August 11, 2010

The long awaited and much anticipated Charlie update

A post so long that I included subheadings! There's no way I can keep up with everything he is learning and doing. And there are only so many ways that I can say “Charlie is the most wonderful, curious, infuriating, loving, funny creature that has ever walked the planet.” So if you are wondering what we do every day, I guess you could say that we are deep in the throes of living. And I'm soaking him up as much as I can.

I'm so glad that Charlie has an expressive imagination. Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge, and I believe it. Charlie loves to pretend. He cooks various foods and offers them to you. He hands you kittens and baboons to hold. (“Mama, do you want a kitten?”) He sometimes sees a big white dog at Granny and Granddaddy's. And every once in a while, there is a man or monster down the hall that he has to run from. He even creates words when he doesn’t know the answer to a question. He pretends to be April (Gam Gam and Papa’s cat), complete with meowing and a sweet feline expression. He also points out photos of himself on the laptop screen when it is turned off.

His memory is impressive. Perhaps I admire it so much because my brain has turned to mush in the last three years! He remembers everything we do and the people we meet. He even seems to know his way around town. For example, he knows when we are passing Nana’s house (assisted living facility). He knows the names of restaurants by their signs and always recognizes the same billboard with a four-wheeler on it when we drive to Norman. He once saw a picture of a horse and asked if it was a unicorn. Where does that stuff come from?

Talky Talky
Speaking of words, Charlie uses lots of them. Some mornings he wakes up speaking in paragraphs. It's a little jarring to keep up with at that hour. It's been neat to hear his speech improve and to hear him use sounds that he previously couldn't say. He still reverses sounds in some words like biscuit-bisick, animals-aminals, basketball-basickball, medicine-medsenen, and cinnamon-cimanen. He also uses some adult words and phrases which cracks me up because they come out of nowhere. He enjoys using words like also, forever, and many. He has also learned a curse word, and he occasionally uses it correctly and in context. I just hope that he doesn't spring it on me in public.

• He is developing his sense of humor. He understands when things are funny or silly and will laugh if you ask him a silly question.
• Still likes to dance to music. He developed a funny one-legged hopping dance while at Granny and Granddads.
• Has shown much more control with using scissors and drawing lines. He has taken a little more interest in his Kumon activity books.
• Loves to listen to music and stories in the car. Current favorite is the “ba ba oleggy song” ("Sheep" by Zoe Lewis). "Banana Phone" and "This Old Man" are often requested. Another favorite is the story "Going on a Bear Hunt."
• He gets very frustrated when he can’t do things after trying really hard. He’s such an independent little person, and he doesn’t always like it when you help.
• He loves playing the piano and his hand-me-down electric keyboard and is very entertaining to listen to.

Summer Winding Down
We’ve had a lazy summer, which with several days in the hundreds, I hope is soon drawing to a close. We spend most of our time at the house playing in the playroom or outside in the backyard. We paint and draw and Playdoh and pretend and make roads for his vehicles. He still loves to help cook, wash dishes, and do laundry. (Please don't let that stop!) He and Daddy play with the water hose in the evenings, and someone always ends up naked. (I'll let you guess which one...) We also sometimes swim in our inflatable pool that we actually all fit into. We go to the playground at the lake when it isn’t so hot. He enjoys feeding the ducks. And the library is a regular hangout. Charlie especially loves playing an Elmo game on the computers there. Surprisingly, he’s not that interested in books. Being the progeny of two voracious readers, I guess genetics only gets you so far! After much cajoling, he'll finally select a book from the shelf and ask "CD inside?" Oh well, I'll just have to keep trying...

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