It's been interesting to watch Abby's gradually developing "mothering" qualities. It started many months ago, when I caught her putting a stuffed animal in Michael's swing, attempting to secure it in the straps, and rocking it back-and-forth. Here and there, I'll see her pick up an animal or doll and cradle it, place it down in a toy bed, or cover it with a blanket.
Lately, however, the behavior has picked up quite a bit. Every day for the last week, I've seen Abby display some example of it. Just last night, I had to stop myself from chiding her for tipping her sippy cup so far over that she was spilling the water out of it, when, in the midst of opening my mouth, I noticed that what she was actually trying to do was give some water to Pooh Bear.
She's also been showing increasing signs of a sense of empathy. She picks up very quickly on my distress when I am upset about something unrelated to her (though she remains steadfastly oblivious to my frustration when it relates to her refusal to listen to me), and will come over for hugs, cuddles and kisses to make me feel better.
Oddly, though, she often comments on the fact that Tom, Michael, or I are crying, even when we are not. I've decided that this must be code for something, as she tends to say it when she's annoyed with one of us, or just annoyed in general, but I haven't figured out what, exactly, she means by it.
Also odd: this morning, Abby came up to me carrying a teddy bear and said, "Teddy Bear is so sad."
I looked up from my tablet and asked her, "Why is Teddy sad?"
She continued to look at me quizzically, and a little anxiously, so I said, "Well, what can we do to make Teddy feel better? Can we give Teddy a hug?"
She gave the bear a squeeze, and I followed up: "How is Teddy feeling now?"
The answer? "Teddy bear is love you. Give Teddy bear a kiss." And so she did.