We're working on learning letters, Rachel and I. She's learning the Roman alphabet and I'm still working on Arabic--I'm a little dyslexic when it comes to remembering where all the dots go. She lacks the coordination to actually write any of the letters, so mostly we're working at recognition.
She can sing the first few letters, but then everything jumbles together. She does know that her name starts with the letter R and that Mommy starts with the letter M. In fact, she's taken to calling me Mmmmm-mmmm-mmm-mm-mommy!
So sometimes I call her Rrrrr-rrrr-rrr-rr-Rachel! She hates it.
"My name's NOT Rrr-rr-Dachel!" she'll tell me indignantly.
"What is your name, then?"
Really, Rachel, if you can say "Rrr-rr-Dachel" you should be able to say "Rrr-rr-Rachel," but that's okay because you're only two and I think it's hilarious that you call yourself Dachel. It would be better if you still called yourself Dacher, but Dachel will do.
Last night Andrew asked her what letter Daddy starts with.
"Is...is...is..." she stalled.
"D-d-d-daddy," he hinted.
"Is...is...is..." she continued and then stopped and blurted, "D-d-d-d-DORA!"
"Yup, Daddy and Dora start with the same letter. Which one?"
"It's D. They start with D."
Besides recognizing the D sound, Dora has taught Rachel positive thinking. Before she does anything she thinks might be hard she chants, "I can do it!" Sometimes while she's doing something difficult she'll say it the whole time she's doing it. Like yesterday when she insisted she needed help getting off her chair at the dinner table.
"Oh, you can do it!" I told her (maybe it's me that's teaching her positive thinking; that's a nice thought).
"Yeah! I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it!" she sang while getting out of her chair and running into the bathroom to wash her hands.
"I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it!" she sang while I ran the water to wash her hands.
"I tan do it! I tan do it! I tan do it!" she sang while drying her hands off.
And while running out of the bathroom. And while finding some toys to play with. And while playing with her toys. And...clearly? She gets stuck saying the same phrase over and over again. It's cute but eventually it will drive you nuts.
"Hey, Rachel!" I said loudly enough to get her attention.
She stopped singing and looked at me.
"You DID it!"
"Hooray!" she said, doing that dorky little Dora dance they do at the end of every episode. But at least she stopped singing "I tan do it!"
Today Uncle Patrick arrives. Rachel is excited beyond belief to meet the mystery man--for some reason Uncle Patrick refuses to be caught on the web cam and will shield his face with his hand if he comes to talk to us. She was asking about his arrival so much (see above) that we finally made a countdown chain for her so that she could see the time shrinking. It helped.
Last night when I was putting her to bed she said, "Uncon Patwit's tomin' in TWO sleeps!"
"Only one sleep," I told her, "Remember we only have one chain left."
"Ooooh! One sleep!" she said.
Then she asked if I'd sleep with her.
"No, but I'll sing a song to you," I told her. So I sang to her, kissed her head, and said, "Good night, Rachel, I love you."
"Good night, Mommy. I doves you!" she crooned and then settled into her pillow.
I took two or three steps toward her door.
"Mommy?" she called out sweetly.
"I wanna wake up now."
Oh, you do, do you? We've tried explaining the concept of "waking up" to her before but she doesn't seem to be able to grasp the idea that in order to wake up you actually have to go to sleep first and often asks if she can wake up instead of going to sleep. Obviously what she really wants is to stay up, but we don't want to teach her that phrase.