To further my mission to blog more I’ve decided to take some days to describe my kids one by one. For posterity’s sake. They’re each so different and they’re each at such neat ages, I think it will be fun for me to have a record of this time to look back on. I’ll start with Ruth.
Ruth. Ruth cracks me up. Cracks us all up. She is fiery. Feisty. With a hair-trigger temper. Much screaming. Head thrown back–sometimes into door-frames, walls, floors, Mommy’s jaw–SCREAM!!! We don’t do much in the way of baby signing, but we did teach her the sign for “more” because from the time she began eating solids, as soon as her tray/plate was empty she would start screeaming at the top of her lungs. Loudly. And repeatedly. So we figured we’d give her the tool she needed to get her needs across. So, more. She can sign more.
The rest of her vocabulary is quite limited. She can say Mama and Mommy, Dada and Daddy. The most surprising linguistic feat, to me anyway, is that she’s been saying Isaac for months. Maybe 4? So since she’s around 16 months. Isaac. Clear as a bell. The -z- sound, everything. But she can’t say Hannah. For Hannah she says “Eee.” Come to think of it, “Eee” is a very popular moniker applied liberally to a great variety of things: her cousins’ names, Jamie and Kristin (yes, both); Pretty? (as in, while grabbing at pants or shirt, “Isn’t my shirt pretty?”; water (not to be confused with cow milk, which is called Eeek); banana; blankie; and the signal that she has just pooped in her diaper . . . just to name a few. She calls all babies “uN.” She calls my sister LaLa with great gusto, though her poor husband falls into the generic “Eee” category.
Come to think of it, she really is a generalist. She can say lots of animal noises: pig (gohk gohk), sheep (bah!), dog (oof, oof, ad infinitum), cow (boooo), horse (boooo), reindeer (boooo), giraffe (boooo) and pretty much all birds talk like chickens (bahk), including the majestic American Bald Eagle who says “Bahk!” Oh. And I just learned tonight that broccoli is also bahk. Go figure.
As amusing as all these things are, this week Ruth has acquired a new sign for communicating. Actually, I think she acquired it last Sunday while I was watching the Philadelphia Eagles (sadly) lose to the Redskins. As you can well imagine, figuring out exactly what Ruth wants is quite a challenge, given her limited vocabulary. There’s a whole lot of “Eee!” followed by a whole lot of guesses. “D’you want water? D’you want a banana? D’you want some yogurt? Did you poop?” Before last Sunday, a correct guess would be met with great enthusiasm: she’d get excited and bounce up and down and her hands would perform a near perfect ASL sign for “Yes.” This week, it changed. Now when you guess correctly her little hands shoot straight up in the air, elbows by her ears, face filled with glee as if to say, “Touchdown!!!” I don’t know how I don’t fall over laughing every time. My brother-in-law received his first “Touchdown!!” affirmation yesterday. He reported it with a big silly grin on his face. “It’s the first time I ever got the touchdown yes. It’s remarkably gratifying. It makes you feel so good, like ‘YES!'” And it does. You really do feel like you’ve just scored a touchdown.
Next week, I’m getting her pom poms. Green and white ones. Just in time for the Wildcard game.
We all love our Ruthie Ruth. I tried to get a pic of her “Touchdown!!” but she won’t let me take her picture these days because all she wants to do is look at the digital camera screen. So I go to take the pic and she starts running toward me to look at the other side of the camera. All I’m getting these days are good shots of her nose hairs. Hopefully this phase will end quickly. In the meantime, here’s one of her with her hair in a ponytail, admiring her pretty self.