Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little R Is Eight Months Old

Gulping down lime juice
Enjoying the scenery: you aren't scared even though you are hundreds of feet off the ground in a glass bubble
Pulling things off the shelf
Little R is eight months old today! This month saw an explosion of new skills in every direction; she is developing so quickly. It's really incredible to think about the tiny, helpless creature she used to be, and compare that to the active, busy, havoc-causing baby she is now.

Supposedly by this age, her temperament has settled somewhat and will be a constant for the remainder of her childhood. I hope that's true, because she has a great personality! She is sociable, friendly, affectionate, adaptable, and interested in everything. She is not at all fearful, but isn't impulsive either (she prefers to carefully consider how to do something, before actually doing it). She focuses well (and will spend a long time on one toy if she finds it interesting), but can be distracted from her objectives if necessary without too much drama (like when she wants to eat paper).

Physically she has really developed. She can now crawl for long distances, all over the apartment; stand unassisted for brief periods (though she prefers to hold on to something); walk with support (hands or the furniture); and pull herself to sit or stand. She has just started to use her thumb and forefinger to pick up small objects, and is generally very dexterous with her hands now. She feeds herself, and can drink from a cup if I help her hold it (or rather prevent her from turning it upside down suddenly; she can hold it but doesn't understand gravity well yet).

Now that she is finally mobile, she uses this new freedom to explore everything. She sets all sorts of little goals for herself (get that toy!) and goes off to do it at once. She also has learned that when things are not in her line of vision, they still exist, and will rifle through my bag to remove confiscated items, or drop toys on purpose, and then summon me to retrieve them. She can pull books off the shelf, toys out of bags, and has an unerring attraction to very small pieces of trash on the floor (which she will immediately stick in her mouth if not prevented).

She is very interested in communicating. This month she said her first word "Dada", which she uses appropriately (although when I went to get her one morning she looked right at me and said "Dada!", so I don't know if she is entirely clear on its full definition). She has recently started to say "Mama" when she is sad, tired or upset (or wanting to leave bed even though it is bedtime), although I am not quite sure if she means me yet. She will repeat our words back to us as best she can, and loves trying to copy everything I do (so anything I touch/use immediately is fascinating). She has started to use gestures as well (like raising her arms to be picked up). She "talks" constantly: baba waawaa grrr mamanana brr da da and so on. Sometimes she almost sounds like she is really talking. She seems to understand a few words (Dada, Mama, up, no, ready) and if I say, "Come here" will come (sometimes, unless she gets distracted on the way). She certainly knows her own name and nicknames.

She loves to watch other children, definitely in preference to adults. She still will smile and flirt with her admirers, although she is more discriminating/wary than she used to be. (She usually doesn't cry when they pick her up, but she watches me like a hawk the whole time for cues as to the safety of the whole operation.) She also has separation anxiety now; if I leave the room, she will often cry until I return, even if someone else is with her. She prefers me to be in her line of sight at all times, and will follow me to make that happen if necessary.

Nicknames: Fur, ZiZi
Temperament: Curious, happy, busy
Things I Could Do Without: Your separation anxiety. You don't need to cry in a heartbroken way when I leave the room/apartment: I'll be back soon!
Item/Toy We Love the Most: Your high chair because it's so cute watching you eat food off the tray.
Item/Toy You Love the Most: Your plastic spoons; toothbrushes. You also love the computer and its wires but I don't let you play with them like you want to.
Things I'm Loving Most Right Now: Watching you develop into such a big girl!; the way your face shines with pride when you accomplish something new; how much you love and trust me
Things You're Loving Most Right Now: Practicing walking, preferably with my help; mouthing, eating, and ripping at stuff; moving all over; playing with your father; hugs and "kissing" me (open mouth gumming of my face)
Foods You Like: Pork dumplings (your favorite), sushi, eggs, avocados
Sounds/Words: Dada, Mama (maybe?)

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