Toddler 1, Presumably-intelligent grownups 0

So a few days ago, Nora hit her nanny. This happens occasionally and we say it makes us sad and she apologizes, usually right away (one time she held out for a day and then gave me a lovely apology and hug the next day). But not this time. She just did not want to apologize, and so E told her she wasn’t going to get any books at bedtime but go straight to crib. Plus no videos. Fine, said Nora, and to bed she went, basically unfazed. The next day there were a number of discussions about no books and videos and apologizing, and though she clearly would have liked her usual books and so on, she was perfectly willing to do without to avoid apologizing. She went to bed without them completely unfazed, and bedtime took about 5 minutes (usually it’s an hour-long process).

At that point, E and I had a war conference. We were clearly losing the standoff, and we had no desire to go another day without books (though no videos was kind of nice). We of course make a big effort to be consistent — if we name some consequences, then we have to follow through. So we had to find some way to break the standoff without appearing to give in. E’s original idea was “well I’m just going to tell her she HAS to apologize” but then I pointed out that we have no way of MAKING Nora do it if she refuses. Finally, we came up with a face-saving compromise. And so this morning, Nora made a card (with help!) that said “I AM SORRY!”, colored it in and decorated it with stickers. When Anna came in, Nora gave her a big hug and gave her the card and then we got to praise her for apologizing and give her the books and videos back.

Nora phrases

Nora’s saying way too much stuff to try and track it all any more, but here are some of her phrases.

Nona dood it! or Nona! or self!, all various ways of saying “I want to do it, not you” and often accompanied by crabs. And yes, she calls herself “Nona” and she says “dood” for “do”, which we all do now. E actually told someone at work “no, YOU dood it” when asked to do something one day.

Get out and get up. Get out is what she says in the morning when she wants out of her crib, but also one of her ways of saying she’s tired of being inside and wants to go on an outing. Also, outside! shoes on! Get out also means “get out of my chair I want to read books” (often preceded by self!). Get up is for when you’re comfortable sitting or lying down and Nora wants to go outside.

Peas (please). Rarely offered without prompting, but if she makes a demand and you say “what do you say?” or “what’s the magic word?” she’ll happily repeat the demand with peas on the end.

Beep-beep slide. Specifically refers to playing with her cars where she rolls them down a ramp (or has you dood it), but it’s usually the first thing she says once she’s out of the crib and wants to play in general.

Butt-butt. Exactly what it sounds like. Butts are funny.

Big bite. “I don’t want my food in little pieces, I want a big piece I can gnaw on.” Watching a toddler voraciously eat an entire peach is hilarious.

Come with me, which she says when she wants to come with you.

Busty out! When she wants to be busted out of her high chair or booster seat. Also Dumpy out!, when she dumps all her toys out of her toy box. She likes to narrate what she’s doing as she does it.

Nora language facts

– Her word for glasses is “dadas”, because daddy wears glasses
– If you point at a picture of a bird and say “what is this?” she says “birdie”. If you point at two birds and say “what are these?” she says “birdies”. or more like “birdie.. sss”. She also sometimes says “two!” when she has two of something.
– Her words for cat include cat, kittycat, kitcat, meow meow, and baba
– She’s started saying please (“peas”) and asking for help (“hep”)
– She loves cars (“beep beeps”) and talks about them all the time. she also knows about “bus”
– She also loves furniture, all of which is known as “chair”
– She’s started saying “fish” and “sushi”
– She sometimes calls herself “Nona” (or says it when we say “Nora” at least)
– When she wants to open a container she says “pop” because mommy likes to “pop the top”

Nora’s Cart

Like a cat, Nora often enjoys bits of paper and cardboard boxes more than toys you actually buy. When she was really enjoying being pushed around in a cardboard box a couple months ago, I had the idea of making her a little cart she could ride around in or put her stuffed animals or other toys in. I designed it so that the bottom lifts out, so she can also stand in it and push it around, like a walker (though I need to add a high handlebar or something to make that work better). I think it might need some racing stripes, a steering wheel, and a bicycle bell. Also, thanks to K for teaching me proper sanding technique.

Nora's cart

Words Nora Says

apple (“bapple”), baba (her name for our cats), baby, ball, balloon, beads (“bee”), bear, beaver, beebo (bellybutton; it’s from a book), berry (also “bee”), boob (“boo”), bottle (“bobble”), bye, cat (“tat”), cracker, dada, diaper, dirty, doggy (“doddy”), door, foot, feet (they mean the same), giraffe (“faf”), hair, happy (“bappy”), hat, hi, hot (a lot like hat), kittycat (“tittytat”), meow meow, mommy, night night (“nigh-nigh”), no, noni (what she calls her little lion blanket), pear, water.

I know I’m forgetting some. she also recognizes some words (like dance, hidey hole, or book) that she can’t say. sometimes she’ll use a word if you teach it to her but won’t necessarily keep using it.

Nora Words

A new word for Nora is “uh-oh” which, to her, means “I just deliberately threw this thing on the floor”. E is trying to teach her that you can’t say uh-oh when it’s on purpose, but to little effect. Nora also likes to signify she is done eating by throwing things onto the floor. She will throw one thing, and if you don’t get the message she will look at you while deliberately throwing another thing, and another, and another. This is infuriating. It’s cute when she says “uh-oh” while doing it though. Sort of.

She’s been saying “night night” (pronounced “nigh-nigh”) more too, when she’s ready to go to sleep. I wasn’t sure she really knew what it meant, but she has a few times now said it and then gone to sleep pretty readily (usually there’s a few minutes of crying), so maybe she does.

She hasn’t been saying “bear” that much but the stuffed beaver has become her favorite toy (arguably her favorite person) and she now says “beaver” (pronounced “bee-ber”) fairly often. Sort of like she starts chanting “mommy” or “daddy” when one of us isn’t there, she will start chanting “beaver”, like in the car. “kittycat” has become “cat” (pronounced “tat”) and she will often say it when they come into the room or while pointing at them. Funny, she points herself but usually doesn’t understand when we do it — she just looks at our fingers.

I forgot a big word she understands: dance. She likes to dance to music a lot, and if you ask her to “do her dance” she’s almost guaranteed to do it.

Nora Words

“Hi” is definitely her favorite word right now. She says it when she wakes up, she says it when we come home, to people in stores, and just randomly. Maybe the best though is that she says it to her stuffed animals. She’s only really just noticed them, and she will say HI and then crawl over and give them a hug. Her favorites are beaver and polar bear, and she also just started saying “beaver” and “bear” yesterday. She’s also started on “butterfly” – several of her favorite books have butterflies in them, and E just hung a butterfly mobile from her ceiling. Oh, and “kittycat” has made a big return this week.

Nora Words

A while ago, Nora came out with “kittycat” but she only said it for a week or so and then returned to her cat shriek and a few of her non-english words (mostly “abu” which she’s mostly stopped saying; guess we’ll never know what it meant). In the last couple of weeks though she’s started building up a vocabulary.

Stuff she says:
– mommy (or mama). I think this was her first after kittycat. mommy is mostly associated with E, though sometimes it’s a little random. the cutest thing is if I’m with her and E is in another room, nora will keep saying mommy.
– daddy (or dada). same with mommy, it’s mostly about me but sometimes a little random.
– baby (or babby or beebee). she doesn’t seem to be able to make the sounds in nora, but she’s saying baby a lot.
– hi. she actually does say this sometimes when you come into the house or into the room.
– night-night (really more ni-ni). this is the newest.

Stuff she understands:
– all done. this usually involves a sort of jazz-hands thing on our part and a head shake (not sure why the hand shake is all done) on nora’s part, and always happens at the end of meals.
– up. if you say up, she’ll make the up gesture (basically raise the roof) and then you have to pick her up.
– book. she’ll go to her book shelf and start pulling things out and throwing them on the floor.
– hug. if you’re lucky she’ll give you a hug, where she takes a 3-second break from her constant activity to lean her head on you and maybe pat you on the shoulder.

Nora’s Menu

I wrote this in september and somehow didn’t post it:

She’ll be nine months in three more days. She’s currently eating: chicken, cheese (extra sharp cheddar), beans, zucchini, green beans, avocado, broccoli, sweet potato, plums, pluots, peaches, prunes, cheerios, yogurt, carrots, tomatoes. She’ll play with small pieces of stuff like cheerios, chicken, and cheese (one-finger method; I’ve tried showing her opposable thumbs but she’s not interested) while you shovel the mashed stuff into her mouth. She usually isn’t interested at first and will block but will eventually accept some food, if you start with something she likes (like vanilla yogurt, right now) and keep her occupied. Every meal takes at least an hour.