There was a golden era of bath times when Natalie was old enough not to instantly drown herself but young enough not to pay much attention to what I was doing. It was a wonderful time. I could read a book, play the DS, or make a phone call if I wanted. Sadly, that time is no more.
Last night I grabbed my copy of Back to Basics and settled down on my reading chair (toilet) to learn about traditional cheesemaking, when suddenly Natalie piped up. "Daddy, stop. No book," she said. "Step up" (which means "get off your butt and come over here"). I set the book down and sat by the side of the tub. "Play," she demanded. So we played.
Our toddler has become very demanding (I'm sure you're as shocked as I am). I guess it goes along with her discovery of verbs. I started listing all the action words she uses, to give examples, and I was surprised when I realized how much her vocabulary has grown.
Whether she wants us to "pushyou" in one of her many cart toys or "carry you" when she wants to be picked up, she can clearly articulate her desires most of the time. "Buckle," "ride," and "wash hands" are commands I hear on a daily basis. Although she gets opposites confused, she frequently uses "Up/Down", "Open/Doot", and "In" (I've never heard her use "out" but she does say "outside"). She pulls us by the hand and announces "let's go" when she's ready to leave. And we know when she's really angry because she will tell us huffily to "go 'way!"
But she can also use her words to be sweet and endearing when she wants to. After the forced play time in the tub last night, I dried her off and put her in a fresh diaper and pajama shirt. She lay still in her crib for a while after I sang her usual lullabies ("Twinkle Twinkle" and "Rockabye Baby") and then she abruptly sat up. "Oh great, what is it now," I thought to myself. I bent over the crib to try to get her to sleep.
Natalie looked me in the eye. Her hands sleepily made the ASL sign for "more" that she had learned as a little baby. "More," she whispered. "More song." I patted her pillow, she immediately laid her head back down, and relaxed silently while I rubbed her back and sang her to sleep.