Sunday, June 10, 2007

Leaps and Bounds

Anna Sophia is learning and growing at such a rate at the moment that documenting it seems like a lot of work, and there's precious little energy left in us after a day of following her around, extracting her limbs from the cat's dish, pulling her out of cupboards and closets where she engages in her never-ending, unhelpful, "reorganizing," and picking bits of food (and non-food items) out of her fingers and mouth and off her clothes.

Fortunately for us, though, her leaps and bounds aren't literal. Not yet. She's still just bum-scooting around wildly and pulling herself up on stuff willy-nilly. She also has learned to wave for hello and bye-bye and has become a pro at a new game, Head Tilt, which was started by her Aunt Andrea, who one day leaned her head down onto an armrest and got a similar head tilt from Anna, who now happily flops herself sideways at all hours (including suppertime when spoons are headed mouthwise) and expects her playmates (or parents or pets) to follow suit. Very cute.

She woke up one morning last week making all kinds of new sounds that exist in the English language (and that should, if they don't), and she has rarely been quiet since. She constantly practices her "b" and "p" sounds (and smacks her lips kissily while eating her yogurt). She learned to blow a proper raspberry -- tongue out and vibrate-y -- yesterday (messily, while eating her yogurt). She also has four "words": "ha-a" (with a dropping sing-song inflection) for "hello"; "ga-a" (with excitement and pointing or arm-flapping) for the cat; "mamamamama" for "mom" or for when she wants just about anything; and "dadadadada" for her dad, or when she has gotten what she wants.

To be honest, it is other family members who credit her with these "words." I, her mother, am waiting for more indication of true understanding. I'll count it as "hello" when she gets the diphthong in "hi" -- though I will admit that she mostly consistently gets at least the context right with her "ha-a" -- something she does less reliably with "mamamamamamamama." Heart-warming as it is to think her first word might be "mama," she doesn't have a full grasp on the concept. Last evening, she woke briefly soon after she had been tucked in and her dad gave her the dregs of her bottle. She drank them down, her eyes lolling sleepily back in their sockets, and just before passing out completely, she smiled up beatifically and said, "mama." Of course, her father is a good mother.

Anna is in a big hug and kiss and cuddle phase. Her bum-scooting lets her carry and cuddle a toy with one hand while steering with the other as she scoots. It also gets her to her parents' ankles where she can climb to our knees and reach up for lots of hugs for dad (who is too fuzzy in the beardal region for kisses) and hugs and kisses for mom. The kisses continue to be the sloppy, wet open-mouthed variety. If mom and dad attempt a hug or kiss without her, she yells at a high pitch and comes tearing across the floor to get in on some group hug action.

Anna doesn't want to be changed at the moment, and her happy naked kicking, which she used to do just to get her ya-yas out, now rattles the room and puts actual holes in her changing pad. Hmm. Her cloth diapers may be more comfortable on the days she would prefer to be naked, but they sure ain't designed for bum-scooters. The cloth all gets pushed to one side as she scoots, and she leaks -- on the very side she is pulling against the ground. We figured this out from the big red soil stains on her butt after a day spent bum-scooting in the yard and garden. She likes to scoot to the edge of the grass, where the soil has been dug out, and carefully remove stones and twigs and leaves from the soil. This is part of her craze for reorganizing. Sadly, it also becomes part of her craze for putting things in her mouth too. Yummy, yummy rocks.

Well -- can't be much worse than the taste of baby formula, which tastes like it has had its mineral content boosted with iron shavings. No wonder Anna is so keen on grown-up food. Her whole body shook with excitement when she first chomped down on her Grandma Carolyn's French bread. And last week she weirdly commandeered her mother's curried split pea dal for her own lunch. Since it was just split peas and spice and was as mushy as her usual baby food, I figured there was no harm in letting her develop a taste for curry. Her parents sure hope she'll like a wide range of foods from different cultures . . .

Anna is sleeping off her Grandma Marjorie's very exciting birthday party from yesterday afternoon, but her nap will soon end. We'll enjoy a peaceful Monday of walks and gardening and naps, and then her dad will tuck her into bed to sleep as long as her still-sore teeth allow.