December 5th, 2003

5 Dec 2003, by

Oh the things I could tell you about Sophia! I’m afraid I won’t be able to remember all the memorable things she’s done in the past couple of months since I’ve done a really thorough entry on her. She is growing so much, so quickly. Most noticeably, she is taller. Everyone says so. She talks all the time, about all sorts of things. She’s still fast-mapping words, adopting the ones we tell her instantly, effortlessly and without the repetition and reinforcement that was required when she was younger. More astonishingly, she appears to be picking up whole sentences and phrases. A couple of nights ago she was in the kitchen with Kurt and myself and we were having a conversation about database structure. I said “Kurt, I have a question for you about databases.” We were talking a bit, engrossed in discussion of tables and normalization and so forth when suddenly Sophia who’d been quietly playing with her “unicorn-horse” pipes up.

“Mama. Mama. Mama.”

“Yes, Sophia.”

“I have a question for you.”

“You do? Well, what’s your question?”

A pause. She makes her thinking face. We wait.

“Sophia!” she exclaims suddenly.

It seems a small thing, that she could hear and perfectly mimic a phrase she doesn’t fully understand, but she does this all the time. We’re hip deep into the be careful what you say because she’ll parrot it phase. She’s learning nursery rhymes and songs at an astonishing rate. I couldn’t believe it the other day when I heard her singing along with “London Bridge”, saying “build it up with wood and clay, wood and clay, wood and clay”. Those were lyrics I’d more or less forgotten were in the song. I’ve no idea whether she knows what wood and clay are, or even what a bridge is, but she can sure talk and sing about them. She’s started pointing out shapes everywhere. She talks about ovals and triangles and squares the way she talked about colors a couple of months ago. She’s mastering that things don’t just have names, they also have characteristics, they can have a shape, a color and be contrasted to other things.

Last night, when I came home, Sergei got a little over excited and plowed into her. Knocked her clean over. Predictably, though she was not hurt at all, she started crying and finger pointing. Sergei had done it, she sobbed as I picked her up and carried her to the couch. I told her I knew that he’d knocked her over because I’d seen him do it, and that it probably didn’t feel too good. Kurt made Sergei down, stay and then informed Sophia that he was in time-out. She was delighted by this, and proceeded to tell him exactly why he was in time-out.

Sergei, you’re in right time-out. You don’t knock Sophia over. You’re in time-out!”

I don’t know why it’s “right time-out”. I think maybe at daycare they put people in time-out “right now” and that’s her agglomeration of what they say, but I think “right time-out” is pretty funny, myself.

After a few moments, Kurt explained that Sergei was sorry and that he was ready to be good and so he was coming out of time-out. Sophia, feeling justice had been done, told Sergei “You sorry? I sorry. Everything’s all right.”

The thing is, she tells us things. What she’s thinking, how she feels, what she likes or doesn’t like. I love that.

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