Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Speck at 15 months

Wow! what an amazing few months it’s been since last I wrote. Your abilities to manipulate your world and interact with us have been exploding, with a heap of skills having emerged in just the first two weeks of May. Couldn’t possibly wait to write again.

ramblerFirst, some externalities. My mocking about your two teeth must have dented your pride, because very quickly after your first birthday you started building more, such that you now have eight fully emerged, including two molars. (Your stoicism while all that was going on makes me a bit nervous about your pain threshold, but that seems ok for now.) You’re still not walking, although your skill with the walker/push toys is way up; you can steer around objects, change course, and even navigate some irregular grassy zones. Also still not talking, no new words, but you’ve figured out that shaking your head means “no” (although, as with much of your communication, there are times when it means something else entirely). You’ve started doing a bit of climbing onto low ledges and furniture, but Mom’s initial panic at this has subsided a bit as you don’t seem singlemindedly driven to scale the heights. Yet, anyway.

You’re a master of finger foods now, from Cheerios to cheesy pasta (sneakily laced with peas or carrots), and are good enough with a spoon that we sometimes let you work your way through most of a lunch of shepherd’s pie. (Usually at breakfast we’re too desperate to get out of the house, so you just get a few dips before Dad shovels the rest in.) We’re still exploring the list of foods that you might eat, so there’s lots of nibbles off of parental plates, to varying success.

EasterYou’re also master of your fingers in other ways. You’ve almost stopped playing with the shape-sorter, so completely have you mastered its small challenges. (Luckily Gammy has a more complicated one in reserve.) You stack blocks as high as yourself (over and over again compulsively). You’ve also figured out the motion of twisting your wrist for toys that require it, of holding a bottle or sippy cup and tilting it upward as needed, and you regularly disassemble pansies in a methodical way as you ride in your stroller. Plus you can put your finger into a finger puppet and dance it around!

So, that crazy two-week period! All of this, seemingly at once:
  • You learned to drink through a straw, pretty much on the first try. This saved a rather grumpy lunch, at the slight cost of Mom’s frozen and tired hand holding the glass of ice water for your explorations.

  • Shaking head to mean “no” arrived during this time. (Previously it had been reserved for rockin-out to music, or to enjoying the wind in your stroller. I don’t know how you came to give it meaning, or whether we just reacted as though it had some and you played along...)

  • You started to share, especially letting other kids on the playground borrow your green walker, although you of course want it back after a short stretch. Still, going from fear at their approach to rolling it toward them as an offering was a noteworthy evolution.

  • You first did an action that was clearly pretending – specifically, you held a big lego block up to your ear as if it were a telephone, and then gave it to me to continue the charade. (You have also been much amused when I mime feeding your bear with a spoon, although you haven’t yet gone that direction yourself.)

  • I had cut up some pieces of apple for you and you actually pointed to the rest of the apple instead – sure enough, you bit right in and ate most of it that way! We think that your enjoyment is a mix of food tastiness and teething relief, but it’s cute either way to watch you open wide and attack.... This also quickly generalized to bananas, making snack time a whole lot easier.

  • Most recently, you learned/decided to snuggle. You had always hugged Golden Bear, and then done some flirtatious demonstrations toward the dog’s bed or a pillow on the floor, but you only recently made the leap from that to actually hugging Mom or Dad (and especially to pointing to a book with a picture on the cover of a baby hugging her mommy, and then miming the same). I think we hadn’t realized how much we were looking forward to this – unlike the long vigil for the first smile – until it finally got here. Still enough of a rarity to be treasured. yay!
Wow, in the two days between writing and posting this, you took your first unsupported steps! I’m not sure you even realized it when you let go of your walker and just stood upright, rocking your hips a bit as though jammin’ to the music, and then took two steps toward me to be picked up. But your grandma and I sure noticed! Big things coming now!!

Also, had my first outing that felt like a shared parent-daughter time: we were just biding our time before meeting Gammy, but we ended up playing on a big cozy coffeehouse couch (wheee! fluffy cushions!), sharing some blueberry muffin, reading a book, and generally snuggling side by side. The time just flew. More and more, better and better!


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