Hiya

Babi2.0 recently had her 1st birthday.  She’s been having fun with the Toca Band app but hasn’t quite figured out what makes it work. She keeps trying to recreate the music by wiggling her fingers over a locked smartphone screen whilst dancing, makes sense, that’s what she did the first time and it worked perfectly.

Other recent advances are that she has started to hold rectangular objects, phone, tv remote, toy with buttons to her ear and say “hiya, hiya, hiya, hiya…” Before 11 months she had been known to hold conversations via pasta and wooden blocks. She has identified the dvd remote as not being a phone because she points that one at the TV, usually during an emotional scene in a Tinkerbell as if to torment her big sister.

She attempted some interaction with Mwnci Bach, a more child friendly version of the popular talking cat and dog apps but soon got frustrated as there’s no dancing to be done.

Babi1.0 is honing her fine motor skills and can just about trace large letter shapes with jerky movements. The CYW alphabet app is an excellent tool for this.

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I a my three!

Babi recently had her third birthday and to celebrate three years of motherhood I upgraded my LG smartphone to an iPhone. I have officially gone over to the dark-side.  I got a little bit baby app happy so now Babi has a hairdressing app, an app to cook for monsters, an app for dressing up pixies and an app for making music.  I’ve been blown away by the ease with which she interacts with this stuff.  She’s not spending long with it, 10 un-supervised minutes in the mornings while I’m feeding Babi2.0 or getting dressed, 3 mornings a week over a fortnight, so that’s what, an hour of exposure to the iPhone apps and already she has learned conventions such as a cross closes the app or window, a door takes her to a different virtual environment, a camera will take a snapshot of what’s on the screen, the “Big Button” takes her back to the home screen where she can choose another app.

Most suprising of all is that her favourite app is none of the above.  She calls it “Dime” (dim-er from a Welsh nursery rhyme), she pesters me for it, she sulks when she’s denied it (regularly).  It’s also my favourite app and probably for the same reasons.  You can create, record and edit sounds with it. Yes, my three year old’s app of choice is GarageBand!

Half Birthday

We celebrate half birthdays here in the Babitech house, it’s a great excuse to eat more cake. I think the little one gets a rough deal as her half birthday is on Christmas day but it’ll be a few years before she works that one out.

30 months have flown by and our baby has become a little girl. She can turn on the tv with the remote or the button, unlock a touch screen mobile phone, play simple games on a laptop, phone or tablet, adjust volume and brightness, pause and re-start a youtube video, recognise letters and numbers on a keyboard and switch things off when she’s had enough of them. However she still can’t quite believe that a MacBookPro screen doesn’t respond to her swiping it!

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Babi2.0 arrived 10 weeks ago, she’s not interested unless there’s a milk app.

Give it a bash!

I always thought that banging on the top of the telly or tapping the remote on the coffee table was a practice confined to my grandparents’ generation, but this month BabiTech can confirm that it is a natural human reflex.  Now 26.5 months old, Babi’s first reaction to a technology fail is to tap the screen.  If that doesn’t work, you’ve guessed it, she tries switching it off and on again!

Over the last six weeks or so our little one has watched her first streamed film (Gnomeo and Juliet) and has played her first computer games.  I’m still reeling that she managed to beat me on Google Doodle basketball during the Olympics but she had previously had some practice with space-bar action tossing pancakes for Daddy Pig.

By far the most engaging and imaginative games I’ve found this month are on the Cbeebies website, with your permission, the site switches your webcam on at certain points during the games so it looks like the game player is there on screen.  Babi was pretty amazed to see herself sitting on the NinkyNonk alongside IgglePiggle and blown away by the sparkly magic of the Tree Foo Tom interactive adventures.  You have to move your hands in a certain pattern to “make the magic”.  I’ve not experimented with it yet to find out how it works but it’s pretty clever, and if I get caught playing toddler games I may never live it down!

Pigga!

Yet again the month has flown by and Babi has become considerably more stroppy, more demanding, more loud and more cute whilst I have become tireder and larger around the middle.

I was worrying that there may be nothing to report in my 25 month update but then Babi discovered the world changing phenomenon that is on-line tv on demand.  Babi’s grandparents have a magical TV which records every episode of Piggle and Uppa Dee-Dee, but this is special to Booky and Taid’s house.  We have an inferior machine which stops working at 7pm (thank you CBeebies!).

Last week my need to just sit down became so great that I introduced Babi to unlimited episodes of that annoying pink pig and her family.  The result being that every time she catches sight of my laptop she now points and shouts Pigga! And proceeds to get very upset, stroppy, demanding and loud.

Terrible Two

I’ve no idea where the last year went to but suddenly we are well into the summer birthday party circuit. We passed the 24 month mark this week so I had better get updating the blog.

A friend recommended Talkng Tom Cat’s canine counterpart, Talking Ben. For some reason I want to call the dog Dexter and have confused myself on more than 3 occasions searching for the app on my phone. After disabling the allow violence function, I let little one loose on the grumpy pooch who kept her entertained for a good ten minutes.

Once she’d “woken him up” by tickling and prodding the screen Ben repeats back whatever you say to him but in a deeper voice. Babi decided to put him through his paces offering increasingly more complicated vocal exercises to see if he could keep up with her. She then found the telephone function and had a short conversation with him consisting of a mixture of babble and barking.

As for developmental milestones, she now has much better control of the touch screen although she can’t yet manage to unlock it on the first attempt. She is aware that different pictures have different functions. She can swipe the screen sideways to navigate the home pages, she can tap the screen and knows that this action makes something happen. She can interact with an app vocally and has a good understanding of the camera function.

First child

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22 and a half months!

There’s been an awful lot of Weetabix cleaning this month (wouldn’t it make a brilliant adhesive!?), not to mention the alphabetti spaghetti, felt tipped pen, chocolate handprints…

My most amusing observation this month has to be the reaction to a calculator. I’d left my old one on the coffee table, she spent a good minute looking at it, picked it up, put it to her ear and enquired “Hello?”. Figures, buttons only, point it at the telly, buttons and a screen, must be a phone.

We’ve had a major development in using a smartphone, she’s not finely honed the skill yet but after a few attempts, and she definitely knows what she’s trying to do, she can manage the unlocking finger swipe. A word of warning to anyone attempting to outsmart their toddler with an unlock pattern, those little fingers migrate very quickly to the little red button direct line to the emergency services, no unlocking required!

She hasn’t yet got the dexterity to choose an app but we’ve had lots of fun firing multicoloured balls in Shoot Bubble Deluxe she loves the sound effects, especially when she loses, which is every time as she has no idea about the rules.

Her understanding of the camera function is increasing, she knows that the lens has something to do with the picture and she likes pointing it at people or objects, watching them on the screen and shouting out “Dadi!” or “Babbit!”

This is becoming quite fun, shows what an exciting life I lead. It’s half ten on a Friday evening and I’m looking forward to Googling my favourite fictional characters to see if they have baby friendly websites!

Easter Eggs

Fuelled by chocolate the little one instructed by means of points, grunts and amusing poses that she would like her picture taken. At 21 and a half months this was a first, she’s shown an interest in looking at pictures on my phone before but never communicated that she in any way understood the concept. What really tipped my geeky joy into overdrive was that she pointed at the sofa in the picture and then to the real sofa and said “Oh!” and then again to the pictures in the background “Oh!”.