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May 16, 2001 - Wednesday
Harry is 17 months old today and it seems like there's so much going on now. As I've written in this journal I've generally focused on one thing each day: one notable achievement, a new action or talent, or just something I notice or feel. But, that's getting more difficult as his words, expression, movements, and reactions all develop great sophistication. Naturally, as first time parents with nothing to compare it to, we think he's very advanced. Yet, no matter where he falls in the development scale of peers, we see a little person emerging and it's very exciting.

There are the obvious milestones. Harry is now learning letters and can consistently identify "O" and "Z," whether he sees them as separate form letters in a book, or on one of my sweatshirts. He still gets a little mixed up between letters like N and M, but only needs a little hint to remind him of several others like D, H, E, B, and Y. He can name more than half the animals in an adult book we have of mother and baby animals, including photographs of ducks, swans, bears, hippos, rhinos, fish, dolphins, monkeys, birds, and more. There are some subtleties in those pictures that are still beyond him - like grizzly bears vs. polar bears and gorillas vs. orangutans vs. baboons - but Harry is very good with animals.

Harry's starting to understand about possession. Well, of course, he's been saying "mine" for a while now, but he's getting the idea that some things aren't his. Most notably, he's quite good at identifying mommy's and daddy's shoes in the back hall. He doesn't use the possessive apostrophe "s" yet, though I've noted he consistently has trouble with the "s" at the end of words (like saying "noi" for noise). But, he'll point to or pick up a shoe and say "daddy, daddy" or "mommy, mommy" for the appropriate object.

Harry also had a major breakthrough with his shape sorter today. He's had success with the circle for several weeks, but it's been difficult to convince him that the other shapes don't fit in the same round hole. Yet, this evening, after spending a little time with the easy circle, Harry succeeded with in figuring out that the cube goes in the square hole. Sure, I was coaching him, but that just makes for a better story. When he finally took to the triangle, he first tried to make it go in the circle hole, but a little vocal cue was all he needed to move to the triangle hole. In no time, he started doing it himself and no just putting the triangle in the right hole. He'd move it toward the circle hole, play a little with it there, then look up and shake is head saying "no," then, with a smile, would move it to the triangle hole and put it in.

Yet, there are other more subtle things Harry is now doing as well. I've notice that he's starting to respond more definitively to the tone of my voice, jumping more quickly when I say "Harry" with a big question mark or with the directness of correction. He is also interacting with us more than ever, climbing on top of his mother and I when we're on the floor, calling for our attention when he's about to do something exciting. And, he's saying "bye" almost anytime one of us leaves the room. I've seen that before with other toddlers, and I guess all these things happen with almost all toddlers, but now that it's Harry, it's very nice indeed.

Comments, opinions?