Somewhere in Iowa we stopped at a shopping mall to get food and unwind for a while. Sophie was having a grand time running around screaming, and Micah was too.
One of the things we have been working on with Micah is tying his shoes. They come untied a lot, so he gets lots of practice (yes, we have him double knot the bows, and they still come undone somehow).
In this photo (taken on my camera phone) you can see Sophie getting distracted just after we asked her to fold her arms. This is a relatively new trick (the folding of the arms, not the getting distracted) that nobody really expected her to do. She just started doing it all on her own. It’s super cute though, and now she does it on command all the time, or even just when we say, “OK, time for a prayer.”
Micah’s getting better about tying his shoes, but we still have a long way to go on that one. The first few attempts were very frustrating for everyone, and they lasted hours. These days it depends on how interested he is in doing it, but it will only take him anywhere from an hour to ten minutes to tie both shoes.
Ever since I got back from training Sophie has been playing a game with me that she came up with all on her own (and she thinks it’s hilarious). When I initially returned she saw me and knew that I was the “dad” guy she talked to on the computer. She called me “Dad” or “Dada” for a couple of days, then one day she looked at me and thought about it before deciding to call me “mom” instead (very deliberately). The way she said it I knew she was playing around, so I said, “No, not mom. Dad,” with a smile on my face.
“Mom?” She persisted.
“No, dad.” We were both smiling and her posture indicated excited anticipation.
“Mom?” She just kept repeating it every time I corrected her.
This went on for a little longer than I would have thought it would, then one time I said, “No, silly. I’m dad.” With that she let out the silliest and most mischievous little laugh you ever heard and nodded her head.
“Dad,” she said decidedly.
“Dad-deeeee.” She repeated (kind of).
Now, any time she feels like playing the game, she looks at me and says, “mom?” Sometimes the game lasts a few seconds, other times she drags it on for most of the afternoon. Sometimes strangers feel bad for the father whose daughter doesn’t know how to say, “dad,” so they try to console me. “It’s ok, some children don’t distinguish well between their mother and father with words, but she knows you’re her daddy.”
I just smile and let them think what they like. My daughter knows exactly what to call me, and she knows how to play too. Sometimes, if I really want to get a good giggle out of her, all I have to do is start calling her “mom” or “Micah.” That really gets her going. I never worry about her not knowing who I am though. She knows who I am. Sometimes she even cries when I leave the room (which both breaks my heart and gives me a warm feeling inside at the same time) or begs for me to pick her up.
And you should hear her manners! “Peeeeeeeeez” and “dank-oo” can be heard very clearly these days (though “please” usually comes out with a “t” instead of a “p”). Sometimes she forgets her manners though, and in that case she just says, “mo?” (more) over and over again until you make her say please.
We’ve got more photos on the camera, but the camera is out in the car and I don’t feel like going to get it. Tomorrow we’re going to a free zoo in Chicago and we’ll take a lot more photos there. Look for updates to the photo album tomorrow evening or sometime Sunday. Of course, when I update I’ll try to post here, but sometimes all I get around to doing is uploading the stuff and going to bed. We don’t ever drive too late (most days we stop before five in the afternoon), but that doesn’t keep us from having long days.