Maia is crawling now. I waited to post this update until I could say that honestly. Yeah. We'll go with that excuse.
Ahem. So our house is no longer safe. How do other parents handle having a mobile baby and a toddler who likes to play with small toys? Just forbid them all? Christmas Day is going to be ridiculous, between a girl who's discovered she loves presents (I asked her what kind we should get for Daddy, and she said, "A brown one") and a baby who's discovered she loves eating paper products.
Putting that aside, the girls are bright and beautiful and growing up, up, up. Let's talk about:
Motion. Maia's spent the last couple of weeks working on the whole crawling idea. She tried out going backwards for a while. Then doing a roly-poly method that involved sitting, then getting on hands and knees, then swiveling to sit in a slightly different location. Then getting up on hands and feet. She's still doing that and I each time I expect her to just stand up. Now she's doing a slow classic crawl. We don't expect it to last long. The slow part, that is. The gates are back up.
She's started flipping over during diaper changes, and refuses to leave
her socks alone. We were in Babies R Us the other day and I looked over
and noticed she was sockless. I spent the next five minutes going back
up the aisles we'd just gone down because I couldn't find one of the
socks. Eventually it turned out she'd flipped it out of the carrier to
the bottom of the cart. I suppose that's not the worst place to discover
you suddenly need baby socks, but I was still a bit annoyed.
She's in the big tub now, because she started doing her best to climb out of the little one, and is loving it. She plays with the toys Chloë is happy to throw in after her, and doesn't protest when I lay her down to wash her belly and thighs and delicate bits. (Incidentally, Chloë has started getting interested in her bits. I guess it's that age.) It's ever so much nicer this way.
Chloë was overjoyed by the arrival of new boots from her Grandpa and Halmoni. She put them on as soon as we opened the box and she didn't take them off until bedtime, and was reluctant even then. I didn't think much could compare with the enticement of naked time, but these boots did it. She's now big enough to climb up some ladders at the playground by herself, and delights in going across the monkey bars (which is to say, she touches them as I walk below the monkey bars carrying her along before she steps on my chin in her scrabble to get up on the platform on the other side). She loves to "hang," and does it from anything she can: bars at the playground, my chair and desk, Maia's bouncer.
Sleep. Maia sleeps pretty well now; she goes down easily (except a few nights ago when she screamed for two hours, burped, and then murmured herself to sleep within minutes) and stays down for anywhere between six and ten hours. Chloë has started waking up more during the night. We go and ask what's wrong, and usually she says, "I want you to stay." Then either we do, while she talks and pats our faces, or we don't, and she screams. She's also woken up yelling "I don't want that, I don't want that," or "I want a snack," or "The other one," so I can only assume she's having vivid dreams just like her mama. (I think I dreamed the other night that she called my knitting "needling." It sounds so totally like something she'd say, especially since she likes to ask for a needle when I'm knitting with double-points, and I was doing it the other day to make her a hat, but I can't get her to repeat it.)
Talking. Maia is babbling, babbling, babbling. "Ba ba ba ba," she says. "Na na na na. Eh." She's so happy, most of the time, and has this great rumbling belly laugh. Chloë's language grows ever more sophisticated. "I want a bite of your toast," she'll say, or "We are going to the mall to get a present for Grandpa." She's taken to saying, "What did you say?" and "Where did we go?" and I'm thinking she just wants to talk about it, so we say, "What did I say?" and "Where did we go?" Sometimes when I ask her whether she knows something she says yes, and then I say, "Okay, what is it?" she says "Yes" ("Heth") again. I told her it was okay to say "I don't know" when she doesn't know something, so now when I ask her if, say, she knows what a reindeer is, she says "Heth," and I say, "What is it?" and she says, "I don't know." And sometimes she surprises me by what she does know. So sophisticated.
Food. The innovation here is all Maia's; Chloë is her usual food-lovin' self. Maia is still a bit temperamental when it comes to eating solids, but she loves her puffs, and she's taken to trying to steal Chloë's sippy/straw cup whenever possible. We've given her her own, which she's very interested in. Carrots still seem to be her favorite. In the meantime, she's drinking more in her bottles than I'm pumping at work. We'll see how this situation develops. Especially since she's also developed that clawing-at-the-R.I.N.D.S.-as-though-they're-supposed-to-have-handles thing that Chloë went through, she doesn't have to remain a formula-free baby.
(I threaten her with formula constantly. I don't at all mean it, but with the current pumping/eating differential I'm worried that I'll have to actually go out and buy some formula, and then she'll simply refuse to drink it because she's already repeatedly shown herself willing to starve rather than eat the way she prefers. I'm trying to get up the will to pump more at night and on the weekend. I'm really starting to hate pumping, especially with the added scalding requirement, so this is difficult.)
Chloë does continue to get better at using her fork, even cutting her own bites of lasagna recently, and she can hold a small, firm piece of pizza whole in her hands and eat it that way. (She likes to eat them cold for this reason. Eric says it's because she takes after him.) She's been happily consuming her Halloween candy, a piece or two a day, or alternately homemade popsicles ("pockle") when she's been a good eater. She's taken to knocking her fork against her teeth and lips when she's nearly done, which is annoying.
Discipline. This one is all Chloë's. She's definitely more rebellious and challenging these days. "Don't tell me that!" she says frequently. However, she then generally does (or doesn't do) whatever we've just told her to do (or not do), so it's more bravado than anything else. I get impatient with her at tooth-brushing time--she get the brush to try herself, but generally just bats at her teeth a few times and then sucks at it to get the taste of the toothpaste--and try to take it away from her, and she bursts into tears and wails, "I want to brush my teeth!" She also says she wants Daddy to brush her teeth, but she always says that. If she had her way I would be her slave all day until it came to tooth-brushing time. Then come back to sing her songs when I tuck her in.
We'll actually negotiate the number of songs sometimes. "You can stay," she says. "You can sing a song?" (We're still working on the right way to ask for things; currently she thinks saying "Do you want me to read a story?" is the way to get me to read her The Very Hungry Caterpillar one more time and "I want more pasta," is the way to get a second helping at dinner) I usually say, "I will stay and sing you a song." Then she says, "Maybe three songs!" or occasionally, "Five!" I say, "Two songs," and she says, "Okay." Wait a minute...I just realized that's me doing the negotiating, not her. Dammit.
But she actually knows some songs now. She can sing her ABCs, although N usually gets left out, and knows "Twinkle Star" with help and bits of "Row Boat" and "On the Loose" and "My Star" and a few others. She'll name the one she wants me to sing, or leave it up to me by saying, "Something." She's a funny girl. They're both funny, happy girls.