Well, Christmas has come and gone and we're hanging out in the not-quite-holiday status of between Christmas and New Year's Day. Students aren't back on campus until January 5th, that's also when daycare opens. Scott is on sabbatical this spring, and it dawned on me suddenly last night that he wouldn't really be returning to his office this semester. Oh, he'll still GO to his office occasionally to retrieve things and such, but he won't be working out if it. He'll be working out of the lovely butt-imprint on the left-hand side of our family room couch. Where he sits to watch TV, read CNN.com, pretend he's not getting irate emails, and plays World of Warcraft. Oh yeah, doing what he's supposed to do for his sabbatical, too. I asked him if this means I'll have a clean house for the spring and hinted that there's nothing sexier than a house I don't have to clean... I guess we'll have to see if that fantasy comes true...
The kids were awesome this Christmas. Both traveled to Clinton well and enjoyed a grand fun time with Grandpa Gil and Grandma Robin. Violet is at that wondrous stage of being old enough to understand how to unwrap gifts, but lacks any understanding of which gift is hers and blinks innocently at you when you suggest she wait to unwrap packages until after dinner. Milo can now read (and write!) his name, so he was able to sort his gifts and Violet's out of the pile. He knows that V is for Violet and that Scott has "S, O and two Ts" and that "g - o " spells go!
As the year draws to a close, both kids suddenly seem older. I really think that Santa brought them more than gifts this year, maybe he brought them some "grow-up" dust or something, because the change seems to have happened over night. Violet is now playing puppy -- she drops to all fours and crawls around panting. Don't most kids do stuff like that closer to two -- not at 15 1/2 months? Yesterday, she sorted her crackers by shape -- there was a pile of rectangular ones and a pile of circular ones. She took one bite out of all of the rectangular ones, then one out of all of the circular ones.
Miss Violet seems to be on the cusp of a language explosion. She is listening carefully when you ask her questions and has started following simple directions. More impressively, she seems to have an innate knowledge of manners -- you barely need to tell her that an object belongs to another person and she's running across the room to take it to that person. She says "thank you" unprompted and hands you her dinner plate when she's finished eating. I don't know if it's the difference between boys and girls, but at 15 months, we were still watching Milo like a hawk to determine when he was done eating so that we could whisk his plate away from him before he threw it to the floor.
Violet has also taken to imitating faces and body positions. This is endless fun as she's dang cute as she tries to wrinkle her nose like I do or squints her eyes like Scott. The one look she has mastered already is a very strong Death Stare. She tried it out on Daddy yesterday when he told her she couldn't chew on the skirt of her Christmas dress. Grandma Sue and Mommy had a good laugh over that one. I don't think this Violet will be a shrinking violet...
We've had to teach Milo a new word: sassy. We defined it as saying something in a mean voice to mommy, daddy or another adult. Although, perhaps the funniest quote from the holiday break was completely innocent:
Me: Milo, why don't you put your socks on. Aren't your feet cold?
Milo: (looks at my bare feet) Aren't yours?
Me: Not really... I guess you don't need to wear socks in the house if you don't want to wear them.
For a bittersweet note, he has dropped his mispronunciation of pretzel (cretzel). He has also begun taking over all of his pottying care. We pretty much do a "bum check" after he's wiped. He completely remembers to flush, wash, and return the bathroom to the state it was upon his entrance. And he's no longer afraid to go upstairs by himself.
On a positive note, he has been using the word "May" correctly when asking for things, greatly impressing all of his grandparents. In fact, Grandpa Richard thanked me and Scott for teaching him manners as he grows. Scott said simply that we'd be appalled if he was egregiously impolite, so we never want him to think that being impolite was acceptable in any way.
And as for me? I'm gearing up for my perennial resolution to lose weight. Once more unto the breach...