is for: "Hair" and "Flower" (hibiscus) or "Neigh" (horse)
- I is for: "Ipu" or --- (iguana)
- J is for: *jump* (jump) or --- (jaguar)
- K is for: *kisses the page* (kiss) or *attempt at whistle* (kettle)
- L is for: --- (lei) or "RAAAARRR" (lion)
- M is for: "Mama" and "Muumuu" or "Eee ee ee" (mouse)
- N is for: "Net" or "Nest"
- O is for: --- (octopus) or "Twit TWOO" (owl)
- P is for: --- (pineapple) or "Peacock"
After this it all goes a bit hazy, apart from "Turtle", "Unicorn" (!!!) and "Yucky".
She's also attempting to "read" more independently. I'll read her a story and then she'll take the book and flip through the pages, chattering to herself as if she's reading it, although I don't think she can yet.Television
This last week has been an exceptional one in the amount of television we've been watching, since we've both been ill and on our own some of the time too. Hence, we've discovered that we like some new CBeebies shows. We knew we liked In the Night Garden
already, as we get an episode of that on the tablet most nights before bed. But now we've added Pingu
(penguin and his baby brother), some funny little animated French thing about insects with good music called Miniscule
(slapstick adventures of a line-drawn character) and Timmy Time
(claymation sheep, younger sibling of Shaun, I think?).
We're lukewarm toward Chuggington
(animated show about train engines) and Sarah and Duck
(narrated by Roger Allam, which softens me toward it but not Humuhumu).
She also likes two I can't stand: Kate and Mim-mim
, about a little girl and her purple stuffed bunny toy that comes to life, and Waybuloo
, which I'm at a loss to describe. The former is too saccharine even for me (and I have a pretty high tolerance for cutesy) and the latter is strange and pointless and the animated characters are very uncanny valley.Tablet/apps
One again, this week has included an exceptional amount of tablet usage, and Toca Boca has managed to make me part with money for apps, something I'd resisted for years. Humuhumu's learning curve on the tablet is positively terrifying. She doesn't know how to unlock it yet ("Uh oh, locked," she says, holding it out to me), but she knows how to scroll to the screen containing her apps, to pick the ones she wants and to use 70-100% of their functionality.
She also has a technique for ensuring that she remembers how to do things within her apps. For instance, in "Pet Doctor", she will select an animal, hold out the tablet for me to show her how to cure its ailment if she can't immediately figure it out, watch me do it, and then keep going back to the same animal four or five times until she has its treatment down pat. She went from being able to "treat" one animal on her own on Tuesday to being able "treat" nine of them unassisted today. I find it fascinating, watching her absorb information and improve her fine motor control in such a methodical way.