learning

Chair Seems a Bit High

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OK – Now what?
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Is Maddie Keeping her Communication Skills Under Wraps?

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I have no idea what you are talking about! Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink

Perhaps Maddie has a little too much on her plate right now to bother with verbal communication. She’s been taking baby steps, climbing stairs and working very hard on her non-verbal communication skills. As if that weren’t enough, she got vaccinations in three of her four major limbs on Friday. She took the shots like a champ, but was extra crispy off and on all day Saturday.

But even with that little added flavor, Maddie is ratcheting up her communication skills – even if she is not bothering to use any words yet. Our little girl is becoming quite proficient at showing us what she wants and when she wants it.

I’m also becoming suspicious of exactly how much English she already understands. Maddie is beginning to demonstrate a level of reaction to language that goes beyond inflection and tone of voice. That’s not to say that the baby is complying with parental requests, it’s just becoming apparent that she knows what we are asking and is choosing to ignore us.

She is also becoming more and more proficient at entertaining the people around her. She inherently knows the tricks to get people stop, take notice and smile at her. Even when we were leaving the pediatrician’s office on Friday, the doctor rushed out so she could say goodbye to Maddie before she left.

So for now, we are absolutely enjoying the games of communication cat and mouse with the baby. But it seems like she is ready to break down and start speaking to us at any moment.

Empty Water Bottle Tops Baby’s Favorite Toy List

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Double the trouble!

We aren’t really the type of parents that pack the house full of toys for our six-month-old daughter Maddie. However, we did go on a little shopping trip this weekend looking for toys that would hold Maddie’s interest and maybe even help her sit up.

Besides Maddie’s tummy time mats, we have the bouncy chair with a full compliment of flashing lights, exotic birds and monkeys. We have a juicy little car dashboard that sports some over-exuberant domesticated animals. It also has a full compliment of sounds including a revving engine, a car horn that speaks Spanish and a gearshift that lets you fry the transmission by screeching your tires.

We even have a “Wonders of the Sea” boom box called the Tote-a-Tune Fishbowl! What’s not to love about this bad boy with its light-up bubbles, dirty little invertebrates, clicking clownfish and ten show-stopping tunes?

My personal favorite is our Mozart Cube that plays a variety of tunes, but you get to choose the instruments. Maddie is just fine with that one. Heck, to one degree or another, she likes them all.

But only one of them really does the trick for her. It’s actually pretty high on her Dad’s list as well. It’s the old washed up and empty water bottle. For anyone who has ever crunched a water bottle, you know what a satisfying crinkling and crunching noise it produces.

The very first time I crunched one in front of Maddie, she was hooked. Forget the fishbowl and let the monkeys wait, crushing and re-crushing a water bottle is an interesting process that you really have to take your time with.

Like Will Ferrell said in the movie Stepbrothers, “SO MANY ACTIVITIES!”

You can whack the counter with the empty bottle, fire it off the kitchen counter and even hit yourself in the headband with it. Just yesterday, Maddie helped me with the dishes by smacking a cup right into the sink with it. (GOAL!)

And the fun doesn’t stop there, the bottle makes a terrific snack, is great for teething and can even be used to inflict blunt force trauma against her father. It’s been almost two months now and the bottle is still Maddie’s top banana!

Some baby’s get hooked on blankets and cute little stuffed toys, but Maddie never stops thinking about the environment. She is cleaning up the planet by keeping plastic bottles out of the landfills and littered around our kitchen instead. Way to go Maddie!