Monday, November 07, 2011


Gabriel is so smart. I know every parent thinks this about their child, but Shpresa agrees with me – she says he is “zgjuar,” which literally means “awake” (we would say the same thing in Andean Spanish – despierto), but implies alert intelligence as well.

He’s making sentences with his signs – where is the horse? (hands out with palms up, clicking noise with the tongue); the chicken is asleep (hand by cheek, clucking “ka ka ka”); she bit me (see previous post). Albanians are amazed when we play “si a bënë…” , asking him how does the [fill in animal] go in Shqip, and he makes the appropriate noise or hand motion. He seems to understand English and Albanian equally well; I’m not sure about the Spanish as he only hears it from me rather than conversations between multiple people, and not as often.

He can unscrew the lid off a plastic jar.

And he’s such a rascal! When I say “Gabriel, NO,” he just laughs and runs to do it again. He deliberately provokes me, doing things like shaking water out of his sippy cup while looking at me with a delighted grin and waiting for my reaction.

He tries to sweep with a broom, and can help me wipe up spills from the floor. He hands me clothespins when I’m hanging up the laundry. He will get a wet wipe from the package and wipe himself (not very accurately, though) while I’m changing his diaper. If he sees trash on the floor, he will pick it up, carry it to the kitchen, open the cabinet under the sink, and throw it in the trash can, unprompted. He wants to use the sponge when he "helps" me wash the dishes. He can sometimes feed himself with a fork, with a little help. He also likes to throw food on the floor, though.

(I think our fish are smarter than I previously realized, as well – they know when I turn the lights on in the morning that they’re going to be fed, and they follow me around, watching me through the jar, until I actually do feed them! Also, they’re terrified of an octopus toy I put in their jar once. If it’s even on the table next to their jar, they swim in circles as fast as they can, bonking their noses on the glass until I move it. Poor fishies. I just thought it would be cute. They don’t mind the starfish, but the octopus shape? Pure terror.)

I can’t believe Valerie is already three and a HALF this month, and Gabriel is sixteen months! Where does the time go?

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