golden is hilarious and is making so much progress in life! she is fascinating to watch in her bilingual development.
her most recent favorite activity is... reading books. i was a little concerned for awhile that she would not get the literary immersion sparrow has gotten, as i didn't spend much time reading with golden so far, but still spend lots of time reading with sparrow. my other concern was the fact that i don't have that many german books, so i try to translate them as i go along, but my grammar is not the best, so i was fearing that she would get corrupted language skills. which is still a legitimate fear, but the former has been debunked. golden makes SURE we read to her now! all this started about 3 or 4 days ago, when she began this little process: she brings you a book, then she wiggles herself onto your lap, nay, she pushes into your lap with her rear and commandeers it, and she doesn't just hold the book herself. she clocks you in the face with it, as she holds it up for you to take, so you MUST engage with her; she's not going to look at the book by herself. she does this at the most inconvenient times! when you are making the bed, when you are trying to have a conversation. but how can you say no to such an insatiable, sincere little mind? so golden's reading times take place throughout the day. her favorite book is goodnight, moon, and maisy mouse books are not far behind. even the childcare worker at mops yesterday commented on golden's reading love and described her lap-wiggling to me.
speaking of childcare workers, they all seem to love her. whether she is at mops or sunday school, i always get comments that she was good, she plays happily, she entertains herself, she's a joy to be with, etc. last month i was helping clean after mops when one of the nursery workers from last year came up to me and said, "you're golden's mom, right?" "yes." "oh, how's she doing?" she gushed. "i always loved sitting with her so much; she was such a delight, such a joy..." "she's good, thank you! she just learned to walk. she is in the boat room right now, if you want to go say hi!" "oh, could i? thank you!!" and the lady walked in eagerly. how sweet!
golden's longest word to date is "ballon" (balloon, of course, pronounced "ball-ong" in german, like the french.) she looooooves balloons, like most babies, but being able to say the word is so cool, that she just says it all the time now, whenever she sees something looking remotely globe-like. she can say just "ball" too, but of course ballon is better. she pronounces it more like "blong," and it elicits such enthusiasm in her that it makes all of us laugh.
one of her favorite english words is "hide," which she pronounces like "hi," except she says it in a loud whisper, and you know in context that she is saying "hide," since she says it when she covers herself with a blanket and waits eagerly for her daddy to come find her!
speaking of which, she used to say heiss (hot in german) the same way, but in the past few days, she's been adding the ss on the end there! we got in the car today, and it was quite scorching; she whimpered a little and said "heiss." wow! so cool that she can communicate with WORDS that I taught her!
"hi" and "bye" are perfectly clear, and she says "hi" to everyone--i LOVE that innocent stage, and it grieves me when strangers don't notice or don't respond to that tender expectant, enthusiastic greeting. to be greeted by a baby is such a blessing. fresh, innocent, full of heartfelt love and goodwill toward the world.
she is getting her M-O sounds down now, and says "mao" for meow when we encounter a cat in life or in books, and she also says "mo" for moo and mond (moon). oh, yesterday she was sooooo excited to see the real moon up in the sky that she squeezed me, really squeeeeeeeezed me as i held her on the way to the car, excliming "mo! mo!" and wildly doing her moon sign.
oh, yes, the funniest thing: recently my milk hasn't been coming as fast when golden nurses. mostly due to her not nursing that often! anyways, since she has to be so patient for it, i started lifting up my palms and shrugging my shoulders, saying "wo ist die milch?" ("where is the milk?") when she lets go in frustration. so now she has made it a tradition: every time she nurses, she lets go and shrugs with her palms up, looking puzzled into my eyes! sooooooooo cute, it's a miracle i haven't eaten her all up.
she is so sweet with her sister, too, and rarely picks fights or gets contentious with sparrow. she has a little sign for "sister," where she rubs her (own) cheek. when sparrow is nearby, golden will rub her (sparrow's) hair or her face. the other day they were supposed to be settling down in their own beds for nap time. i heard giggling in the monitor, and when i came in, i found sparrow in golden's crib, under a blanket, and golden sitting on top of her and jumping up and down! too sweet to elicit punishment.