Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Close Shave

One more cute thing I forgot to mention that Anna did this past weekend: She was looking at photos on the mantelpiece of Grandma Marjorie's. Her auntie Sandra asked Anna to point to mommy, and Anna pointed to the picture of me from our wedding. Then Sandra asked Anna to point to her dad, and Anna looked at the picture from the wedding, scrutinized it, and instead pointed to a picture of her dad from his sister Mary Jane's wedding.

Why? Stephen had a beard when Mary Jane got married and was clean-shaven for our wedding, and Anna has never seen her dad clean-shaven! If he ever shaves again, Anna won't recognize him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Someone Anna-sized didn't get the memo that the clocks went back an hour on Saturday night. Or she got the memo but can't read yet.

We tried to keep Anna awake a little later last night to begin to align her body clock with the kitchen clock, but at 6:30, which felt to her like 7:30, she felt strongly that her parents were overlooking her needs and had forgotten her nightly rituals, so she grabbed her father's hand, led him to the bathroom door, looked at him meaningfully so he would understand he was supposed to run a bath, then wandered to her changing table to get a facecloth.

She is either a smarty-pants or she is as routine-oriented as her dad!

At thirteen months, Anna is an expert walker and now is willing to sit and play for whole minutes at a time. She loves to sit on anything at bum-level: the crossbar at the bottom of her highchair's support, the baseboard heaters, the cat. Her grandma gave her a little stool to sit on, and she loved to spend happy minutes sitting on it -- for the first hour she had it at home. Ah yes, off and on for that whole hour, she sat by the pots and pans and clattered them happily. Then -- bored -- she picked up the wee stool, carried it to the living room, maneuvred it to the side of the piano, climbed up on it and stood there playing a little "tune" of her own devising and dancing precariously close to the stool's edge.

She learns new things every week. On Saturday, when she hosted a three-hour gallery opening for her father, she learned to blow kisses. (Thank god someone in this family can schmooze.) She has also learned this week that she can get her parents to follow her by grabbing them and pushing them or dragging them in the direction she wants them to go. ("There -- towards the crackers!" "Here, where my blocks are!")

And her repertoire of dance moves expands every day. At first when she started dancing, she mostly bent her knees and bounced her bum. Now, her whole body has got the action. She dances in ways she has never seen anyone dance -- it is all inborn in her rhythmic little person and her happy little imagination. She bounces her bum and moves her arms and bobs and dips her shoulders and head. All it takes is someone clapping their hands or threatening to hum a tune, and she's all a-dance. Her favourite CDs these days have Latin rhythms. Salsa, mambo . . . you name it. She loves music and sings more and more. It is again possible to figure out from her body language and her singing which songs she likes best on any given CD. She likes all the songs good and loud, too!

Now that Anna has eight teeth through, she is also very independent about her food. She eats grown-up food with gusto, protein most of all, the spicier the better. She's never met anything tomato-based she didn't like. And if her parents want to eat an apple, they can only do so in a dark room with the door closed -- otherwise, the apple will be stolen and gnawed on ferociously, consumed with startling efficiency. Anna is not satisfied to eat with her fingers (like her mother does, since her mother has never had a good relationship with cutlery or society). She now wants to control her own spoon. This results in a lot of soup and yogurt on the floor, on her parents, on her lap, on the cat. We might not give her soupy foods until her motor control matches her control-freakiness.

Verbally, Anna meows. She says "Shh" with her finger to her lips and whispers her garbly babytalk if the cat is asleep and doesn't want to be wakened. She doesn't say a whole lot of words, but she still manages to communicate very well and she understands everything she is asked. She will get a book if you offer to read to her, knock on a door if you step behind a closed one, hide if you say you're going to find her, get her shoes if you say it's time for a walk, get a facecloth from her changing table if you say it's bathtime.

And if you are her parent and are not giving her your full attention, she communicates her displeasure by scooping up the catfood and throwing it across the room. Which is why the cat now sometimes is served her supper on the counter. Fortunately, Moon loves to play with Anna as much as Anna loves to play with Moon -- otherwise, the food-swiping would be an issue for the cat as much as for the parents.

Anna's keen on "helping" when she's feeling less destructive, though -- putting away stacks of laundry (if by putting them away you mean picking up folded laundry, dragging it to the next room, and dropping it behind the furniture), tidying up her toys (if by tidying you mean throwing them in a box and then standing on top of the box), and sorting her socks (if by sorting you mean pulling them out onto the floor, putting half back into their box, and stogging the rest under the furniture).

Anna is still pretty popular with her parents and grandparents and relatives and friends, for all.