Gabriel is learning to sign! He can sign "hat," "duck," and "rabbit." He also makes appropriate noises for cats, dogs, cows, and frogs. He shakes his head vigorously side to side when he doesn't want something, or when we say "no." He's become very interested in books, and when he finds one he likes he'll stomp over to me or Terry for us to read it to him. He loves books with pictures of animals and babies. He's a great mimic and is already feeding himself really well with a fork. As soon as I bring over the oatmeal for breakfast he puffs out his little cheeks and starts blowing because that's what I do every day :-). When we say bath time he drops whatever he is doing and walks straight to the bathroom as fast as he can. He can kick a ball pretty well, too.
We're still working on sharing, but it's getting better. Valerie will sometime run past Gabriel, throw a toy in his lap and say "Share with 'Briel! Good blob [job]!" Something really clicked for her around the time G started crawling, even more so when he started walking. Suddenly they seem more like siblings, instead of the Queen Bee and the Interloper (well, most of the time anyway). When she wakes up in the morning or after her nap, I'll go in and leave the door open. Usually G is already awake, and he'll follow me into her room. When she hears him coming she sits up with a big smile and as soon as he appears in the doorway she starts laughing and says "Gabriel comes walking!" When G wakes up from his morning nap and I go to get him, she runs ahead of he to his room and knocks on the door saying "knock knock knock, hewo, come in!"
Here is a transcript of V's account of a play date we had a few weeks ago (she was Duck that day):
"Went Sammy-Beanie's house. Saw black doggie in house. Goes 'wa wa was WOOF!' Read big Brown Bear book. Saw pictures on wall. Played in swimming pool. Duck got all wet. Girl splashed you. Went to see toys, went to ride on lion [riding toy], went to sit on lion. Going RRRAWR! Went play toys. Duck ate food in high chair. Duck got milk. Good milk."