The other day, I realized that Inara has entered a new stage in her development where she's able to do all kinds of big kid stuff, while she's not necessarily very aware of the importance of being careful with others and other people's belongings. I took her to an "open preschool" we hadn't been to for about 6 months and she was the oldest kid there. As I was sitting in the other room talking, I saw out of the corner of my eye how Inara was throwing a ball at a two month old laying on the floor. Luckily, the baby's mom was right there to catch it, but I ran in to explain to Inara that babies are too little to play and that you can't throw stuff around them etc. She listened (it seemed) and I got her interested in something else at the other end of the room.
A little later, she went back over to where the baby was and chucked a plastic apple right at the baby's head. It bounced off with a little "clunk" and although she was fine, I felt really bad. I don't think Inara meant to be mean, she just wanted to play, but I again tried to explain and showed her that the baby was sad. She seemed to be taking it in, agreeing that throwing stuff at people was bad, but who knows.
The point of this story is that it was the first time I had to protect other kids from her and the first time she really did something that was not ok. On top of it all, about ten other parents were watching me as I did so. All of them had younger babies, so I'm sure they were thinking that they were going to do it totally different when their kid reached Inara's age (or better yet, that their kid would never behave like that). So, an older Inara brings a whole new set of concerns, but also a lot of fun. I have to say this has been the best age so far.
Inara's language has just exploded in the last few weeks and I can't list all the words she knows now. A couple of new ones sprout up every day and she's getting much better at mimicking. If I say: "Do you want a tomato?" she says "I want a tomato." If I say: "Is your carseat tight?" she says "is tight." She also had a few days when she, in her cutest voice, would say "mamma, pappa" about 300 times a day. Just as a statement of fact.
Here's the little rascal: