July 21, 2011

A Bunny and the Development of Language

A few weeks ago, Savannah slept through most of our visit to a petting zoo in Manorville, LI.

Luckily, we had our own petting zoo of sorts in our apartment this week, when a friend brought over her pet rabbit to meet Savannah. She loved the bunny: pointed at her, pet her fur gently, held her ears, touched her feet for good luck.

My enthusiastic friend tried to teach Savvy the word "bunny" over and over and over. Savannah's babble du jour is a throaty "duck" or "dch" sound. So their conversation went something like this:

"It's a bunny!"
"Bunny! Look at the bunny."
and so on...

Savannah's babbles have made it through most of the alphabet by now but lately she's cycled back to almost exclusively D sounds. I'm hearing her get closer and closer to saying words based on slight, slight differences in her utterances. Here is her D vocabulary:

"Dat" --> Says this when she points at something. To me, Dat means "What's that".
"Dook" --> Book
"Dit-uh" --> Diaper
"Duck" --> Thought this meant Dog but clearly this also means Bunny....and presumably Duck. It also means "this" because she says it when she's holding something. Things far away are Dat and things close are Duck.

After the rabbit was back in her cage, I showed my bunny mama friend how much Savannah loves purses. (The bunny mama is also a major fashionista.)

Savvy started playing with my pink Coach bag, pulling the handle up to her shoulder, prompting a "Savannah, that's a bag!!! A PINK BAG!!!! Do you like that BAG???!!!!" Her response? "Baaaach". And here's photo evidence of her love for this bag:

July 17, 2011

A Vicarious Trip to Peru

I am one lucky lady to have some very close girlfriends to act as Savannah's Aunties, since she doesn't have any by blood. One of these dear, dear Aunties recently returned from an amazing trip to Peru. She and her mother took a hiking tour of Machu Picchu. While in Cuzco, she took the time to write Savannah her very first postcard and came back with the most adorable souvenir: A handmade doll of a mother babywearing 2 babies, one in the front, one in the back. Multi-tasking mama. Savannah thoroughly enjoys her new treasures.

"Mommy, I want to go here one day." I love how she's pointing to the middle of the picture. This kid wants to be in the center of the action.

Reading the postcard to her mommy doll.

A brief pause for a brief hug.

Savvy's first postcard!

Our trip to Machu Picchu is a distant dream for now, but Savannah's new treasures inspired me to take her on a lunch date to Pio Pio, a Peruvian rotisserie restaurant on 1st Ave at 91st St that I've been eyeing for a while. We shared chicken with rice and beans and a salad. This is the perfect meal for Savannah because it included some of her very favorite foods -- beans, chicken and cucumbers.

In between bean bites, Savannah waved at people walking by. Window seat = awesome.

We happened to have her "Yummy YUCKY" book with us. This meal was definitely a yummy one.

This smile says it all. Savvy loves the savory flavors of Peru.

July 12, 2011

My Suburban Superiority Complex

I grew up on Long Island, in the suburbs of New York City. As far back as I can remember, I always felt sympathy for kids that had to grow up on the "mean streets" of the city. Now that I'm living here in NYC and hoping to raise my family here, I'm spending a lot of time looking back on where my suburban superiority complex came from (which I've now lost, obviously or else I'd be in the 'burbs now). I think it's because of the news I used to watch as a kid.

My "local" news as a child was NYC news on the major broadcast networks. We didn't have cable, so I didn't watch Long Island's News 12 to get a sense of "hometown" news. Most of the stories I watched with my family each evening revolved around shootings in Crown Heights, gang violence, NYPD crackdowns, Mayoral debates on homelessness, etc, etc. The City did not seem like a great place to visit, let alone LIVE!

Interspersed with the bad news stories were human interest pieces. Summertime reminds me of images of city kids I saw on the news: Children running through fire hydrant geysers, images of crowded public pools, children playing in massive sprinklers in concrete parks.

In my mind, my suburban summertime was better than that.

I had a public pool that I went to everyday. And it was crowded. But it wasn't on the news so it must be better, cleaner and safer. I used to run through the sprinklers...in my yard. Splashing in fire hydrant water? GROSS! Those poor kids in the city were missing out.

Looking back, I can now logically assume that my childhood suburban superiority came from my inability to separate good news from bad news on TV. I didn't really understand the concept of human interest news, I suppose. The news was a place for bad news.

Sure, not every part of the city was safe, especially in the 80s and 90s, but it didn't mean that my life and lifestyle with my house and yard on LI was better or more normal. I see that now.

And when I take my daughter to the sprinklers in our neighborhood park, I see how much she loves life here. Is it better than life in the suburbs? No. I can see the appeal of having a house and a yard and a car. But that's not what I want right now.

Savannah playing in the concrete sprinkler jungle at John Jay Park. She looks pretty happy.

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