Leaps and bounds, leaps and bounds. So many new skills, new words, new concepts being acquired by Master Z. He has developed a love for bubbles. He loves them enough to learn the word for them, and then to learn to say “Bubb-ll pweez” and hand us the bubble wand. Saturday night he even managed to blow bubbles for the first time during his evening bath. Bubbles calm him down; they are almost meditative for him, so perfect before bed, or any time that Master Z needs to slow down. Yesterday R started teaching Master Z how to catch a ball. He delighted in this new skill and is keen to practice, practice, practice. I’ve also been taking him to the park and teaching him to kick the ball. Both activities lead to lots of huge, crinkly faced grins and giggles. This morning Master Z was hitting our bed, looking under the mattress, and crying “where zit gawn?”. Our bed contains storage space under the mattress where I keep future presents for Master Z, nieces and nephews. A couple of weeks ago Master Z saw his present and wanted it immediately (a big yellow truck – guaranteed draw-card for him!). However, I haven’t lifted up the bed recently, so this morning’s meltdown, as sad as it was, was exciting as it showed memory. He remembered the toy that is under the bed, even though he hasn’t seen it for a couple of weeks. More words, He copies us so much. shee shia – See you soon. Occasionally it actually sounds like “see you”, but usually it sounds like he is thanking us in Mandarin! bubb-ll – bubble ball doa – door car moa – more moose/meece – mouse ol gone – all gone ol done – all done hom – home mulk/milk – milk ug – hug ootside – outside baai – bye mao/cat – interchangeable for cat. Interestingly, he prefers to say “mao” instead of “cat”, even though he learnt “cat” first and can pronounce it properly where zit gawn – where’s it gone? He’s been saying this for a while now, I’ve just kept forgetting to record it! kakhi – Shakti. I know this one is a real stretch, but it’s all in the intonation and context. It is clear that he is trying to say Shakti’s name. R reads with Master Z most days and last weekend he started asking Master Z what certain pictures were. Until now we’ve just been asking “Where’s the ….?” and Master Z will point at the appropriate picture. R encouraged me to do the same, and suggested that I point to the mouse in the book and ask what it was. I had been trying to stick to words that I knew Master Z could say but I gave it a shot and couldn’t believe it when he said “moose”. I try not to underestimate him, but even so, there are so many things which he understands that I have no idea he understands. He can point out our car in a car park, he can point the direction home from the park, he knows the way to the closest playground (two and a half blocks away). The other day I told him that I needed to feed the cats and get my shoes on and then we would go outside (I usually keep up a running commentary on what is happening next for the day). He went and found my shoes in the living room and brought them to me! If there are clothes in front of the washing machine, he will put them in. He knows to pull out the washing powder tray, wait for me to put washing powder in and then push it back in. He knows to press the top half of the start/stop button to start the cycle, and knows to press and hold down the bottom half of the button to open the washer door after a wash has finished. He will then pull the clothes out onto the floor. Master Z is looking for R during the day now, at times running through the house calling “daddy, daddty, daddy” (the ‘t’ is not an error – sometimes he puts a “t”into the word “dad” or “daddy”). He has a sense of when R is due home and will really start looking for him then. When R does arrive home though, Master Z will often be all cool and “oh, you’re home. I’ll be with you in a moment”. Very anticlimactic after so much racing around and calling for his daddy. He loves riding in the bike trailer and will go to it and say “Up peez” when he wants to go out in it. He has definite ideas of what he wants to be doing and isn’t shy to tell me so if I suggest something different from what he has in mind. So far though, his tantrums mostly still fall under the “cute” label. He scrunches up his face, does a half squat and yells – oh so cute and so hard to not laugh at his adorable attempt to change reality through the power of his lungs. They are powerful lungs, it is true, but not powerful enough to change certain realities.