Thursday, August 26, 2010

Status report: Month 13

Well, this month's status report is just going to have to be mostly pictureless. We can't find the camera. I know we had it a couple of weeks ago, when we went to Eric's dad's pool party and took pictures of Chloe swimming, but it's disappeared.

So this month was all about alternative modes of travel. Swimming! Riding! Walking! Tumbling off the couch onto mama's soft unprotected belly! I guess "swimming" is misleading. Eric's dad has a big pool, five feet deep or so, and I got in and held Chloe in the water. At first we had a swimsuit-with-built-in-life-vest on her, but it was a little too big and she sank through it (and got her face dunked when I tried to see if it would support her), so after that she wore her blue leopard-print bikini and I held her while we sloshed around or played ring-around-the-rosy with her three-year-old cousin. She loved it. I want to take her to the beach, but it's getting cooler so it probably won't be for actual swimming this year.

She's learned about the joys of piggy-back rides and shoulder rides--the former when she was climbing on my back anyway and I took her for a ride, the latter when she saw her cousin on my shoulders and wanted to try. She gets the biggest grin on her face. I can't wait to take her on a roller coaster.

And in just the last few days she's turned the corner from just trying out this "walking" thing as a novelty to using it to get around. She tumbles more now than she did when she was first trying to walk, but she doesn't mind, just switches to crawling or gets up and tries again. We're going to have to go shoe shopping soon. She has wide feet, as apparently Eric did as a baby, so it's going to be a little complicated, but Eric's mom has plenty of good information for us.

Her constant "da da da da" has been slightly adulterated by the occasional "na" and "ba" and "uh," but she still doesn’t have any words. She's going to have to come up with some soon, though. We're still doing well on her gestures--pointing, patting, grabbing, nodding--but there are times when she points and says "da da da!" and we don't know what she wants. And I'm doing better on the "what do you want?" and "say 'up'," even though I know perfectly well she wants me to pick her up.

She goes to the door or the windows sometimes and gestures outside, meaning she wants to go out. She's loving her raspberries, and the pears that are ripening and just her size (because I didn't prune them enough). She likes sitting in the grass while I'm getting herbs from the garden. She loves walks, and will point at the stroller to say, "Take me somewhere in the fresh air!" Now that it's cooling down we're more willing to accede, since we're the ones who do the actual walking. If she's got the hang of it, maybe she can push me next time.

She's in 18-month clothes, mainly because the 12-month shirts ride up over her belly and the sleeves and legs are too tight. She likes rubbing her belly. Then, when we're changing her diaper, she likes rubbing further down. We're okay with this as long as she waits until we've cleaned her up.

Meals continue to be great. She's pretty good with a spoon, and loves spearing things with her fork, though she's not terribly patient about it; sooner or later--usually sooner--she gives up and just uses her fingers. Relatedly, she's learnd about real hand-washing, too.

Weaning is going okay. She still points and pants when she wants milk, and yanks at my neckline, but I'm working on giving her bottles and Eric says she now prefers the whole cow's milk to the frozen breastmilk during the day. There are still a few packages left in the freezer that we might as well use up, but I've given up pumping finally (hallelujah!) and this should all be coming to an end pretty quickly. Half the time when she pulls my shirt up it's to blow raspberries on my stomach anyway.

Discipline is not going so great, mainly because she's into everything and there are so many "no"s in her day. We're trying to figure out what kind of discipline works. My particular problem is the toilet paper. She only messes with it when I'm using the toilet, so I can't pick her up and put her in another room, which I've done with other things, and my hands aren't big enough simply to cover it.

She learned about piggy banks earlier in the month. She has two gold piggy banks on the top of her bookshelf, and one had ten gold dollars in it. I had taken to calling them "Loud Pig" and "Silent Pig" and gave them voices to suit. One day she got curious about what was inside Loud Pig, so we opened her up and looked, and I showed her how to put money into the slot. She thought that was pretty cool, so we got some more coins from Eric's change jar and practiced. I shout "No!" and take everything away whenever she starts a coin toward her mouth, and so far she hasn't swallowed one. Putting Money In now rivals Turning Pages Fast as her favorite in-her-room activity.

She likes brushing her teeth now. At night, after nursing and pajamas, I sit with her on the toilet seat and Eric hands her one toothbrush and uses another. He brushes her teeth, and she--sort of--brushes his. In the mornings she points at the toothbrush longingly, but I've been saving it as a treat for the evenings. The dentist recommended we use floss between her bottom middle teeth, and we got some of those plastic holders with about an inch of floss, and those turn out to work really well.

Bathtime has gotten slightly stressful again. Now that she's confident about being on her feet, she loves to stand during her bath. This would be okay if she weren't likely to fall over and hurt herself (she did this a few weeks ago and had a dark bruise on her cheek, and I felt awful). So we're trying to get her to sit down. After a couple of attempts to forcibly sit her down, which didn't work, we've started being very active and playing when she's sitting, and removing the toys and being silent and still when she's standing. This would work better if the bathtub itself weren't such a great toy. She pulls on the knob that turns on the shower, and tries to gnaw on the frog-covered plastic spigot cover, and stomps, and splashes, and draws her fingers along the smooth tile. Last night she was stomping, which I admit did make a neat noise, and puffed out her cheeks and said "Da! Da! Da!" impressively. She looked like a very fat Asian policeman puffed up with her own importance, and I put my head down so she wouldn't see me laughing.

She's doing well in Daddy Daycare. She regularly goes into Eric's arms for a bedtime hug, which she didn't before. Now when I leave in the morning she's usually okay--she just waves--and when he leaves she cries. I have mixed feelings about this, but it's good for her to be attached to her daddy too. She responds better to him than to me when it comes to settling her down for sleep, but that's always been the case.

She seems older than she did a month ago, but in ways less easy to define. I'm guessing that's going to be the case from here on in--except for things like learning to talk. She's more confident, more sure of us, attempting to communicate more, attempting to control us more. She's still fascinated by every little thing, still enjoying motion and new places and new faces--she came with me to a doctor's appointment yesterday and charmed the nurse and an elderly patient with her grins. She's still adorable, still wonderful. And still growing.

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