Thoughts from a 17 Month Old’s Dad

Talk Soup: StarGirl’s language skills are growing tremendously, and she’s starting to combine words into phrases, including “Hi Daddy” and “Hi Mommy!” This is very cool, and surprising — I mean, heck, I knew she’d be talking eventually, but it’s downright shocking the first time you ask a question, and get a real answer back.

She’s very enthusiastic about trying to talk, and she’s started uttering phrases that she thinks are completely obvious, at least to a 16 month old. Last night she was looking at me and saying “Gah Gah!” Now this may be a staple of toddler-speak, but I don’t have a clue what she was referring to, and my efforts to have her point it out failed miserably.

“Noooo!” StarGirl’s learned the word “no”, and now uses it with a great deal of enthusiasm. Some nights, when going to bed, she squeals it in such a desperate, angry tone that it rival’s Kirk’s classic “Khannnn!”

“Hi Plane!”: For about a week, StarGirl was jumpy around loud noises, and got scared when planes flew over head. Then she went to play with her friend Mia, who reacts to planes by waving at them and saying “hi”. So now whenever we go for a walk — or when we’re just sitting around the house — and a plane goes overhead, she looks up, starts waving and says “Hi plane!” It’s cute, and as a space buff, I’m thrilled that she’s taking an interest in the sky.

“Up” is the new “Down”: “Up” means StarGirl want’s to be picked up. However, “Up” also means she wants to be put down.

“Hey, Jojo what do you say?”: StarGirl’s started to take an interest in television and will now watch it for more than two minutes straight. She watches JoJo’s Circus (about a little girl clown and her clown family), Rollie Pollie Ollie (featuring a world populated by robots) and The Wiggles (British guys acting wacky). Naturally, she doesn’t actually watch them all back to back — her attention span’s not that long — but she usually watches one for 15 minutes or so.

This comes as a welcome relief, giving you just enough of a break to complete a quick chore. For those who sniff at this and say “I’ll never use the TV as a babysitter”, all I can say is … wait until you have a 16 month old. Besides, I think this dose of television is good for her — JoJo’s Circus in particular encourages interactivity on the part of the kid, with jumping, walking in lines, crawling, etc. as part of the show. It’s not all sitting on the sofa like a lump.

Roll the Bones: StarGirl loves the gaming room, and hanging out with the guys when they’re over for D&D or some other game. I’ve been trying to teach her to roll the dice and as of Tuesday night, when she was helping me play HeroClix, she still had a ways to go. She has two techniques. The first involves taking the dice, holding them in her hand, and then placing them back on the table again, unrolled. The second involves throwing them at the table with such speed that they take out Clix figures and go bouncing against the far wall (or at least onto the floor).

Dinosaurs! One of StarGirl’s favorite games right now is to play “Dinosaurs”. In the gaming room I have a box filled with plastic dinosaurs from when I was a kid. This box has a lid. StarGirl loves taking the lid off and then moving all of the dinosaurs from the box into the lid, and then back again. She did this once for about 20 minutes straight. That highlights one of the things about little kids — when they find something they like, they just keep doing over and over again

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