Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bouncing Baby

As we've met other parents of children under one, we've noticed a sad phenomenon. So many new parents believe their children to be the most gorgeous, the most adorable, the most active, the most advanced of all babies ever born in the history of the world. And the phenomenon is sad because these parents are all so clearly suffering delusions. Because we have the most gorgeous, the most adorable, the most active, the most advanced of all babies ever born in the history of the world. And we can only shake our heads with sympathy at the other poor, poor deluded parents.

Hee hee.

Of course, as parents we are finely attuned to Anna Sophia's individual baby superpowers, but we know that if she were a different person from whom she most definitely is and who she is most definitely becoming, we would simply attune ourselves to a different set of superpowers. I hope. Sometimes we're so busy being attuned to Anna's busy being, it's hard to tell what we would think under different circumstances, if we were able to think straight at all.

These days, Anna is teething hard but very slowly. There must be teeth in there somewhere, but they aren't showing themselves. She is drooling in buckets. She is then climbing into and out of the buckets.

She is still desperate to walk and is trying to decide if crawling is worth an investment of energy. She no longer stays in one place when set on the floor. She bounces on her bum, reaches impossibly far in front of her, grips the floor with her feet, and either spins in a circle or pulls herself forward or tries out a crawling position or faceplants, depending on her mood and her sense of adventure. She can boogie her way over to her toy basket and empty its contents one by one onto the floor (an activity she also likes to apply to laundry baskets and any shelves at baby level). She is still most adept at spinning in a circle where she sits, which usually leads to a ring of toys just out of her immediate reach, with her sitting in the middle of the ring still trying to decide if crawling is worth an investment of energy. She has faceplanted just often enough to make her wary.

If her parents are nearby, we automatically become jungle gyms. If we sit next to her, Anna grabs pantlegs, pulls herself up to standing, and bounces and dances. Or faceplants. If we sit or lie on the floor next to her, she climbs over whatever part of us is closest. She tugs and pulls our parts, and she hangs over and balances on our parts.

Anna is only still while sleeping. And she prefers to save her sleeping for the night-time rather than daytime naps, though she likes to wake in the evening long enough to check out American Idol. She was a Sanjaya fan, but he went home last week, and we were surprised last night to find Anna inclined to support Blake. Perhaps since this season of Idol is so boring, Anna will soon choose to sleep through the night??

Anna loves adventures outside, now that spring is in the air. She has greeted many upstart crocuses and six early tulips in the garden. We've been enjoying "field trips," adding to our usual destinations (Confederation Centre Gallery or Confederation Centre Library or Mavor's at Confederation Centre) some new, scenic locations around town. And one day this week, we went to the greenhouses around the corner to buy fresh green beans (Anna's favourite of all her favourite vegetables) and to look at all kinds of blooming flowers and seedling plants. Anna hummed to them very happily. She also tried to grab them and rip them to shreds. (She seems to understand an alarming amount of what we say to her, but "Gentle" is still a concept beyond her, um, "grasp.") We also visited the bunnies that live in the greenhouse. They were at it like, well, rabbits. I decided it would not be age-appropriate to explain this aspect of spring.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

In some climates, in some parts of the world, Easter might fall in springtime, but here, where springtime exists only as a state of mind and our closest approximation of "spring fever" is a warmish reddish rash from friction burn where we tried to scrub off a layer of mud, Easter has brought a blizzard. It's a real blizzard -- the one they've been forecasting all winter but that has never materialized.

Anna's first Easter brunch with grandparents Ledwell will be, if we are lucky, Easter late lunch with Uncle Patrick and Aunt Tara, who are within walking distance and are still young and strong.

We're determined to make it out for turkey dinner at Grandma MacInnis's. We're told the turkey is in the oven and that it would have died in vain if we don't make an attempt to get there.

Only two logistical hurdles to face: digging out whatever has blown in since Stephen dug out earlier this morning, and getting Anna into baby leotards to keep her legs warm in her Easter dress. Given that she resists all and any clothes, I'm not sure what army will be able to get her into leotards. Come to think of it, I can't think what army would be able to get me into leotards, but -- really -- if you can't apply double standards to babies, who is left to apply them to?

Anna is happily watching the snow breeze past the window as she scoots back and forth in her non-saucer shaped exersaucer. It's called an "intellitainer," but we refer to it as the "intellicizer" when we don't refer to it as "the contraption."

Anna's up to her old tricks but is adding new ones. On Thursday, she decided her favourite new game is to grab hands or arms or anything she can and use them to pull herself to standing. She did this again and again and again on Thursday, and not only is she able to do it with ease, now, she is able to look proud of herself for doing it. Very proud of herself. The girl knows an accomplishment when she sees it. On Friday, she showed off her new skill for her uncle Danny, home from Halifax.

Her parents are proud, too, but most days, we look at each other and say, "Hoo boy. We are in so much trouble." We can barely keep up with her now, when she's barely mobile at all. We aren't sure how we'll catch her when she manages to walk, a goal she has decided is more interesting (and possibly more attainable) than crawling.

Right now, she can mostly launch herself forward and backward from sitting, either bonking her head or narrowly missing bonking her head. (We surround her with pilllows and our own selves, so mostly she bonks her head on pillows or legs.) She loves to try to crawl over her parents -- we are obviously obstacles to getting where she wants to go. As usual, where she wants to go is wherever the cat is. Which is never far away, because Moon loves to be near the baby. While the baby naps, Moon naps -- on the changing table.

Anna's other favourite toy, for when the cat is out of sight, is a stainless steel bowl and a rubbery ball. Who knew that what she most wanted to play with was a bowl from the kitchen? We thought all baby toys had to be created by teams of baby psychologists with theories about how many whizzbangs and gadgets and colours and questionable baby-fied representations of major works of cultural importance could be safely fit into ten inches of plastic to create a genius.

Anna is sitting in her intellicizer full of whizzbangs dangling her feet and happily sucking on her finger. There's drool everywhere. Do you think she's doomed to a life of non-genius?