Sam is totally walking now. If she goes from place to place, she generally does it by walking instead of crawling. Or tries to, at least. There are still frequent contacts between her rump and the ground. My new nickname for her is “Tipsy” because when she walk she does it by staggering around like a drunken frat boy. She’s about as coherent in her speech, too.
Speaking of nicknames or pet names, Sam seems to be accumulating them pretty rapidly. Ger and I have each created multiple ones for her. See if you can guess who starting calling Sam each of these:
- Sugar Booger
- Angel Girl
- Cutie Pie
- Tipsy (okay, I just told you that one)
- The Mayor of Poopsville
- Item #TZ-40827X
Okay, pencils down. The answers are: Ger, me, me, Ger, Ger, Ger, me, me, and the self-service scanner at the grocery store. I don’t think I had any nicknames when I was a kid, other than “Jamieson,” which is odd but factually true. Geralyn had none; nobody even called her “Ger” until college. Maybe that’s why Sam has almost a dozen nicknames so far. And that katana that my parents would never let me have.
As I mentioned last week, Ger’s parents have been visiting. We went out this weekend to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, which is a kind of open-space zoo where you can see animals in what we think are pretty good replicas of their natural environments, but the animals know better. Oh, they know. Sam actually got into it a lot more than we thought she would. We pointed out all the animals to her, but early on she decided that they were, in fact, all different types of cows. What sound does the rhinoceros make? Moo. How does the giraffe go? Moo. Monkeys? Moo, too. The monarch butterfly? They go moo as well. That bird eating discarded french fries out of the trash can? Yep, moo.
The other big event on our calendar was Easter. Sam has already seen one Easter, but this time she was big enough for Ger and her mom to dress her up like a little doll. Included in her ensemble was a poofy dress and white leather shoes –her first pair of hard-soled footwear, in fact. We invited Ger’s cousin Mark and his wife Rica over for brunch and gave Easter baskets out. We filled Sam’s plastic eggs with Cheerios instead of chocolate. Not for any kind of health or choking avoidance reasons, but rather because it left more candy for us. At any rate, Sam loved it.
Okay, enough picture time.
Finally, Sam is really talking a lot lately. Again, it’s more like speech without vocabulary, as most of her communiques consist of urgent pointing, whining, and grunting. She has, though, picked up on the dreaded “NO!” word, even if it only comes out as “Nnnyooh!” right now. A friend of ours gave us the idea to use something more polysyllabic in our corrective language, something like “Sammy, that’s not appropriate” that the kid would have trouble parroting back to you. I thought I was doing that, and I also thought I was explaining the reason for the correction. So instead of just “No!” I’d say “That’s not appropriate, Samantha. You can’t put regular unleaded gas in a high performance engine.”
But regardless of what I was or was not doing, Sam has learned the power of “No!” Last night she started playing with our home theater equipment and I got down there with her, lowered my voice, and explained that she shouldn’t do that because it would break and Daddy would cry a lot. Sam sat back, scrunched up her face, and spat out “Nnnyooh!” while jabbing a finger at the DVD player. She fixed me with a look, then repeated herself and gave the player another jab, as if to say “No, you stop playing with it!”
Of course, I busted out laughing, which probably didn’t help in the discipline department.