Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the games we play

Over the past month or so we've seen this huge developmental change in Natalie--she is now initiating games and interacting in play on a whole new level. She's always been a fan of peek-a-boo and any kind of repetition game, but now she is taking the lead during playtime, and she has a much better understanding of games that we try to play with her.

Take, for example, her favorite peek-a-boo. It used to be us initiating it, ducking around corners and hiding behind blankets. Now? Well, now, it's the budgie doing the hiding and peeking. She will cover her face in her towel after her bath and whip it off with a big grin and wait expectantly for us to shout "Peek-a-boo!" She plays peek-a-boo with her reflection in the mirror; will scurry around a corner to hide and wait for us; lifts and closes the little window in her play house, pressing her face up against the opening each time she lifts it up; and she especially loves to play by staking out a spot on one side of her playroom door while an adult stays on the other side--she swings the door open and shut over and over, each time waiting with a big grin when we're waiting expectantly as the door opens.

She also loves taking things in and out of her various buckets and toy boxes. This must be typical baby behavior--check out this adorable video of her cousin Carly doing the same thing! Natalie will lean so far into her toy box to pull things out that her feet literally come up off the floor and she is suspended, bent double over her pile of toys. Just in the past few weeks she's started to enjoy putting things back IN to things like her shape sorter, drum set, and play cookpot. She'll dump everything out, and then carefully place things back in where they belong.

Our little bear has also developed a fondness for "sharing," passing toys or towels or jars of spices to one of us, and bursting into a fit of giggles every time we say "Thank-you!"

The most fun part of playing with her these days is that she just seems to understand how to play so much more. She's definitely understanding more of the things we say to her--things like "No," "Give that to me," and "Come here." The most hilarious thing she understands, though, is a game that my mom started playing with her involving her little Cabbage Patch doll, "Jaylene." Yes, that's the name that came on the doll's birth certificate. Hilarious, no? Well, anyway, Jaylene was a favorite Christmas gift from my Aunt Barbara that Natalie loves to drag around by the hair and toss in and out of her toy box. We play a lot of peek-a-boo with Jaylene, and, lately, my mom started playing a game where she moves Jaylene somewhere in the room and asks Natalie, "Where's Jaylene?!" and Natalie will scurry around to retrieve the doll. You know, like fetch. But with a human baby. And a doll. Here's the video.

That's right. Not only is my kid hilarious & cute, but I'm quite sure she's a play room genius. Or, at least as smart as a small dog.

She's also still afflicted with a case of baboon-butt, which does seem to be getting better as today goes on. I'm hoping for full recovery in the next day or two.

1 comment:

  1. aww..I sooo want to get them together to play it would be sooo funny!!! Im pretty sure carly has a hoarding problem since she has done nothing but sort through toys, selecting the best ones for the ball pit.She even course starts over when I pick them all up haha They are at such a fun age..I always wish I could pause and stop time and keep her at this stage..but I know its only going to get better and much more interesting!