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Bethany update

Bethany's thirteen months old today, so I think it's time for another list of things that I find it fun or exciting that Bethany can do now.

  • She can obey any of these instructions: "Clap your hands!""Press the button." "Press the button on your turtle." (when she otherwise wasn't thinking about the turtle) "Give it to Daddy." (a very useful one for when she's picked up a stone or something and is trying to eat it) "Where's your foot?" (That seems to be the only body part she can specifically identify, so far) And she can also reliably imitate a number of nonverbal sounds, such as clicking her tongue, raspberries, or going "Wubble-wubble-wubble" by waving her finger over her lips.

  • She can pick up her sippy-cup, turn it round if necessary so as to put the spout at the bottom rather than the top, drink from the spout, and put the cup back on the table or tray. This skill is great because it means there's a reasonable proportion of meals for which the three of us can all sit at the dinner table and eat and drink simultaneously, without one of us having to specifically feed her every mouthful.

  • She can indicate to us that she wants us to help with something by giving it to us. For example, she'll bring us her music-box if she wants us to wind it. Or if she's hungry, she has been known to look through the bag for her box of snacks, pick up the box, and bring it over to Rachael or me as a request for us to open it and give her a snack. She has a word she says at these times, something like "Dudi". Her Granny thinks it's "Do this", but that's probably being a bit too generous ;)

  • She can climb an entire flight of stairs, quite confidently. She sometimes does this when Rachael's upstairs and I'm looking after Bethany downstairs, if I open the downstairs stairgate for her.

  • She can dismantle constructions of several Mega Bloks or Duplo bricks. If you hand her some blocks joined together, expect them to be systematically pulled apart.

  • Rather more excitingly, she's also shows some understanding of assembling blocks together. But interestingly, she hasn't shown any sign of thinking this is something to be happy or excited about, the way she did with feats like standing up on her own or climbing a stair, which when they were new always used to make her turn to us and grin. I think in her mind, she has concepts of "where to put things when I put them down", and one place to put a block is "slotted into another block".

  • We also have fun playing in the bath. If I put a rubber duck on her head, she'll become still and carefully reach up to her head and pull it off. If I put the duck on either of her hands, she'll use the other hand to pick it up. And sometimes if we hand the duck to her and tell her "Put it on your hand" or "Put the duck on Mummy's head", she does!

  • Oh, and she's got quite into bouncing balls in the past month or so. She can keep herself fully entertained for quite a number of minutes just picking up a ball, dropping it, following it to where it rolled, picking it up and throwing it, and so on.

There's a lot of photos and videos of many of these things on our Picasa site. I'm particularly fond of the recent sequence where she explored a giant chessboard, where the king and queen were about as tall as she is :)