A Smart Baby – Tougher Than You Think, Especially When She’s Sick (October 15, 2011)

Bill and I had always wondered, “Do you think she undertstands us?” Not necessarily the actual words, but the meaning of the words.

We learned soon enough after a quick shopping trip for a rug whether she did or not. Rug in hand, we headed to the register, but not before passing by an enormous Chrsitmas display (yes, it was the end of September!). All of a sudden, Carmella starts going crazy yelling about a snowman. Mind you, the only snowman she would have seen would have been in one of her books we read to her last winter, when she would have been about one. We were both shocked and took her into the winter wonderland to see if she truly knew what a snowman was. I picked up a moose decorated in a winter sweater and she says, “no, snowman!”

I tried a teddy bear with a winter hat. She handed him backing saying “Bear. No. Snowman.”

I handed her a plush snowman and her eyes lit up. She gave hima big hug and kiss, and grasped him with everything she had. A quick look to Bill and we both knew he was coming home. For those of you that know me I am the biggest Christmas fan, it’s my favorite holiday! But a snowman in September, well.. that’s even a bit early for me.

Snowman quickly was integrated into the nightly routine. She tells us when he’s tired, when he needs a pillow, and when he needs to go to “sleeping.”  I think he has the same bad sleeping patterns as her — two minutes after he goes to “sleeping,” he is back up. This happens at least 4-5 times. This sounds way too familiar to Bill and I…

That was the start of us understanding she could understand us, the day she got sick for the first time. We are lucky as it is the first time she has gotten sick in the 17 months of her life. And it was more of a cold with a fever than anything else. But baby girl was hit hard. Sneezes, which normally she laughs at (and was the first thing she did when she was born), became horrible experiences. Out came the tylenol and benadryl, and she was on the mend. Benadryl: why is the only flavor you sell around here cherry? Anything grape she’ll take no problem. Cherry, on the other hand, well that leads to a medicine battle. During this battle, Carmella has learned to negotiate. Yes, negotiate with a 17 month old. Where did she get these skills? I have no idea.

She hears the words “medicine time” and instantly becomes an ostrich. She will bury her head into anything – a bed, couch, mommy, or daddy. She occasionally lifts her head and clamps both hands over her mouth.

Last night was different. Daddy came in with the medicine and she instantly hid. Though after a minute, she said “ice cream.” Without thinking, I instantly said “if you take your medicine like a big girl, you can have some ice cream.”I got a dirty look from daddy, but she slowly sat up, hands over her mouth. She thought about it for a a second (or at least it looked like she did), uncovers her mouth, and says “ok.”  I repeated it and said you take your medicine you get some ice cream. She said okay, and opened her mouth taking the medicine with no fight. Immediately after taking it, she says “ok, ice cream.” We were both amazed that not only did she understand what we said, but by the fact that she seemed to understand you do this, you get something in return. Let’s hope tonight is as easy! Perhaps we should try negotiating to get her to sleep better…

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