Recently, Elisa scared her mother spitless! We were getting up from a hillside (since we have had June weather in April!) when Kristin turned around to see Elisa holding a 16 inch garter snake. Amazingly, she had picked up the snake just like you see the experts do, with one hand right behind the head. Kristin screamed bloody murder, Elisa dropped the snake and got upset, and Andrew (like a good father should when his wife is screaming) immediately picked Elisa up, not even having seen the snake. The snake was rather shocked, too and laid there half upside down for minutes. After gathering herself, Mommy tried to tell Elisa that garter snakes are not scary, but that we really shouldn’t pick up snakes. (Who knows if that will stick). We spent a little time looking at the poor snake and watching him stick his tongue out and then left him to his own devices. Mommy saw the snake again the next day, but thankfully he escaped under a tarp before Elisa noticed him. Before seeing the snake, Elisa had already had the word snake from books (although the “s” isn’t pronounced yet). Later that day, she noticed some short bungee cords on her way down into the basement and dubbed them her snakes. So for the last two weeks, Elisa has gone to the closed door at the top of the basement stairs and asked for her “nake.” She doesn’t seem to have picked up much fear of snakes.
The week before this last week, Kristin was on break, so we took a few days and went to visit one of Kristin’s college roommates and family down near D.C. It was wonderful to see Megan and Brian and their son Noah, who is a couple years older than Elisa. It can’t be said that Elisa and Noah really played together, but they did enjoy the same toys and videos and Noah was very sweet in sharing with Elisa. We did drive into D.C. one morning since Kristin had to meet someone (work even on vacation!) at the Spy Museum (doesn’t that sound cool?) and the whole family had a hotdog lunch from a roadside stand. Elisa greatly enjoyed her hotdog, something she has only had a couple times. Mommy started by trying to give her a little piece with bun broken off, but after tasting a little Elisa decided she needed the whole hotdog and gave the piece back. She ate down the whole hotdog and half the bun (it was in the way of getting to the hotdog) and overall enjoyed herself.
Elisa has enjoyed continuing to work with Daddy on various things, although transplanting the seedlings to larger pots was not as successful a joint activity. Elisa did help with the first couple plants, but when it got to ALL the plants, she was too interested in holding (pulling, bending, etc.) the seedligs rather than content with getting the dirt ready and watering. So Daddy did most of the work. Most days, Daddy and Elisa go to look at the plants which are under a high intensity light in the basement and Elisa eats a piece of leaf lettuce (still quite small). She enjoys asking for a “leaf.”
Elisa continues to not only spend time in the car, but find new ways to enjoy it. She recently went through a spell where she wanted to go and sit in the car and pretend to drive each day. (This did happen more when Mommy was on break and we were home more!) She has learned to put on the windshield wipers and turn signal. She wants mommy or daddy to sit in the passenger seat and the doors must be closed (which is rough on the hot days we’ve had). She has also experimented with new activities in her car seat. She has helped various dolls dance to music in her head and has also given piggy back rides to dolls a couple times. As you can see, she enjoys her pretending. It is a joy to see this aspect of pretending become more obvious, as she shares her sippy cup with a stuffed animal, or puts a baby to sleep. She loves pretending to sleep herself, putting her head under a blanket and saying “night night.”
Another sign of her increased mental connections is that she makes and remembers her own “jokes” and connections. One of her books has dogwood blossoms and Mommy has been naming them for most of a year. A few weeks ago she made the connection that “dog” was the first part of “dogwood” and said “woof-woof.” The last couple days the book has come out again and when we get to that page, she points to the dogwood blossoms and says “woof-woof.” Another book has frogs that say “peep-peep” and she had enjoyed that part of the book. The book didn’t get read for a month or two and recently came out again and just based on seeing the cover (which doesn’t have the frog) she said “peep-peep.” She has also learned to join in a social laugh when Mommy and Daddy think something is funny and she quickly notices what we laughed at and will repeat it and laugh at it herself. Silly girl! (And no, she isn’t solving Rubik’s Cube yet!)