Bethany had a great Christmas. She was old enough to understand counting down to it, and had two Advent calendars, a chocolate one and a cardboard one where you colour in a star each day. She was very excited: "On Christmas Day I can open number 25!" It means she now understands about the days of the month as well as the days of the week. She also enjoyed singing Christmas songs. She has an amazing memory for song lyrics, and knows all of Jingle Bells including the verse, two verses of Away in a Manger and nearly the third, two verses and chorus of Ding Dong Merrily, and scattered bits of Hark the Herald and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. She sometimes gets annoyed with herself that she doesn't know the third verse of Away in a Manger perfectly, and doesn't believe me that the amount she does know is very good.
Christmas was great for her practising reading. She helped us open cards, and can read Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, and our four names, in a variety of handwriting styles.
She now asks direct questions, both sensible ones and obvious-seeming ones like "Are you sitting on the bed?" or "Are you eating your breakfast?" I guess the latter reflect questions adults ask small children. She confidently talks to other adults and addresses them by name. She's very polite and good with pleases and thankyous. I think that's largely the influence of Charlotte the wonderful childminder (who I've been meaning to write a post about for over a year...)
She draws recognisable cats (and, very occasionally, people). The cats all have to have tummy buttons, and daddy whiskers, mummy whiskers and baby whiskers. She writes letters well, and likes to write in birthday cards: we tell her how to spell the recipient's name, but she can write "To" and "Love Bethany" all by herself. She also reads letters we construct out of toy cars, and makes her own, with a bit of help.
When she gets frustrated she often shrieks "Don't talk!" to us, and gets even crosser if we do talk, even to say "OK" or "Sorry". Sometimes she follows it up with "I've asken you to don't talk!" This is one of the only ungrammatical things she still says, which Alex reckons is because we usually encourage her by repeating things back to her correctly, whereas when she says that we tend not to respond.
She's started naming her toys. A couple of months ago she named a pink rabbit Kitten-Boots, and for a while that was her only named toy, but since Christmas there's been an explosion of names, from the inventive Pipcorn and Bax-cats-fats to the more humdrum Froggy and Giraffey.