This will be a short update, since I spent a good chunk of the week (including the weekend) in New York City for the annual SIOP convention. More on that later.
One thing I can say, though, is that Sam seems to have developed quite an imagination. This had been a source of some anxiety on my part, as I always worried about overdosing Sam on television and irradiating any germ of creativity that might have otherwise blossomed within her. Instead, Sam seems to have taken her limited (well, usually limited) television viewing time as a starting point for her free-form play. After seeing an episode of Curious George where the eponymous monkey breaks a leg and goes to the doctor’s, Sam took an abbreviated version of the Hippocratic Oath and appointed herself the caretaker of a ward full of ailing stuffed animals and other assorted household objects. It’s really fun watching her play and seeing what direction she’ll take things given a blank slate and a little inspiration. They usually involve my “talking to” (i.e., talking for) the various animals and other objects, cataloging their maladies and thanking her for the swift treatment delivered by means of Sam’s wiggling finger and, for some reason, little swishing noises. Modern medicine is so amazing.
Mandy is also doing great, and has picked up one awesome new trick: she laughs. She’s been making delighted huffing and cooing sounds for quite some time now, but for the first time this week when I laughed at something while she was sitting nearby she looked at me and erupted into a tittering giggle. We both kind of stopped short and straightened up, surprised by what had happened. She tried it again, tentatively, and decided that she liked it. It’s now quickly becoming one of her standard tools for communication, which I think will serve her pretty well throughout life.