The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
You say it's what month now?
I feel like I've been in some kind of alternate universe where time slips by unnoticed, and one day I'm going to zip back, and no time will have passed in the real world.
The days themselves are unremarkable: an endless litany of everyday activities. But they are marked by moments of brilliance that always come in a little 3 foot tall package, and they explode in a shower of giggles and love and warmth, and sometimes they are the only thing that makes me smile or laugh that day. The good news is that they are delivered every day. Every. Day.
Sometimes I just sit in the quiet dark at night and think about how amazing Claire is. I would scare the bejeezus out of someone if they turned on the light because I'm lying there in the dark and grinning maniacally to myself! (I wish I were exaggerating.)
Every single day she grows in some way that makes us so proud of her. Teaching her sign language was truly the best thing we could have done. She knows around 75 signs now. Her frustration level is typically about 0 because she's able to tell us all about what she's seeing and thinking and what her needs are. She rarely has a tantrum, and if she does, it's because we took something dangerous away from her, and then it's over in a second. (Especially if you just sing the "Dangerous" song to her.) We give her something else to think about, and she's immediately there, on to the next adventure.
Her imagination is growing by leaps and bounds. For example, she has a little teapot set that she got for her birthday. She understands all about how to pretend to pour and drink tea, and makes believe that she's eating the tiny plastic petit fours, and gives them to us to watch us pretend to eat them too. Of course, now she sometimes pretends to eat some of the real food I give her to eat too, but she thinks she's being funny. Or she knows that it makes me mad when she drops her food on the floor. So she will pretend to do it, even if there's nothing on her tray, to see what I do. Wise guy.
Or, we got new carpet in the living room so we moved all the furniture into the dining room while they installed it, including our big, black Ikea Expedit entertainment center. While Craig and I were sliding it down the hall back into the living room, Claire toddled over and started signing "train!"
Or there was the day she wandered into the room, carrying something she had swiped from Craig's desk. She looked at it, looked at me and signed "cracker." It was a white Post-It note.
There are so many ways in which she makes bridges to things with signs that she knows. I've been playing Picross on my DS for a while, and one day to amuse Claire, I showed her a completed puzzle animation of a polar bear diving into the icy water. She thought that was hilarious and giggled at it over and over. Once she realized the way to open and close the DS, she now signs "bear book" to tell us that she wants to see it again.
One day Claire led Craig out of the office signing "bird." She brought him over to the living room window, and Craig assumed she had seen a bird outside the window. When she pulled back the curtain, she revealed to him a giant spider on the carpet instead! (Yes, in NC you can make that comparison given the size of the spiders here.)
It's stories like these that I need to sit down daily and record in a blog. But there never seems to be enough time at the end of the day after all the work and housework and cooking and just spending time with the other people who live here... I'm hoping we can keep enough of an oral record to remember the ones I'm not writing down.
So, some things I want to remember:
Claire's favorite food is raw tomatoes. Which is so hilarious given how hard I craved them while I was pregnant with her! But she will stuff handfuls into her mouth and still sign "more more more!" I can't keep them within eyesight of her high chair.
Her favorite Yo Gabba Gabba character is Brobee. She sees him on the screen and says "BEEBEE! BWEEBEE!" (We're working on it.) Consequently, I'm pretty sure her favorite color is green. It's the one crayon color she picks consistently, and the one color sign she gets right almost every time.
Speaking of coloring, Claire loves to color! Not just scribbling all over the paper. (That is so three weeks ago!) She now wants you to draw things for her so she can color them in. And her accuracy (for a one year old) is really, really good. You don't know how happy that makes her art-school mama!
She likes to watch some things on tv, but only if they have lots of music. Too many words and you lose her. I think it's good that we've exposed her to some tv, because she seems to ignore it if it's on (unless it's something that draws her in with a song.) And when she does watch it, she doesn't sit there like a zombie. She interacts -- with us, looking to see if we're laughing at the same thing she is, or dancing along, or signing and pointing at things she knows.
Desmond is Claire's buddy now. She tries to play with him, and he circles her feet looking for attention. One day this week, we went to get Claire up from her nap, and who wanders out of her room when we open the door but Desmond! Apparently he wanted to take a little cat nap with her too. Craig told me this week that Desmond was lounged out somewhere, and Claire went and laid her head on him and made a happy little "hmm" sound. He proceed to clean her hair (as best he could given its length.) Love. :)
Claire is thrilled that it's Christmastime. Lights are her favorite right now. We put up the tree and turned on the lights, and she did a crazy little hopping dance around it saying "Preee!" (pretty) She wants to count every one of the lights on the tree (and pretty much any lights she sees anywhere,) one by one. She will get angry if you don't count with her!
She is currently obsessed with counting and knows the numbers 1 through 5 well. She also loves to find the letters o and e everywhere, and knows how to sign c, z, and w too.
Claire onomatopoeia: moo, baa baa, jingle, beep beep beep, meeeooww, arf arf, growling, and a bird sound I can't even imitate because it literally sounds like whistling, but it's somehow made with her throat.