A few things I must note before I forget:
Le Petit is working hard at mastering eating utensils. For the moment he's ambidextrous, and wields a spoon and a fork with equal enthusiasm (if not exactly ease) with either hand. He likes to try to eat things with a fork, all sorts of things including water and applesauce, with varying success.
Le Petit has just figured out how to open doors with straight handles. I was talking to the nanny last week at pick-up time while le Petit and the other baby played just beyond us in the hallway, when suddenly things were a bit too quiet. Le Petit had opened the front door of the apartment and, partners in crime, both of them had escaped (not far, and the nanny is careful to lock the door now!)
Le Petit loves to sing with us, and we have songbooks in both English and in French. Alas, there are quite a few songs that I haven't yet learned, and I've taken to telling le Petit when we turn to one I don't know, "Mommy doesn't know that one. You'll have to ask Grandma." Grandma is the reference for French songs and nursery rhymes in our house.
Yesterday we were looking through the English songbook and we found a few songs I didn't know. "I don't know that one," I said apologetically. Le Petit looked at me disappointed.
"Brandma?" he asked, almost with a sigh.
I laughed. "No, honey, Grandma only knows the French songs. You'll have to ask Grandpa G when he comes to visit."
I was floored by the association of ideas, though.
My husband brought home a box of simple jigsaw puzzles for ages two and up, different animals with 4, 6 or 8 pieces. I was skeptical that le Petit at 20 months would find anything but frustration, but I was wrong. He loves it, and can put together the two 4-piece puzzles and one of the 6-piece puzzles all by himself. I love watching him concentrate and learn. He's gone from barely understanding how to manipulate the pieces to being fluent in jigsaw theory in a couple of weeks.
He still doesn't really get matching visual patterns, and when he makes a mistake he tends to rip apart the entire puzzle and start over. I'm trying to encourage his efforts as much as his successes. And he does get a bit frustrated with himself. Still. Jigsaw puzzles at such a tender age? Wow.
Unsurprisingly his favorite puzzle is -- you guessed it -- the crocodile.
Yesterday, while le Petit was absorbed in fitting his toy train tracks together, I fired up my work portable computer to check my e-mail. Le Petit, who associates computers with animations and nursery rhymes rather than Outlook and Oracle, eventually came over and climbed on my lap.
"Croco?" he asked. His favorite web page has a song about crocodiles.
"No, this computer is for working, not for croco."
"Croco!" he insisted. He then pulled the screen shut as if to say, well, if it isn't for playing with me, then this just isn't the time, maman.
I opened the computer and had him shut it on me three more times before I managed to send my mail. It was just like when I've tried to convince him to hand over an off-limits object. Turn about is fair play?
Yesterday we went to a park along the Seine with a view of both passing barges and the railway bridge. Le Petit was happy to see both trains and "boap." He ran straight up to a grandmother who was watching her grandson on his bike and babbled something to her in his excitement. I made out one word, train, but the enthusiasm was easy enough to understand.
Le Petit is already conversing more easily with the neighbors than I am, apparently. We walked into the elevator this evening and ran into another neighbor.
"Bonsoir," I politely said.
"Bonsoir," she answered.
"Bon...jour!" chirped le Petit's tiny voice. He only just learned to say it today.
I'm so proud of my boy.