The Quail has things to say. If only we spoke her language! This little gesture right here popped up on a random Wednesday in the beginning of June. It’s one of the first consistent, deliberate, obviously trying to tell the person she does it to gesture. Only problem is- no one knows what it means. The same afternoon that we saw it at home, her teachers had gone home wondering what it could mean. The next morning when I was talking to her teacher she asked me what it meant and I replied that was funny because I was going to ask her the same question! It’s too cute though- she looks at you, grins and puts her arms up. Then if you do it back- she’ll do it again and laugh.It will go on and on for a good 15 minutes. We’ve debated, “Oh no!”; ” So big!” and just to be silly. But I don’t think it’s either of those. Recently though I started up an old fave of a game- “Where’s the Quail?” Which usually involves covering her head with a blanket and she pulls it off, or the converse of covering my head and asking the question and she pulls the blanket off. Only this time I didn’t have a blanket- I was just going to cover my eyes with my hands- and her hands flew up to her head and she broke out into a grin. It’ll take a few more trials to be sure- but I’m thinking it may have been her initiating this game. As I was typing this it occurred to me that when the blanket goes over her head this is probably what she looks like underneath it before she pulls it off. Time will telll….
We’re also working on more. It comes and goes. I know it’s one of the more abstract signs and we’ve heard it can actually be one of the harder ones to master for that reason. We had started with it with Zuzu when she was a tike though because much like her sister, the start of the terrible two tantrums, that typically begin around 18 mos- but for both of our little overachievers, seem to come a little earlier; reared their ugly heads at dinnertime. I know- they are tired, worn out and have had to hold it together all day long. So they get home and mom pulls out the green food when what they really wanted was orange. All hell breaks loose. So we started with more. We’ve had minimal success though at the mealtimes. There is a lot of back arching, throwing things off the tray, open-mouthed squawling when a New York minute passes between the ingestion of the first bite and the offering of the second, and third, and forth…
Mealtime is no time to teach a language lesson for this bird though. She can bring her hands to midline and we’ve been working on this since before she turned a year, albeit not consistently. The times I see her do it with next to no prompting are times when she has her direct gaze already on you and is quietly focused on what you are doing. Which unfortunately is not mealtime. The times she has used it is when you are doing your best to entertain her and she doesn’t want it to end. Tickles…if you tickle, tickle and oop- stop….you’ll get her version of more- 2 claps-not the wildly excited clapping mixed with laughter that her sister can draw out of her by screaming “BOOGIE!” in her face and then running down the hall only to turn on heal and repeat 400 times. No-that’ s a special kind of excitement reserved for the bond between sisters. This is a very intent, hear me now, Queenly gesture of 2 claps. The other time I get it is when she is laying down getting a diaper change and I stop to sing to her and do her hands in the gestures for either Twinkle, Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider or Pat-A-Cake. The Queen will demand an encore with a very dignified stare down and 2 claps. Lately when you ask her where her spiders are, the motor-planning-arm-flapping starts and as you lead her arms up into “up came the Sun” her arms will lift up on their own. Me thinks she likes singing and tickles. And who doesn’t!
This wave here, and that look of a hawk spotting it’s prey, well- that’s not exactly the intention. but this- this is definitely her first sentence, “Hi Dada!” This is daddy’s lil girl to a T. He was walking up the sidewalk here when she spotted him coming. When she hear’s his voice, a quiet rumbling of dada starts, when she sees him- she beams! “HI DADA!!!!!” And she becomes a wiggley sack of sugar trying to melt into him. We’ve been trying to capture her patting his head on film and it’s become a bit Loch Ness to us. It exists but is fading and we haven’t been able to capture it on film. She used to hold both of our faces in her pudgy little hands too, we miss that!
The other little gesture we’ve yet to capture is her placing her hand over her heart. She’s always had a great pout- a lower lip jutted out calling all birdies to perch sort of lip when she’s sad. Now it goes a step further- just to really sock it to you she places her hand over her heart while she is jutting. It is almost enough to make you forget why you told her no in the first place!