“No like.”

 

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Sophie is going through a transformation of sorts, where she is beginning to piece together things she has learned over the past year, to become more independent. Some of these more independent choices are pretty entertaining, like her desire to wear a princess crown while sitting in a box with colored pencils. What I love the most though, is her relationship with the English language. Like most kids, she’s a little parrot… but there are these rare moments when she will form sentences based on individual words she has previously heard in context. “No like,” is the phrase we hear most often. Justin and I obviously have never said “no like” (unless we’re imitating our adorable daughter) but Sophie understands separately, both the meaning of “no” and the meaning of “like” and figured out that she could put these words together to communicate that she doesn’t find pleasure in an activity. I know it may not sound all that groundbreaking, but to some one who studied phonics and language for four years, it is extraordinary to watch the things I read in books to play out in front of me.

 

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As fascinating as the technical aspects of her language are, she is becoming independent in other ways. Just as often as she communicates things that she does not enjoy, she is asserting the things she does take pleasure in. Say, jumping on the couch, for instance. She also knows shes not supposed to do some of these things because she often imitates me AS shes jumping by saying “sit down right now!” to herself so I don’t have to. Charming.

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I’ve heard it said that as parents, we work ourselves out of a job. Of course the whole point of raising kids is to teach them become more self sufficient, but the reality is, the more independent they become the less they really need you. Of course they will still need you for love and emotional support, but I’m talking straight up survival here; the more you teach them, the less they need you. So, it has been bittersweet to watch that transition begin to take place. In fact, I try not to think about it at all. Instead, I’m in party planning mode for her birthday and postponing the “teary eyed mother” act for just before I fall asleep at night, so I don’t have to think of it for too long before I pass out.

Despite a few sassy spells everyday, Sophie is a pretty awesome kid. She is affectionate but also reserved. She can throw a ton of attitude at you, and 10 minutes later be telling you how “pretty” you are. SO really, she’s your typical toddler. I love her more than I ever have and I look forward to watching my heart grow three more sizes as we approach the terrible two’s.

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