Tonight I noticed for the first time that Miriam (20 months) says her own name. James didn’t say his name until the day of his second birthday. Lately, Miriam has been pointing to things and saying, “me?” Sort of like, “is that for me?” I thought it was strange that she would use pronouns so early. Kids don’t seem to get that for quite a while, and James referred to himself as James for a very long time before he said “me” or “I.” But as I was getting her in her pajamas tonight, she said it more like “Meeam?” and I figured out she had been saying Miriam! Then I asked her if she could say “Mee-ree-am,” saying it slowly and clearly, and she copied me very clearly. It’s so cute to hear her sound out her own name!
Miriam has always been incredibly affectionate, but she has started giving kisses constantly. She gives us kisses on the lips, but if she can’t reach, she’ll kiss our hands, our pant legs, or even things like the couch. She can also be explosive and reacts with pure fury when she doesn’t get her way and will even hit. But then when she’s been chastised for it and told to be gentle, she immediately pets us gently and reaches up for a kiss. She really is a darling and sweet girl. I’m kind of done being her “lovie” though – she never got attached to a blankie or toy or anything, but every since she was a newborn she has had an intense need to have her hands under my clothes, kneading me. She sticks her hands down my shirt, up my sleeves, up my pants leg, or up my skirt with her sometimes freezing cold little hands and kneads. All. the. Time. I remember her doing it before four months of age, and she seems to only get more intense about it. It drives me bonkers, and even though I try to be sensitive to the fact that it is a real comfort need for her, I find myself pushing her hands away and pulling them out of my shirt constantly. And this makes her FURIOUS. She screams, “NO!” and fights to get back under my clothes. She has almost no interest in nursing anymore, though. I thought she might lessen up on her need for skin contact when she was ready to wean, but I think she’d wean quite happily right now but she might never, ever give up sticking her hands in my clothes.
James is totally obsessed with trains. He always has been, but we fed the obsession by getting him tons of train stuff for Christmas. We got him another set of wooden trains and tracks to add to his small set. And his auntie got him and even BIGGER set of more tracks, plus a shed, turntable, cranes, and all sort of other parts. We got him a little wooden Thomas the Tank Engine, and a giant book of the original Thomas stories from the 1940s, which we read every night. It is all trains, all the time, and he plays with them all day. He even insists we call him Thomas, which became a problem with he went up for communion last Sunday. As usual, Fr. Theodore called him “the servant of God, James” as he received communion, and after receiving, James piped up, “My name is Thomas!” I had to tell him sternly that he could pretend to be Thomas anywhere else, but it was very important always to tell the priest his real name!