Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What's That?

Our quart-sized observer has recently made some big leaps forward in her attempts to understand what the $#&%# is going on around this joint. Her former, "Eh? Eh? Eh?" has (almost entirely) been replaced by a chirpy little, "What's that?" and helpful pointing gesture. At various points in the past few days, she's asked about rear-view mirrors, cows, unfamiliar items in various Seismic Teat Sesame Street books, gardening tools at Target, the items in various aisles at Cub Foods, the contents of my work bag, my Mac's desktop photo of "her" chalk drawings, and my new bike helmet. God only knows what she quizzes Mama on.

She's also pushing beyond this simple empiricism by asking semi-rhetorically, "What's Julia doing?" whenever she does pretty much anything. Anything at all. Some answers I provided yesterday:
"Running down the aisle at Target."
"Drinking your water."
"Eating pasta."
"Walking up the stairs."
"Standing on your bed."
"Coloring giant circles."
"Making a funny face."
"Washing your hair."
"Brushing your teeth."
"Holding your Ernie doll."
"Throwing Ernie headfirst down the steps."

You get the picture, surely. I'm entertained by and curious about her constant inquiry. On the one hand, it's clearly a way of attracting parental attention to such feats as holding our hands (and less mundane accomplishments like riding in the "big kid cart" at Target). She's on her way to the "Watch me, Daddy!" stage, which, honestly, I'm dreading a little bit (having seen it at an extreme with one of Julia's cousins).

On the other hand, the stream of questions is obviously also a way to learn new things, especially vocabulary but also purposes, relationships, and qualities. (You should have heard how long I had to talk about the rear-view mirror!) All in all, it's pretty charming. And her retention should be the envy of any postadolescent. I don't think she forgets a single word she learns. SAT, here we come!


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