the child is actually conjugating sentences now. it was the night before christmas eve. we were sitting down to a nice simple dinner of soup and ciabatta, and thomas was interacting with sparrow in the way that he is so good at: with lots of fun and patience. sparrow has recently become so good at repeating sentences verbatim. she can pretty much copy anything we say! thomas said one phrase (i forget what) and of course she repeated it exactly. then he says to her slowly, "you're a copy cat!" and she--to our great surprise--said, "i'm a copy cat!" 20 months old!
thomas said that since she is so good at repeating things, we should be teaching her Bible verses, so the first one i started her on was psalm 27:1 "the lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear?" i only started her on the first phrase--the lord is my light--and i made up little hand motions to go along with it so she would remember even better. however, she baffled me by making up her own version, which came from who knows where! i would say, "the lord is my..." and she would say "teee!" which was either a prophetic utterance from the mouth of babes and was supposed to mean "king"--which would be of course true, and quite amazing in its own way; or just an obscure association she had in her head that she could not easily override, having to do with tea, or keys, who knows. with the hand motions, she has gotten much better at saying "light!" and can say pretty much the whole first part when i say, "can you say your bible verse?" it's so sweet to hear her say "lord." then, the other day, we were all in the car, and i had her say the verse for thomas again, and to my great surprise, she said her part, and then she kept going, "my sa-va-dun" aaah! "did you hear that?" i had to make her repeat it several times, she was saying it so quietly! truly, i don't believe i challenge her enough! i mean, i had no idea she was paying attention when i would follow up with the rest of the verse, especially without hand motions, especially since salvation is such a long word, and she would have no idea what it meant! but pardon me, for she seems to be hungry for the word!
another, perhaps less edifying, activity that has popped into her life recently is the watching of movies. sometimes i get so desperate with her when i am trying to make dinner--she is definitely a child that needs a lot of external stimulation. her periods of alone play-time won't last more than 5 or 10 minutes, before she needs someone to rile up again. sigh. which is why she is going to be a big sister! well that's not the sole reason, of course. but it is a big one. i think her time of only-child-ness needs to end asap. so... i discovered baby einstein movies at the library and she is absolutely in LOVE with them. nothing else will really hold her attention, but the einstein series... she is riveted to the tv the entire half hour which allows me to get so much done. i don't know about those videos actually being helpful to their development, but honestly--it is a lifesaver and allows us to get dinner made! except every day, from morning til night, she now likes to ask me "watch einstein baby!" or "i wanna watch a movie!" yeah she can actually say that whole sentence just like that.
so we are really excited about the next little one coming along. (oh no--what will i do when i have 5 children? keep separate blogs for all of them? oops--should have thought of that before i named this one sparrowbella, eh?) anyways, on one of the occasions when she was examining my belly button (one of her favorite activities), i said, "hey sparrow--there's a little baby in there!" now every time she thinks of my belly button, she gently rubs it and says, "hi, baby!" instead of trying to bite it or poke it like she used to. "hi baby!" i asked her if she wanted a little girl baby or a little boy baby, and she said, "boy baby." she was so sure of herself. well, we'll see. i have a feeling that a girl might be easier for the relationship. but you NEVER know. i was the 2nd girl, so i have a soft spot for that place in the family. of course, if it is a boy, it takes the dang pressure off of having to have one! then maybe we can lay low for awhile before starting on our second batch. heh!
sleeping and nursing patterns are another issue (still!) i have sworn several times in moments of frustration, "i am weaning her tomorrow!" and especially being pregnant again, the nursing is a bit painful. my goal is to have her weaned and falling asleep by herself before the next baby arrives. hopefully WELL before. but i have NO IDEA HOW to do it! horrible. the first step has to be teaching her to fall asleep on her own, without nursing to sleep. i brought out the pack and play and put her in there a few times at nap time to fall asleep. it worked great two times, i was very pleased to discover that she won't actually climb out of it, even though she could. she climbs up onto the edge of it, and tries to put her feet down on the other side, but since she can't feel the ground, she doesn't let go, and then she eventually gets back in again! she only cried for 10-15 minutes or so. but: the third time she was up and screaming for at least 45 minutes, after which point i could not handle sitting there listening to it and biting my nails tensely ANYMORE! WHY wasn't it working!? i will never know. i went in there and picked up her little sobbing bundle of self and lay down with her in the big bed, where she wrapped herself tightly around me and we both fell asleep. half the nights, i manage to nurse her a little earlier in her routine, and then lie with her while she rolls around on my head and kicks my face restlessly until she finally dozes off. the next night we get home late or i am too bushed to care, or she is too bushed to stay awake, and she falls asleep on the breast again. i am too disorganized to be a parent! aaaah! blessed are the mothers whose children self-wean at the age of seven months. i have already decided: the next baby gets potty trained from birth, nursed only upon waking, taught to fall asleep by self from birth, and if there is ever a nursing strike, i am NOT going to work through it! there will be a lot more energy for playing and smiling if i am not constantly frustrated or exhausted!
side note: thomas is currently in china. he has only been gone for 2 days, but it is such a void in our lives! sparrow, of course, is not fully conscious that he is gone or why, but she misses him so much and here is the evidence: she is sleeping, but a few moments ago she woke up crying, and i ran in there to comfort her. i picked her up and laid her on my tummy and said, what's wrong, are you cold? she said, "daddy." i said, "daddy? you miss daddy?" and she said, "my daddy, my daddy," and fell back asleep in a little while. the poor dear! she is heartbreaking.