Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bragging Rights

I have to admit that I am one hundred percent positively biased, but, I still want to brag a little about my girls. And since this is my blog, then, hey, I will:-)

We have long been impressed by the girls' language comprehension skills. even when they were much younger, they seemed to understand much of what we said to them and would follow simple directions. We have also been impressed with they apply what we know they know to other scenarios. For instance, one time I asked one of them if they had poopies. Without being asked or directed, the other went and got a diaper and brought it to me. Experience had taught her that "poopy" equals a new diaper. So, even though I never said the word diaper, she knew they were associated.

More background
We have two baby gates in our house. One blocks the living room from the kitchen. The trash and recycling cans are located just on the other side of the gate. Since Ben has a habit of playing basketball star with wrapped up wet diapers, the girls have long known that the "trash" is by that gate. We also often get them to carry the diapers to that gate "to the trash". (Mostly this means they throw them over the gate.)

The other gate blocks the entryway (which leads to the other end of the dining room and kitchen) and the front door. The gates keep the girls from running out the front door and out of the kitchen. This gate has never really had any specific designation. In other words, we don't call it, "the gate by the table" or "the gate by the door". We do sometimes have them put their shoes over the gate because the shoe basket is located by the entryway in the dining room.
End Background

So, today, Natalie, Abby and I get back from Ross (a clothing/home store - sort-of like Marshall's) where we purchased 2 bags full of incredible developmental toys for the kids. It's nap time and we are in their room changing diapers and clothes. Abby went first, and then, to keep her busy while I was changing Natalie, I gave her a job. I asked her to take Natalie's shoes and "throw them over the gate". She happily grabbed them and ran off. My feeling was she would toss them over the trash gate since they are very used to that, so I added as she took off, "the gate by the door". I wasn't sure if she would understand that or not. A minute later she came running back looking for more shoes. I gave her her shoes, and she was off. When she came back, I handed her the two wet diapers (rolled up neatly) and gave her more instructions; " take these to the trash." Off she went, and then returned, empty-handed and looking quite pleased with herself.

It was a few minutes later when we were back in the living room and I checked to find: 4 little shoes tossed over the gate by the door and two little diapers by the trash. I was completely impressed. Not only had she followed all my instructions, she had put everything over the right gate.

I guess it doesn't sound that impressive when I write it, but I was just really surprised Abby was able to differentiate between the "trash gate" and "the gate by the door" - especially since we never call it that. I suppose she remembered that we usually have them toss shoes over that gate, and she certainly knows where the shoe basket is, so maybe my description was unnecessary. Either way, I was pretty impressed by my little two year old, who, if you want to be technical, isn't really even two yet. They are really only not-quite 23 months old.

Another unrelated Abby moment...
Last night while playing, she went to the toy shelf and pulled out their patty-cake bear. (It's a bear that sings and moves its arms to patty-cake when you squeeze its foot.) She took it to daddy and we did a few round of patty cake. When she was finished, she took it from daddy and headed straight back to the toy shelf. At this point, Ben looked at me and said, "is she putting that back!?" We watched wide-eyed as she stuffed Patty Bear right back into his little box where she found him. She did this completely on her own without prompting.

All and all, we have been really impressed. With all this direction-following and cleaning, Ben and I are just counting the days until we sit back on the couch drinking a coke and eating bons-bons while we give Natalie and Abby directions on cleaning the house...


Cindy's Garden Thoughts said...

Hey Johlene,

I know a lot of grown men ( some of them my employees) who can follow directions especially more than one at a time! And put things away. woo Hoo! I'm impressed.

Cindy Poore, Kennedy Claytons grandma

Cindy's Garden Thoughts said...

Oh sorry,

I meant CANT follow Directions!!