Harper has learned the difference between inside and outside. Unfortunately for us, she only wants to be outside now. As soon as she wakes up in the morning she's asking to go outside.
As soon as we get her home from day care she wants to go outside. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming and crying. She doesn't ask for mommy, doesn't want daddy. She wants to go outside.
Sometimes we'll take her out onto the balcony patio we have. This is not what Harper means when she says, "outside" (or more accurately, "owshide"). Harper has a very specific intent when she requests to be outside.
To her, outside means getting in the swing we have hanging from the tree in our front yard. She loves to go really high in her swing for about ninety seconds. Then she starts frantically signing "all done". As soon as I let her down from the swing, she runs over to our side yard and waits for me to open the gate.
Her first stop is typically the ladybug sandbox. She scoops sand pours it into this funnel thing which spins a paddle wheel as it falls through. Next, she likes to go into her playhouse and stand at the sink. She rubs her hands together and says, "wash". She will also usually ring the playhouse doorbell a few times just to make sure it's still working.
Next she'll go down her little slide once or twice, point to one of the neighborhood cats and say, "shishy", which is how she says "kitty" (as well as "fishy" as when she asks for her favorite Goldfish crackers). She also points to the fish wind chime that hangs outside our neighbor's window by the side yard and says, "shishy" (which is also how she says "kitty").
So at 3:00am, when Harper starts crying to go outside, it's nearly impossible to calm her down. We have to distract her or something and we're usually up anywhere from one to three hours. Harper still has a really hard time sleeping and almost never sleeps undisturbed between midnight and 6:00am.
McCall was lamenting the other day the fact that she taught Harper the difference between inside and outside. But at least this way we know what she wants. It would be so much worse if we just couldn't figure out what she was crying for. At least in theory.