Zoe is so proud and happy that she can talk now. At least enough that she can tell us what she wants – up, down, water, apple, cookie, etc. So we have traded the why-can’t-you-understand-me tantrums for the why-aren’t-you-obeying-me tantrums. She is so totally transparent that I find her hilarious.
Our family filled my mom’s house over Christmas, and so there were cell phones resting on just about every surface. Every time she found one, she picked it up and held it to her ear and started “talking” on it. For that matter, she also “talked” on TV remotes, a wooden ostrich, and a powder compact. She likes to comb and brush her hair and mine, which she does with normal combs, a small paintbrush, wooden spoons, and that same powder compact. Little bits of wrapping paper were co-opted into use as wipes – she walked through the house wiping all the faces and knees she could reach. I love that she’s trying to make sense of her world by using items just like we do.
So I’m making reeds in my studio, and Zoe is playing with her toys and minding her own business. Things get pretty quiet and I call for her – and she pops her head back into my room and says “Ah-Po”. I see that she is carrying a toilet plunger. Briefly, I consider taking it away from her, but decide that that is far too much work and trauma for an item that’s not inherently harmful.
What do you have there, Sweetie?
Is it an apple?
Do you see an apple?
She proceeds to carry it around for quite a while, repeating the same word, which I am not even close to understanding until she comes up and pats my oboe on its stand and says “Ah-Po”. AHA! Big girls have oboes, and play with them! I can’t think of any item we own that looks more like an oboe than a toilet plunger, honestly. What an inventive baby!
* photo credit Nathan Barber