Thursday, July 31, 2014

Clara in Class

Clara has been taking a Toddler Enrichment class at our local YWHA.  She absolutely loves it.  Today when we were there waiting to go up in the elevator, she started spinning in circles and yelling: "I'm so excited."  The class itself has tons of variety for the kids while trying to teach them to play together and do things like walk in a line when traveling together, or even stand on a red dot when it's your turn to have a solo dance.  Clara absorbs it all like a sponge and bravely tries thing without her dear old mom.

Practicing counting.

Dancing in a circle.

 Dancing on the Red Dot - Clara took this task very seriously.

Solo Dance.

Climbing through a tube.

Mat Class

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Turning 2...telling jokes and making friends.

Clara recently turned two and seems more and more like a little kid and less like a baby.

Clara mugging for the camera.
She goes to sleep pretty easily.  We put her in her crib and sing her a few songs (we take requests), and then we leave.  Just in the past week she has started getting in the last word.   As Gerald or I ease out the door of her room, Clara chirpily cries out: "Bye!" or "Ok, Bye!" Same goes when we put her down for a nap.  

Gerald texted me today's naptime exchange:

Gerald: Clara, are you ready for a nap?
Clara: (happily) Yeah!
Clara lies down.
Clara: Dolly?
Gerald gets Dolly and hands it to her.
Clara: (happily) Bye, Dad!

She also continues to work on her comedy.  Clara is perfecting the art of the "Knock Knock" joke but seems to be missing some essential beats.

Cooling off.
Clara: Knock. Knock.
Me: Who's There?
Clara: Dabo.
Me: Dabo who?
Clara (ponders for while) Moooooooo.
Me: Oh my, is there a cow at the door?
Clara (happily) Yeah! (laughs merrily at her own wit)

a few seconds later, the joke is repeated...with small, comedic changes.

Clara: Knock. Knock.
Me: Who's There?
Clara: Dabo.
Me: Dabo who?
Clara (ponders for while) Oooooo. Oooooo. Ooooooo.
Me: Oh my, is there a monkey at the door?
Clara (happily) Yeah! (laughs merrily at her own wit)

I also love the fact that as she gets older she seems to realize that she has friends her own age that she likes and can play with.  Though they still often play in the style of people playing separately that happen to be in the same room together, there are increasingly spans of time where they interact and seem to appreciate each other.

Clara, Charlie and Marek.
Like the other day when the twins were over to play.  Denise and I were sitting on the couch and the 3 kids disappeared into Clara's room to play.  After they had gone silent for a little too long, we heard the door to Clara's room slam shut.  I got up to see what was up and heard laughter through the door. I walked in to find Marek smiling with a mischievous gleam in his eyes (clearly he was the door closer).  Clara was standing up in the seat of her stroller trying to figure out how to get down, and Charlie was watching it all, as many toy cars as he could carry clutched to his chest. They got to share and enjoy an experience with each other, not their parents.  The seeds of independence are growing.

Clara and Billie.
Now they also seem to be caring about each other. Last week Billie ambled over to Clara, who was playing in a pile of dirt, and they both held out their arms to be hugged.   It was so sweet watching two little girls embrace, until they overbalanced and landed in a mini toddler pile-up in the dirt. Then it was funny. Or a few days ago when Billie and Clara were watching a rainstorm out the window, their faces pressed up against the glass, and Billie reached out her arm and put it around Clara's shoulders. That easy, almost unconscious expression of affection is just so wonderful.  And then one of them pushes the other for taking away a toy and you see that they really are going to be great friends.

All four little ones met up in the park to play yesterday.  After running around willy-nilly for awhile Clara, Charlie, Marek and Billie spontaneously met up and sat together.  Now, to be clear, they were all vying for some of Clara's snack but they sat there together for fifteen minutes enjoying each other and essentially ignoring the moms.