Monday, February 19, 2007


I don't tend to think that the Cheeto is an exceptional child (I mean, of course I think she's the most adorable, clever baby in the world, but I acknowledge that developmentally, she's pretty much right on track). And my Mother-in-Law, while wonderful, isn't some kind of prodigy either. But put the two of them together, and wow! I don't know why, but the Cheeto turns into superkid, the wonder-learner. MIL introduces her to a new food, word or concept, and boy, does it stick. And since the two of them have been spending a ton of time together while I study for the bar, that kid is picking up new things every single day.

Last month, it was eggs. The Cheeto wouldn't touch 'em when I made them for her, but once Granny made them, she started gobbling. And lest I think it was a fluke, last week I came upstairs to find the Cheeto sitting on Granny's lap, happily downing a banana. I have been trying to give that child bananas since she was six months old, only to be treated like I was feeding her poison. I'm starting to think Granny could feed her an asbestos sandwich, and the Cheeto would wolf it down.

And then there are the words. A few weeks ago, MIL taught the Cheeto to look for birds outside our sunroom window, and it's still the first thing the kid asks to do in the morning. Two nights ago, we introduced the concept of fire (in the fireplace). Granny spent five minutes telling the Cheeto that fire was hot. Now, not only does the baby point to the fireplace and say "hot," but at lunch today, she took a spoonful of soup, blew it out, and said "hot." I had no idea she could understand and transfer concepts like that.

Granny is also the one responsible for the fact that this afternoon, the Cheeto squatted down in an unmistakable pose, then looked at me and said "uck!" Yep, she now knows how to tell me she's going/has gone to the bathroom and needs a new diaper. Frankly, I'd have preferred that her word for it not be "yuck," but I'm still impressed that she gets the concept at not-quite-fifteen months.

It's just such an amazing blessing that the Cheeto (ok, you know what? I'm tired of typing "Cheeto." From now on, the kid will be referred to as "M." I will simply have to risk someone recognizing her by her first initial) gets to spend so much time with at least some of her grandparents. My close relationship with my mom's parents was something that I have always cherished, and I'm so glad to have that for my girl. One thing that I regret is that my own dad didn't live to see his grandkids (god, how he would have loved M), but having the Boy's parents nearby makes it a little easier.

Plus, I get free, willing, reliable and trustworthy babysitting whenever I need it. Next to marrying the Boy, I'm starting to think this move to NC was the smartest thing I've ever done.

For the record, other words M has learned in the past few weeks include shoe, bear, block, a much clearer version of down, nurse and nap. She's currently working on bath. I love seeing her vocabulary, and her world, expand more and more each day.

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