Saturday, June 11, 2011

Toddler Play

Oliver's always been clever and has always wanted to figure out how things work. He sees something done once and later has to mimic it. Last week, he saw me using a screw driver to remove the hand railing in our hallway. He took said screwdriver and started trying to stick it in anything that looked like a screw (sometimes, he put it to a screw, but other times, he put it to key holes on door knobs).

I feel like this intelligence is growing with leaps and bounds these days. He can understand nearly everything I tell him or ask him. If I have to get in the oven, he walks to the hallway and stands there, out of harm's way. He started saying some letters, like "F," that I'd never focused on trying to teach him. It makes me happy because it must mean he's listening when we read his ABC book.

Earlier today, he was holding two Lego men, and he announced to me, "Two!" I was floored and so excited. Oliver has understood the concept of one for a while, but I'd been trying to teach him what two means. Anytime he has two of something, I say, "You have two ducks!" or "You have two cookies!" I'll count them for him, "One, two!"

Anyway, I was so excited about the Legos. He got excited that I was excited, and he continued walking around his room, holding his Lego men, saying, "Two," over and over again. Then he grabbed a third and looked at me. I told him, "You have three." He repeated the word, "Two." I laid them out for him and counted, "One, two, three!" So he counted them and said, "Two, two, two." OK, so maybe he didn't completely get the concept of numbers for counting, but it was cute watching him mimic my counting.Oliver's pretend play is constantly growing and getting more extensive. He likes to pretend to sleep, which involves crawling into our bed, tucking himself in, and (with his eyes open) he snores, "Shhhhhh." He also tucks his animals into our bed sometimes. He puts Froggy, Monkey and Panda into his rocking chair and rocks them (usually, he wants me to sing to them, too). He kisses them and has us kiss them, and he has them kiss each other (he makes the kissing sounds for them). His favorite kissing game is playing with this jack-in-the-box (the one where the "Jack" is actually a bear). He has the bear pop out, and then he has his stuffed animals kiss the bear. Oliver also has his animals pretend to eat his Lego blocks.

His favorite thing to play these days is definitely Legos. Multiple times a day, he goes upstairs to build a Lego tower with me. We pour all the blocks onto the floor, and we piece them together. Oliver does an amazing job snapping Lego blocks together and putting them on the tower platform that I build. He sometimes needs my help, but he otherwise does it completely by himself. Usually, he builds straight up, but not always. When it gets too tall, he'll start another column, or he'll ask me to put his pieces on top. Recently, he's started insisting that we use every single piece on the tower, even the car pieces. When we're all done, we get in a pretend fight over who is going to knock the Lego tower over ("You do it!" "No, you!"). Usually, I end up knocking it over, and then we break apart all the pieces and put them away.

It's really exciting for me that Oliver's play is getting more intricate. I love that he's just starting to be able to play with us. This includes playing a rudimentary form of catch. He throws the kickball to us (kind of), and we toss it back lightly to him. He holds his arms out, and he occasionally catches it. Rinse and repeat.

He also enjoys bubbles and is able to blow bubbles himself. Unfortunately, he also really enjoys spilling and pouring these days, so bubbles usually end up all over our sidewalk. Inside, he takes his drinking glasses (since he doesn't typically use a sippy cup) and pours them into things and onto the floor. I have found milk poured into things a day later, after it's started stinking! Day-old milk smells so badly. All I'm saying is, if you come over to our house, and it stinks... blame Oliver!

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