“Baby,” she asked as quickly as her feet hit the ground this morning. “Wha es baby?” She looked and gestured towards her play cradle in the corner next to her crib for her doll. Parker is the third generation to play with this cradle, my grandpa originally made it for my mom.
“I don’t know where you put her, where is baby?” I replied to ensure she knew I understood her inquiry. Her language is rapidly developing in the past month and it’s amazing to witness progress from one day to the next. She is formulating her own statements and questions in a way she only used to be able to repeat after hearing. And for each exclamation she is able to create it is met with equal or greater insistence for someone to verbalize acknowledgement of her new found vocabulary.
When properly rested she can communicate almost anything, both with her language and continued use of signing.
“Maybe baby is in mommy’s room,” I encouraged her to go look.
The doll could not be found, though, she was happily distracted by a bottle of body spray her daddy left within reach while shrugging “Wha es baby, I unno wha es baby?” She easily gives up the bottle of spray as I sent her to the kitchen to search again. My last memory of the baby doll was Wednesday evening when she got upset because the doll didn’t swallow the jello dessert she was trying to share with it and we had to wash it’s face. Again a reminder of why I shouldn’t try to wash dishes while she is eating.
A minute later Parker returns with the doll, pleased with herself for the safe recovery. She carts the baby off to her room and back to the cradle to tuck the doll in. Shortly after I hear a small thump and whimpers from Parker. In the corner of her room I can see she was attempting to climb into the cradle herself when the bottom fell out. When I was two I got in the cradle with my baby dolls too, although, after three generations of play the wood and glue is just not holding up the same.
I crouched down to gently remind Parker the cradle is only for the doll and not for Parker while I reassembled it back together. When it was ready for use again I helped her put the doll back in place and tucked under the blanket. At this point she tried to tell me “Pawker, Pawker, Pawker,” pointing straight down into the crib.
Curious of what she was trying to tell me I guessed. “Did you name your baby doll Parker?” My guess was obviously wrong.
She gave me a very serious frown and bawled up her fist to use her thumb pointed towards herself. As if to say Are you stupid, I’m Parker.