Naane. I'll do it myself. This is the word that Puttachi uses most often nowadays, and this defines her at this age.
I have been trying to write updates for a long time now. The problem with that is that I write down a bit, and then come back to it two days later, and find that it holds good no longer! Everything in this stage passes so fast - what she does today, she doesn't do tomorrow!
There has been a sudden change in her. Her speech has become clearer, she tries to sing songs, her vocabulary is increasing in leaps and bounds - and she has now no longer just reacts. She acts too. She initiates conversations, expresses her opinions without being asked for them, she plays pretend-games, has become very assertive and demanding, and has started to show the beginnings of the Terrible Twos.
And she wants to do everything - Naane. Eating, drinking, wearing clothes, climbing steps, bathing, washing hands, climbing up and sliding down the slide, playing the merry-go-round, carrying things, applying oil/cream/lotion on herself, opening the pages of a book - you name it, she wants to do it herself.
She now recognizes almost all animals and a few birds, and even says their names out, not always clearly. Her retention, object recognition and association skills are improving remarkably.
She has even got tired of the much-loved play instruments in the park. She tries new things. She is bored of climbing the small slide from the regular rung ladder, so she tries to climb it from the complicated ladder without the handrails at the side, or from the incline itself. She even tried to climb the largest slide, but I stopped her just in time. She now isn't content to just play on the merry-go-round - she wants to push it! She made her friend sit on it, and she set about trying to push it! I just sat back, looking on indulgently, not expecting her to have the strength to push that huge iron thing - but to my shock, she actually did. She also wants to climb monkey ladders, and is bored of the once-loved swing. She still loves playing with sand, though. But what she plays with it has changed. She now wants to throw sand around, and see what will happen if she puts it in the hair of the child playing next to her. Phew!
One thing - she needs more children of her age to play with. More often than not, she treats other children like she does her toys. She pokes their eyes, pulls their hair - so until I find friends for her to play with regularly, I have started telling her not to mishandle her teddy bears and dolls - that they will get hurt. Hopefully it will translate to treating other children gently too.