Last week marked nine months for Beatrice, who is currently seated in a high chair beside me, working on a mini powdered donut with much sucking and smacking sounds. When I look over at her, she stops and grins; her face is covered with white dust and fragments of donut. This is one of the first times she’s sat in a high chair, as well as her first powdered donut. She seems pleased with both experiences.
At home we’re still one chair short, and she eats dinner with us while sitting on my lap, the food on my plate pushed aside to make room for her food, which is the same as mine, or more cut up and smushed. When we eat, I give a bite to her, then a bite to myself, then a bite to her, and so on. She is a relatively polite dinner partner provided the plate or bowl says out of her reach. If she can touch it, however, all of her manners are gone in a moment!
(As I type this, she is shaking her head at me; perhaps she knows her own penchant for grabbiness and is ashamed, thus denying the accusation. Or maybe she is hoping to get my attention and, subsequently, another donut.)
She has become something of a little mockingbird. Her copycatting started with the head-shaking (she is the only baby besides Clive to do this) and I can’t always tell if she’s shaking because I’m shaking, or because she thinks it’s fun, or because she is actually trying to say “no”. Certain situations can make her motive a little more difficult to ascertain. Also, I can never be quite sure how much she’s understanding.
A couple of weeks ago I asked if she was “ready to go night-night” and she repeated after me, “yi-yi”. We went back and forth for a bit–I saying “night-night” and she saying “yi-yi” with the same inflection–until I pulled out my camera to record her. She promptly stopped and began shaking her head instead. Now, was that because she didn’t want to say “yi-yi” anymore, or because she thought it would be funnier to shake her head, or some other reason? I wasn’t shaking my head at her, so she wasn’t mimicking me.
Another night I tried recording the “yi-yi” phenomenon and instead got her repeating “go nigh-night” after me, not once but twice, and now (I confess) I look at her intently watching my mouth as I talk and wonder how much she is catching. She doesn’t always mimick what I say, though she has said the aforementioned as well as uh-oh and no-no. She likes to play with oh sounds in general, and has a comical way of pulling her mouth down when she does. She also likes to sing the “Happy Da-da’s” and to say hi.
She is still not crawling, despite my hasty prediction a couple of updates back. She is still only practicing pulling her knees up under herself, spinning in circles (whether sitting or on her belly), and has developed an aggravating habit of rolling over in her sleep and then crying because she is “upside down.”
We’ve tried the Johnny-Jump-Up repeatedly, and it always ends in failure. I am not sure I have the stamina to keep trying it; she will just have to join her brother Eldore on the list of Krans Children Who Are Johnny-Jump-Up-Adverse. There are worse things, I suppose.
Her hair is getting rather flippy along the back, and her eyes are still that nondescript Not-Blue-Not-Brown that I suppose is Grey. Elvie’s eyes stayed that way for a very long time; it is pleasing to think they may end up with the same color eyes.
She’s working very hard on her front four teeth; her little gums are swollen and one can see the teeth beginning to pop through. So far she’s been a decent teether; she’s not nearly as fussy as Eldore was. (Bless him.)