Friday, 7 February 2014

A year and change

A year and change, with an emphasis on change. My tiny baby is so big (and yet, at 8.14 kilos, so small). She finished the year at 25th percentile for weight and 50th percentile height, which explains why she's always fit her age-size for clothes and outgrown things lengthwise before she was in any danger of doing so width-wise. There was one outfit we were given that, unfortunately, she outgrew in length before she was wide enough to keep it from falling off of her shoulders. Oops.

The biggest change is that last year's helpless infant who could only just hold her head up is walking and babbling up a storm. She'd been able to walk for a while, before Christmas certainly, but was only rarely willing to take a few steps between objects, preferring to shuffle around on her knees. The oddest part was that knee-shuffling was a lot slower than crawling, though it did afford a greater ability to carry things around.  Then one day mid January, she just walked across the room, changing direction and speed, picking things up to carry with her and putting them down again. She'd entirely skipped the careening madly into things stage and become a proper walker. She still loses her balance a fair bit and then usually has to knee-shuffle over to something she can use to regain her feet, but she's managed to stand up on her own a few times, too.

Little Djinn also has two teeth! The second one showed up on New Year's Day and is ever so slightly behind the other one. Thank goodness it finally came because the 6 weeks of teething to get two teeth was not fun for anyone. Starting on Christmas she would occasionally have an allergic reaction to her own stools and nappy changing became just that little bit less fun. She's still spending the whole night sleeping with me, I've not been able to get her to come for a nurse then return to her cot again, but I miss her when she's not with me so while I'd sleep better without her, I like having her next to me. Even C, who is a fairly light sleeper, found he did alright with her between us on our holiday, sleeping through (with earplugs) her waking up to nurse, and taking comfort in reaching over to touch her tiny hands. And even if one could wish for a longer lie-in, it's hard to be grumpy when she wakes up so happy and ready to play.


And now it's been another month. The only real change from the First half is a third tooth, the teething for which was, thankfully, much milder. She is coming on and picking up new skills seemingly daily bit it's hard to pinpoint the changes. She is more consistent about signing to nurse, and not just tugging my clothes, and she'll take me by the hand and show me how to do things (like pat the fuzzy tummy in her touch-and-feel book). She can now lift the mouthpiece on her sippy cup and not just close it. She can climb the sides of her high chair like a ladder. I ask her in the morning if she wants up in her chair for breakfast or if she'd rather run around on the floor and she'll decide she's ready to sit and reaches for the chair. She goes to the pram and pats it to say she wants to go for a walk, and a lot of time when she's running around she'll come back when I call her and stay in the area specified. She can stack her nesting cups the short way and the tall way, though she hasn't quite grasped sorting by size.

She dances. When she hears music she likes she does little squats and sometimes stretches her arms up or swings them like she's doing the twist. She gives kisses (pressing her open mouth to mine) and if she sees my bare tummy she pecks at it, which I realised was her attempt at "blowing raspberries". She knows where her ears are and sometimes will point to my or C's nose but that's it for body parts. 

The other night I was getting her ready for bed and, having just got her nappy off she stood up and gave me a big cuddle, then stepped off the edge of the dresser and wiggled for down, then took off for the stairs. Daddy came up just in time to see our entirely free-range, estatic baby close the baby gate and start down. She knows that baby gates are supposed to be closed (sometimes with herself on the wrong side) and tries to close the latch on the cupboards if she sees that open. 

Her hair is getting long in back, 3 or 4 inches, but is barely half an inch along her forehead and Daddy keeps threatening to take her for a haircut. Speaking of Daddy taking her places, I've been back at work for about 6 weeks, 8hrs/week (usually two half days) and Daddy is on solo parenting duty those days which has been really good for all three of us. Little Djinn didn't even cry on Sunday (a six hour day) - not when I left in the morning and not when I left after they came to have lunch with me.

We took her down to Edinburgh last week for an overnight and to register her birth with the US consulate. I've heard horror stories but our case was straightforward and, other than our passports, marriage certificate and Little Djinn's birth certificate they didn't even look at anything I brought to show that she's a US citizen. I think it helps that I'd never left the US until I met C in 2009 and while he'd visited, he's never lived there.


And another month. Still only three teeth, still gaining skills but no big breakthroughs. I ask her if she's ready to change her nappy and she gets her bucket (if we're home) or her changing mat (if we're out) and carries it to the changing table. She knows where the changing tables are in a lot of places and will go to them, only waiting for me to open doors. 

She's a bit better about eating. She loves bananas, mangos and raisins/sultanas. C has been buying small bags of very expensive imported Cheetos and she always wants to share those (I bite the ends off of a few for her then put the bag away. Sometimes this stops the demands for more and sometimes she has screaming fits while trying to reach the bag.). She likes Doriano crackers, which are a lot like unsalted Saltines, and occasionally will eat a bite or two of cheese. Today she ate porridge made entirely with cows milk (I've been mixing with my own for months). She's grown again but still fits a range of clothes from 9-12 (tops/dresses) to 12-18 (trousers, footy pjs) months. She's lanky.

I work two 4hr shifts a week and I'm pretty sure those are her favourite days, whn she gets to play with Daddy. C got an office in town ad actually leaves for work which always results in death-hugs (as in squeezed-to) and usually tears. Saturday I left for work and had to ask for a fairly indifferent cuddle whilst she did everything but push me out the door. But she's always happy to see me when I'm done, and only I will do if she wakes in the night. Daddy is for play, Mama is for comfort.

Today is the last day of Easter Break, when all of the toddler groups pause, and she'll be back in swim lessons and dance class next week. We've also been trying to make Bookbug (story and rhyme session) at the library and have some books to return, if she'll let the one with the hamster, goldfish, and bunny all on th same page go back. She can identify the mousy in the "That's Not My..." books and has similar "find the object on each page" things she can spot. 

Easter was brilliant. Grandma made a fabric Easter basket for K which I "hid" in her room and she found when she woke up. We gave her a set of Happyland construction figures with a dump truck and a bulldozer which she's absolutely crazy about. She tried to take the dump truck to bed with her (I said no, but let hr have a construction worker). After church, I hid a dozen plastic eggs in the back garden, then after she found them and lost interest in playing with them, I hid them again. She was even more excited the second time nd when we told her she'd found them all she started hiding them again herself. It was unbelievably cute. 

No words yet, but she understands lots of things and remembers a surprising amount of things she's only asked about once. At this point I'm expecting her first word to be a sentence, similar to how she wouldn't take steps until she got up and walked off.

Every night, after she's gone to bed, C and I marvel at how amazing she is and how lucky we are to know her.