Monday, January 4, 2010

Learning it all

I've had a lot of fun objectively watching Julia grow and learn. I never thought it could actually be fun but it is. Well, I never actually thought about it at all until Julia came along.

She's mobile now and more confident in that skill so she takes off down the hall and goes in this room and that one, squats to investigate whatever catches her eye, picks it up, drops it, leaves it, and comes back later to pick it up like its brand new. She smiles when she recognizes things...Johnders still gets the biggest reception in the house. A couple of weeks ago she started pointing. At first it looked like she was just pointing for the sake of pointing or pointing at the things she recognizes. Tara and I slowly started to realize that she was also pointing at things with the intention of learning what they were. She points at photos (Aunt Susie and some of our Christmas cards are her favorites) and moving objects, she points at people and stationary objects (her pointing isn't the most accurate somethings so it is hard to tell what she's after). Sometimes I wonder if I make things too complicated. For example, she pointed at a christmas package over and over so I started telling her more details about it; "it is green" or "it has stars" or whatever instead of repeating "bag" over and over. Who knows what she's actually thinking but she definitely wants information about everything around her. Most recently she started pointing at food especially the food she wants to eat! Again, her fingers aren't too accurate so it takes a lot of quizzing from Tara and me and waiting for Julia to react.

Today I noticed her reaction being a little more insistent than before and the accompanying dialogue (from her point of view) is something like:

"No, daddy. I'm pointing at THAT one." "No, not THAT one. THAT one!"

She's working hard to get the words out but they aren't quite there yet.

Today I saw a smile of accomplishment. Julia is working on the function of a spoon. She took her spoon from me and started digging in one of the cup holders on her high chair. Made sense to me so I put some food on the spoon and guided it to her mouth and at some point while digging for "cheerios" I saw a smile come over her face. It was, to me, a smile of recognition, an "aha" smile. She made the connection between the bowl, the food, the spoon and her mouth. It is those smiles and the moments of concentration when for example she studies the door hinge and then moves the door back and forth when I am dumbstruck with wonder and pride.

Julia, keep up the good work. I'm enjoying watching you do it.