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You want me to do what?

December 9, 2007 - Betsy Bethel
At almost 21 months old, Emma is a precocious and busy toddler. She can fudge her way through the alphabet (her version is "a, b, c, d ... g, h, i ... p!") and does the same with her numbers (1, 2, 3 ... 5, 7, 8 ... 10!) Where 4, 6 and 9 went, only Emma knows. Maybe she'll tell you they went on vacation with The Count.

Little things she does every day surprise and delight me (except for the ones that confound and frustrate me!). The phone rang when we were upstairs the other day, and we don't have an upstairs extension. Emma said, "Uh-oh!" and then, without missing a beat, she matter-of-factly stated, "Daddy get it." Daddy rarely answers the phone, and I have never called to him from upstairs and asked him to "get it." So I couldn't help but be impressed with the connections her little mind was making on all its own!

She builds "towers" with books, blocks, pillows, stuffed animals. When she sees church steeples she says, "oooo, castle!" And she sings "Pat a Cake" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" all by herself!

OK, OK, I said they were "little things"!

Anyway, despite her seeming astuteness, some things don't compute in the mind of a nearly 2-year-old. For example, for reasons that make sense only to Emma, she refuses to wear any clothes I've picked out for her on a given day. Getting her dressed in the morning is akin to steer rasslin'. And, as my husband and I discovered at the mall yesterday, don't ask her to go anywhere near that strange man dressed in red and white sitting in the giant chair at the mall. I showed her the pictures of other kids sitting on his lap. The few children in front of us sat nicely and some even smiled for the camera.

When we approached him, however, Emma wriggled out of my arms and ran, literally screaming, through the crowd to Daddy.

Oh well, maybe next year.

And hey, considering she's only seen Santa in picture books and inflated in the neighbors' yards, maybe it freaked her out to see him in real life. Or maybe she's just too smart to sit on a big fat stranger's lap!


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