Over the last few weeks, Reindeer’s communication has developed rapidly. There’s been a huge increase in the range of sounds he expects us to copy, and now there are actions too.
At dinner he will sit in his chair, catch my eye and stretch his body as tall as he can. He maintains eye contact whilst I copy, then relaxes and laughs happily. This is repeated several times.
We’ve been singing songs together since he was born, but it’s only the last couple of weeks that he’s taken to joining in with the actions independently. Popular at the moment is clapping and waving his hands in ‘the little green frog’, clapping and stamping his feet in ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’ and bouncing up and down for ‘up and down to London town’ (hard work with a 2+ stone baby who wants to be bounced high repeatedly for ages – thanks for teaching him that one Oma!). He’s also pretty good with the rocking in ‘row your boat’ and is keen for me to lead on the arms in ‘big red bus’.
Reindeer has developed a short boppy dance which he’ll perform to certain music or when he’s happy. It largely involves moving his shoulders and head from side to side and is very cute to watch – it never fails to make me smile and he loves people to join in!
Last week we spent time with family. Reindeer is fascinated with cousin #2. He’s 3-years old and the feeling is mutual. Whilst they played together last week I noticed two interactions in particular. The first was jumping – cousin #2 would spend ages jumping up and down in front of Reindeer who would try to copy. He’d watch closely, concentrating really hard, and bend and straighten his knees (sometimes until he was crouching) in an effort to do the same. He couldn’t quite figure out the bit where you take both feet off the floor at the same but he’s been practicing in his cot so it probably won’t be long. The second thing was an inside joke they developed one mealtime. Reindeer would offer cousin #2 some food. Cousin #2 would respond ‘no thank you, Reindeer’ and they’d both laugh like it was the best joke ever. This carried on for almost 10 minutes the first time and for shorter periods at subsequent meals.
The most recent new action was on Saturday evening. Reindeer rummaged in his toy box and unearthed a sun hat. He brought it over to me, tapped it on the side of his head and handed it over. I guessed he wanted to wear it so I put it on his head. He was thrilled – laughed and walked around with it on then removed it and repeated the whole thing.
There has been so much development with his communication in the last two weeks – in large part (I believe) due to spending a whole week with his eldest cousins. There was lots of interaction and lots to copy. I need to get us to more groups in the hope this will help Reindeer continue to develop these skills.