Monday, July 07, 2008

Pebbles at 17 Months: Easy Rider

Pebbles turned 17 months today, in the midst of all kinds of developmental fireworks (get it, Independence Day, fireworks, heh?).

She is now repeating unfamiliar words after we say them. She even pointed to Nutmeg's friend today and said his name after hearing us say it a few times. One of the latest words she uses spontaneously is "ride." As in, she sees a stroller, her car seat, a riding toy, and insists, "Rye, rye!"

That word surprised me. I think it's because the vast majority of Nutmeg's first words were nouns. I'm under the impression that boys say verbs first, girls say nouns. But this little girl, well, she was born to ride. And run. And go down the big kid's slide without help.

Another cute and very wise thing she does now: When she sees Nutmeg coming at her, she adapts a defensive posture, widening her stance and even sitting down if she sees fit.

Nutmeg, I'm sad to report, has not yet mastered the idea of being gentle with someone so much smaller than her. Don't get me wrong, Nutmeg can pour on the sister love and can be a big help, retrieving a dropped cup in the car for her sister, letting me know if the baby's asleep or awake back there. But the kid also has a lot of aggression in her, and she has one handy target.

But back to Pebbles. She has developed an interest in toileting, watching and chattering when she sees Nutmeg use the potty. She was also fascinated to see Nutmeg use a children's potty when we went up to the cabin recently, but she ran right away when we suggested she try using it herself. I think she was afraid it would flush. My plan in this regard is to get our little potty out into the backyard as soon as we return from SF. She can get used to the sight of it and maybe even try it out while she's running around naked. The only problem will be keeping Nutmeg, who has always loved a good potty, from using it too often. Sure, that would be good for Pebbles to see, but cleaning out potties is no fun.

Why do I keep ending up back in Nutmegville?

Oh yeah, here's some more stuff new to Pebbles this month: Playing with dolls. She did a little of this before, but this month saw her laying a doll down to sleep, kissing it noisily, saying "nigh-nigh," feeding a sippy cup and covering the doll with a blanket. One day I saw her put her doll on her rocking horse for a ride. Sweet.

Finally, we have started giving Pebbles short time outs. It's necessary because she gets really naughty, doing things like ripping off our glasses and laughing gleefully, or smacking people in the face. I can't imagine where she would learn behavior like that. This is how a time out works for her: I put her behind a door or a gate, whatever's handy, and turn my back on her for about a minute. It drives her crazy, so I can only hope it will have an impact, if she ever figures out the connection between her behavior and the time out. I also sometimes just place her on the floor if she is on my lap when she misbehaves. But today I tried that while sitting on the couch reading to the girls, and damned if Pebbles didn't scale the couch and my body to get right back on my lap in seconds flat.

I also turned around twice yesterday to find that she had climbed INTO her high chair. Not that she can climb down again. And I've noticed her little feet trying to find purchase on the crib rails as well.

Fasten your seatbelts.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Oh my goodness...could she BE any cuter?? Her hair has gotten so long since the last time we saw you all!

I am a firm believer in time outs as well. Grace was right around Pebbles' age when I started using them with her, and they helped us get rid of swatting and biting and other such misbehavior. Now that she's a bit older, even threatening a time out usually sets her straight. Some people (Grace's day care teachers) don't believe in them, but I have found that they work well, as long as they are short enough that the kid remembers why they are in time out. :-)