But James' speech has been progressing lately, so I have a story or two. Keep in mind that this is the boy who had just eight words in September. And only began using two-word phrases at Thanksgiving.
Before Christmas, Ben took James to the Hobby Shop to have them repair the train engine from the set-up beneath our tree. On the way home, this happy little boy spontaneously burst into song, "happy choo-choo do do... happy choo-choo do do..." (yes, to the tune of Happy Birthday). Currently, he likes to crack us all up by dropping his chin to his chest and lowering his voice as he says the "choo-choo." What a ham!
One of James' Christmas gifts was Hullabaloo by Cranium. He's still too young to really play, but the music makes you want to move. So on Wednesday afternoon, although we had a huge train track laid out on the living room floor, James started saying, "toys 'way. pay game." And then he began to dissemble his train track and put the pieces in the bag where we store them. I bustled around picking up some things of my own. A few moments later, there were still tracks on the floor, but James climbed up in a living room chair and said, "sit. wait. Mommy hep." I had to laugh as his ultimatum dawned on me.
Our 9-yr-old friend, Eliza, comes each Thursday to serve as a mother's helper. Another one of James' Christmas gifts was a dome/teepee/tube maze. Yesterday we pulled it out for the first time. 'Liza was excited. James was beside himself. After we set it up, Liza chased James through the maze again and again. Then she got an idea. She hid. When he came through the maze and turned all the way around without spotting her, he called out, "Shysha, ah you?" When Ben came home last night, I suggested to James, "Show Daddy what you & Liza did today." James responded, "hide seek dowdares, Daddy" and proceeded to take his Daddy downstairs to show off his new maze.
Since James began walking the stairs, I have counted each step with him as he makes his way down. Early on, he would say, "six" at some point on the stairs - especially when I hadn't begun counting yet. In the past week, he spontaneously began to say, "eight, nine, ten," as he was stacking blocks or putting tracks into the bag. I love when I hear him say, "six, eight, ten, nine, 'leben."
This past week, our boy started singing the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. He has heard the ABC song a good number of times in his life since I would sing it while washing his hands. He also has a toy that sings it. But Twinkle, Twinkle totally surprised me. Of course, he misses half the alphabet, and last week started out singing, "a, b, c, d, a, b, c's" (I guess e, f, g, sounds a bit like a, b, c). This week, while putting train tracks together, he's been singing, "a, b, c, d, h, i, chay, qu, r, s, t, oo, fee, duhbuh, x, y, see." When I help him with it, he can say every letter.
Periodically, I hear him singing, "tinkol, tinkol didda dar... upah ss-ky" while he's playing. Occasionally, he commands, "upahbov dar, Mommy" - a mandate for me to sing for him. And how can I resist bursting into song?
I just love this season!