Thursday, March 24, 2011

State of the Baby

So. Here's where our daughter is at 14 1/2 months old.

Our efforts at sign language were limited, and thus her signing vocabulary is similarly limited: "please" and "all done" are the bread and butter of her self-expression. Verbally, she can say "mama" and "dada" (thought that sometimes also means "diaper") and "ra-ra," her nanny Rhonda. "Nah-nah" means she wants to nurse, though I think she also uses it to mean that she's distressed and wants comfort, because she doesn't always take what she was apparently asking for.

Her favorite toys are mommy's or daddy's iPod, followed by mommy's phone and daddy's phone, followed by Beaker's food and water. We put our phones in Airplane mode to minimize the damage, but the corollary to that is that we miss calls because our phones are essentially off-line. She loves to dump Beaker's food all over the floor, she loves to food Beaker one piece of food at a time, she loves helping to fill Beaker's food dish, and she especially loves slapping her hand down in Beaker's water dish. The corollary to this is that Beaker's food and water dishes spend a lot of time up on the table, which translates to a thirsty pup sometimes. She's getting better at asking for her water, though, or I'm getting better at interpreting.

Of her actual toys, she loves books--and recognizes many of them by name--and she loves her plastic tea set. There's something delightfully archaic about the whole idea of a tea set, as though we need to train our daughter for the proper etiquette of a tea party with persons of quality and need to get an early start. But she does love the different pieces. She likes stirring her cups and bowls with the spoons, and she even pretends to drink. "Cheers" is still more than a little dicey. At other times, though, she just loves the tea set as something that makes noise and can be dumped out of--and put back into--its container. Just as she can happily stir her imaginary tea or soup, she can also ignore the function and appreciate it as objects to be manipulated: out of the box, in the box, out, in (mostly out, though, to judge by our living room at any given moment).

She's walking around like a champ. She still falls over sometimes, but she does pretty darned well. With the nicer weather we had last week, she's gotten outside a lot more. She loves going out, and there's another word she knows: out. If I ask Beaker if she needs to potty outside, our two-legged daughter will be making a bee-line for the door, before the dog has even answered the question. If anyone's going out, she wants to go with them. She knows what "shoes" and "socks" are when we tell her she needs them to go outside. She loves walking around outside, but she's a little yucked out by the ground. It's just so... dirty. If she falls down, she has no desire to put her hands down to push herself up. It's like she's looking for somewhere clean to put her hands, can't find it, so her hands just sort of hover there and she fails to get back up. She also likes holding Beaker's leash, although she only seems to make that demand of mommy.

She loves to tease Beaker. She'll take Beaker's ball and then run away, to hide behind the recliner or on the other side of a parent. She'll hold the ball out and then pull it back when Beaker goes for it. Like I said, a tease. Much of the time, she's a happy, smiley baby. No one, and I mean no one, can get her laughing quite like mommy can. Even--at least sometimes--when she's crying.

She's not the easiest when it comes time to go to bed. She pretty much needs mommy in order to fall asleep, which can be awfully difficult for mommy, both because she tends to have more "take home" work than I do and because she tends to fall asleep with her in the process and re-rise only with difficulty. Part of the problem is that it can take an hour or more to get her to sleep, which not only a big chunk of the evening by itself but also raises the likelihood of falling asleep together.

All in all, we're happy happy parents of a happy baby. We all have our ups and downs, but life is good.


  1. She sounds like a delightful little girl.

  2. Recently, my mother and I were sitting in her living room while our daughter stood by the TV. My mom said "If you were older, I would ask you to bring me the Sports Illustrated." And even though she'd probably never before heard the word "magazine," I was able to direct her from the TV to the magazine, by way of first picking up the wrong thing off the couch, to delivering it to my mother.

    She's pretty much brilliant and amazing.