Until very recently, if I sang around Genevieve, she would put her hand over my mouth in a very matter-of-fact way until I stopped. If I didn't stop, she would push on my mouth until my spirit was sufficiently broken, then would go back about her business. This meant that I never sang to her as I nursed her or rocked her to sleep LO those many hours for the eighteen months it took her before she finally decided it was acceptable to sleep through the night.
When she was little, I would try every week or so -- This is the week! She'll love it when I sing to her now! -- alas, I got a baby hand to the mouth. After a while I gave up. A stretch of quite a few months went by, and suddenly, she made it known that she wanted to turn off her light by herself at night, and when she did, I sang a little good-night song, and SHE LET ME. I was so high on the good vibrations that as I was about to put her down in her crib, I paused to sing "You Are My Sunshine" TWICE ... AND SHE LET ME.
It's been a few weeks now, and it seems like she not only tolerates it, but I'm pretty sure she likes it. It's funny how one tiny thing can make her feel like an entirely different kid, but it does.
One thing that is not so different about her is that she still shows no interest in talking. She says mama, dada, wow, whoa, ow, and shoes. She also frantically shouts "O!" every time she sees the letter O, but that's about it. She has made up a few signs -- if she leans her head way over and touches it to her right shoulder, it means "please" (of course) -- but for the most part, she relies on shouting, pointing, and grunting to get her point across, which is just as delightful as it sounds.
The frustration has been compounded by the fact that she is also now very insistent on helping with things. I got my weekly e-mail from Babycenter letting me know that my 20-month-old is probably saying "Me do it!" all the time (not so much); instead, she screams and flails until I discover what she is trying to say she was wants to do and I let her do it (all the while helpfully saying "Say, 'let me help fill my sippy, mama!'").
She's a funny kid. She has a lot of opinions. Heck, she has a lot of advice for all of us -- Quit singing. Don't touch my toys. Give me all your toys. Big sister hair was made to be pulled, so give it up. Hug ME first when you get home, daddy. -- but she's not interested in using words to tell us just yet. Why should she? She lets us know just fine with her grunting, shrieking, and hair pulling.
One day she'll talk, and I have a feeling she'll never stop.