Saturday, April 24, 2010

Status report: Month 9

Chloë is nine months old. Nine months! That's so old! She has now spent more time outside my body than in. She's grown a lot more in this latter nine months--her checkup isn't until next week but she's got to be 23 pounds or so by now, which is an addition of about 15 pounds, as opposed to the 8 pounds she put on in her first nine months. Of course she also started from a single cell in that first nine months, so I suppose we should take that into account.

Nine-month-old Chloë is mobile, inquisitive, dextrous (I mean, for a baby), and fast. She's figured out crawling. Has she ever figured out crawling. She zooms everywhere. I'm sure she looks back on her struggles last month and thinks, "What was my problem? This is so easy!"

She's become fascinated by buttons and wires. She loves to poke at my computer, sometimes accidentally turning it off or on. (Or maybe not accidentally at all.) We've barricaded the stereo in the living room because she loves to push the buttons, turn the volume knob, press the tape deck to make it pop open. Not long ago she hit just the right combination of buttons to make the stereo blare, "OPTION!--" She started back and looked at me in panic. I turned it off, and since then the stereo has been unplugged. I didn't do this, but I suspect it's because Eric was trying to nap at the time.

Sometime in the last month she's grown tiny invisible spikes on her back that sink into her flesh and torment it unmercifully when pressure is applied to them. Or at least that's my guess, as whenever we put her on her back she screams and writhes and does her best imitation of a baby who's about to die of agony. This does not, as you might imagine, make diaper-changing easy, though for whatever blessed reason she does settle down a lot more when we're cleaning up a messy diaper rather than just a wet one. We're both getting better at dressing her while she's sitting or, frequently, standing.

Half the time when I get her in the mornings she's standing at the railing, waiting for me. The other half she's lying down (on her tummy, of course) playing idly with the aquarium or one of her toys. She absolutely refuses to be put in her crib to play when I’m getting ready in the mornings, so her room has been baby-proofed and she plays on the floor in there. At least, she does when she doesn't crawl across the hall to come see me. Then she gets to watch me brush my teeth and hair, and get her own brushed. She wrinkles up her face cutely whenever I do this. Also whenever I put a block or a cup on her head.

She's still mama's girl, but she's reached out for Daddy a few times and has been okay being left with Mimaw and Aunt Angie. She had a great time when her Halmoni came to visit. She was spoiled rotten--held while she napped, visited whenever she woke up in the middle of the night, attended to constantly. She had a hard time getting back to her regular schedule when the visit was over, and she still tends to scream at bedtime and wake up in the night more than she used to. I'm not sure that's because she misses her Halmoni's attention, but whatever the reason, I hope it stops soon.

Naptimes in general have become impossible, unless she's so sleepy she just can't keep herself awake. Apparently at daycare she gets rocked to sleep, which may explain why putting her in her crib doesn't work well at home. She's been taking a lot of naps in her carseat lately. We need to work on the nap issue.

Bathtime has transitioned from the little tub to the big one. This was a little scary the first couple of times, but now she's loving the extra room. She can crawl around, and chase the ducky (also his new friend, Pirate Ducky), and read her floating bath books, and stand up and gnaw the side of the tub. Washing her is a little harder, but them's the breaks.

Food, glorious food! We've gotten more adventurous this month, giving her pasta, cut-up lasagna, bread, crackers, grapes (cut in eighths, thank you), pieces of baked vegetables, and mixed stage-3 foods: chicken and stars, sweet potato bisque, broccoli and cheese. She's gotten much better at the pincer grasp (which means I need to clean the floors more often now that she's down exploring them all the time). She's okay with baby food, mostly, but finger food is by far her favorite. Dinners have started to look like "real" dinners: a couple of different foods, some fruit or yogurt melts for dessert, and her sippy cup. She's figured out the sippy cup, even if she does sometimes drink from it upside down.

She's not taking bottles as much as she used to, but I think that's just because she's less hungry, and the solids come first. She's still fond of nursing. She's started what our friends call "extreme nursing." For example, one of her favorite things to do while lying on the Boppy is grab her upper leg with her upper hand and fling it here and there, like a ballerina doing stretches. Yesterday we were sitting on the couch and she was mouthing my stomach where my shirt had ridden up, so I pulled it up and took out a R.I.N.D.S. interface. Before I could get her into position she simply leaned over, on her knees, and started sucking.

I'm not sure she understands the concept of books yet, but she's starting to be more willing to listen, and less likely to take the book away from me to try to eat it, when we read. She especially likes her bath books. (I think the floatiness helps.) We're also fond of the latest addition to her library, That's Not My Pirate.

She's fond of our attention, but she's growing more independent. For example, I am currently sitting on the couch typing this while Chloë plays with the toys on the living room. Sometimes she comes up to the couch and pulls herself upright to see what I'm doing; sometimes she crawls toward the other room to see if anything has changed; sometimes she looks at me and licks her lips and I'm not sure I want to know what she's thinking. But that's okay. She's becoming a real little person, a third member of the family instead of an appendix or a footnote, and we love it that way.

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