She is working on so many words now. Her babbling sounds purposeful, directed. She tries to copy everything we say and do and we remind ourselves to watch our language. She’s very aware. When we laugh at something she does, she looks at us, grins, and does it more.
Exhibit A: the mini-blinds. All our windows have them, and Piper is constantly grabbing them and shaking them, or sticking the cord-ends in her mouth. She knows she’s not supposed to touch the blinds. In fact, when she crumples and shakes them, she’s usually looking right at us and grinning. She continues to grin (and often giggle) while destroying the blinds, looking right at us as we yell “NO! Stop that! NO!” She knows damned well what she’s doing.
We’ve started giving five-minute time-outs in her crib for this behavior. They’re not working very well. At first we gave two or three warnings; now it’s one: “NO! NO! If you don’t leave the blinds alone, you’re going to get a time-out.” She never stops, so she is swiftly picked up and deposited in her crib. We take out all the toys, blankets, and other fun things and tell her “You’re getting a five-minute time-out because you wouldn’t leave the blinds alone.” Most of the time, we can hear her giggling and walking around the crib talking to herself for the entire five minutes. Once in a while, as the kitchen timer counts down, angry shrieks will emerge from her bedroom. When the timer beeps, we take her out and tell her again why she got the time-out. She just laughs and squirms to be put down. I’m pretty sure she thinks all our caring, gentle, hippie-parenting crap is a game.