Lightbulb moments

Our little daughter doesn’t seem to go a week without learning a new trick or two, and this past week was no exception. Maddi has been a busy girl, figuring out all kinds of new stuff, from things mechanical to using her toys as tools to a new word or two.

First and foremost, our wee one, who until this week absolutely refused to do any assisted walking outside of rapidly cruising along furniture and walls, and when held up by a parent would make faces and go completely limp rather than take baby steps while holding onto helping hands, has finally decided that a little assisted toddling isn’t such a bad thing. But only, it appears, when Daddy’s around to watch. Although we’re happy with any cooperation we may get, inside we are just a little worried since she can do quite a lot of damage in quite a short time without walking.

But on to even scarier things!

As you may recall, Maddi has an open-door policy and has, of late, been trying to grab doorknobs and open doors if they happen to be closed. This week, realizing that she just was not going to be tall enough to reach that pesky doorknob in a timely manner, our wee one took things into her own hands (and feet). Last Saturday, she dragged her Drop ‘N’ Roar Dinosaur (which, as she still preferred Mommy to put the balls in the chutes, was of little use anyway) over to the door and then proceeded to climb up it. Unluckily for her, but luckily for the rest of the household, the toy was a bit too slippery and she was unable to make it atop Dino and reach the doorknob. But, much like the door-opening velociraptors in Jurassic Park, she’s tenacious and she’s (cue scary music) getting smarter. Pretty soon she’ll be opening those doors and terrorizing our kitchen.

Speaking of the dinosaur, as of today she’s finally putting the balls in the chutes. I’m not sure what took her so long, but if she’s in the mood, she’ll do it on command now. Mostly, though, she still uses the dinosaur as a makeshift walker, pushing it around her room as she gleefully walks upright. There’s a good 10 minutes a day when Maddi will actually play with her toys, but most of the time she’s too busy testing boundaries and trying to climb everything in sight.

One thing she will play with consistently, however, is a light switch. Every time we leave or enter a room, Maddi twists around to find the light switch and play with it. In fact, she’s gotten pretty proficient at turning lights off, although turning them on seems to be a little more tricky.

Back when we first brought her home, Maddi used to love staring at the lights — so much so that Chris and I worried that our little daughter would damage her eyes. She forgot about them for a few months while discovering her hands, feet and other toys, but she’s reconnected with her old “flame” and once more gazes up in adoration when I turn the light on. In fact, I’m almost sure she said “liyh” yesterday — but not quite enough to deem it an actual word. However, she knows what it means, because when we read “Goodnight Moon” she now points to the lamp when I say, “goodnight, light.”

On a related note, Maddi’s been making more progress on the word front. This week, she started saying “down” (although the couple years I lived in Pittsburgh must have rubbed off, because she pronounces it “dahn”), she’s said “moo” twice in reference to her “Goodnight Moon” book, she’s begun calling “Nana” by her name, and there was also a possible instance of Maddi saying “bath” as she was being carried to the tub (but the water was running loudly and we will never know for sure!). You may recall that last week I said she was due for an animal-related word. Well, it’s not technically a word so much as an animal sound, but Maddi now says “Meow.” If she’s in a good mood and I ask her what the cat says, she says, in the sweetest high-pitched voice, “Maaaw.”

So, if you count “meow” (it’s in Webster’s as a word, so I am counting it!), Maddi now says 19 words plus a few possibles, and in the past month she’s been steadily building her vocabulary at 2 to 3 words a week.

No word on what she’ll say next, but my money’s on “light.” (And since she’s run out of cat-related words now, I’d say it’s as good a bet as any!)

And here’s a picture of Maddi at 45 weeks:

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