Sunday, February 5, 2012

Princess' verbs: napping, clinging, sitting, and talking

**Princess is not sleeping well tonight, so while Joy paces the floor with her, I will sit here and play scribe as Joy recounts Princess' latest developments**

Prince starting school helped me remember some of the schedule of napping that Princess had had before. During the break, she was only taking 2 naps most days and being pretty grumpy at night. [D - I never knew that was odd!] I read somewhere about anticipating naps when they're tired, and I remembered about the times that she used to have naps last semester.

Playing with Prince's toys during Sunday School
I started putting her down to bed before she went to sleep around those times - telling her it was nap time and singing her a quiet song while I rocked her or bounced her. I could tell she was starting to understand me because she would start to cry or whimper a little when we'd start that process near her bed. She's been taking most of those naps and being overall happier.

Another thing that I've been trying for the first time is, when she hasn't gone down for her first nap, instead of saying, "Oh, that didn't work," like I used to, I have gotten her up out of bed in the dark room and spend some time trying to burp her - 5 minutes or something - and calming her, then laying her down for her nap again. And that has worked a few times! I used to just feed her when she got grumpy. If she fell asleep when I was feeding her, I'd put her down for a nap. But I've been concerned about helping her learn how to comfort herself and put herself to sleep. What I've tried has seemed to help her out.

I'm trying to get into some routine of bathing her, but it's hard to figure out if I'm doing it before or after nap.

For a couple of weeks she was really clingy and didn't want me to put her down. So this week I've been sitting down with her on the floor or bringing a food project into the living room and getting the room ready for her to crawl around and setting her down to see how she does. She can crawl in and out of my lap a little bit, or at least come up to me a leave me.

[D - My favorite new game
that she plays on the couch is like that. She comes over to me, gets my attention or tries to get my iPad, then turns around and crawls to Mommy. She makes sure is Mommy is there, then crawls back to me. She's interested in each of us for a couple minutes. It's a lot of fun.]

Only seven months old and it's
The Truth, from
(well, almost. She also plays with my keyboard or my Dell)
(or her chew toys)
We've even gotten to the point where I can leave her with her toys and go do something for a little bit at times cause she's getting more comfortable when I'm not holding her. It's been a good way to help her be with me when she wants to and explore too.

The other day, I went over to Rani's house and Princess did not want to be held by Rani. But I put her down on the floor and she did a little bit of staying with me then exploring. Then I suggested to Rani that she sit on the floor and we could see if she would come to her. Immediately after Rani sat on the floor, Princess crawled up to her and used her to stand up. She didn't crawl into her lap, but Rani got the attention she was interested in giving her without holding her. Princess still didn't want to be held by Rani, but they had fun together.

It was before she started going to Daddy that I got her more comfortable on the floor. It's been fun to see her go to Daddy again. [Yes it has!]

Princess has a signature pose when she sits [see left, which is close but not quite it]. Almost every time she puts herself in a sitting position, she has one leg bent behind her and the other one almost straight at a diagonal in front of her. So she's sitting, but she's poised or prepared to move. Sometimes she sits on her knees, but rarely with both legs out in front of her. [Prince by contrast, preferred squatting to sitting.] Yeah, he was never a sitter. [I would say Princess actually sits on the bent leg usually, giving her more leverage to move, but in the picture it was starting to come out as she prepared to move.]

She's done some babbling. We've mentioned about her saying "Mama" I think - not consistently to call me, but fairly consistently about food. We were reading up about what children do at seven months, and one of the things they do is that they start talking when other people are talking. When we read it, she wasn't really doing that. She would just talk more when she needed something or was hungry or something.

Yesterday, she just started a consistent stream of babbling. Yaya, and then some other stuff. I was putting her down for a nap or to bed, and we saw Dad in the hall. She was paying attention to him, and then we turned the corner around her bed so that we didn't see Dad anymore. And she said, "Da!" when he went out of sight. I was like, 'Wow. That's cool.' I told Derrill about it. Then later I heard her say "Dada" when Derrill was close to us, but Derrill wasn't listening or didn't hear it.

[Then this morning, we were playing our little game on the couch, with her crawling back and forth. One time, she turned and looked at me and said, "Dada!" I gave her my undivided attention, and she was very happy about that. She said "Dada" again during dinner, to signal that she wanted me to give her food. Oh, the wonderful advantages of solids. She said it a lot once during the afternoon, switching between Dadadadajajagagaga, like practicing. As reward, I bounced her, and she was happy. It was very fun to hear her say Dada. I've only been enouraging her for 7 months...]

At this point you can mention that we have also become Dada and Mama to Prince as well. He doesn't understand why when he says it we're frustrated, since we seem so excited when she says it. I've tried to explain to him that it's because he can say other things, but it's just not the same as seeing her reaction when she says our name.

Princess has not become convinced yet that crawling is the best way to get around. She does a little crawl, but she prefers to sit, and when moving around still does a lot on her chest and belly - more like a breast stroke instead of a front crawl now. I think it's because she doesn't quite have the legs with the arms together. She kind of drags her knees along with her instead of wanting/being-able to make them move.

Princess grabs on to anyone and anything, even the floor, trying to stand. She stands in her crib sometimes when I go get her. Sometimes her feet slowly slide out from under her, which distresses her. But as Daddy observes, she's starting to learn how to get them underneath her by walking her feet. [Those first few steps were beautiful and very tremulous.] She falls down backwards after standing, holding on to something for a while. It hurts and I have to hold her for a while as she cries.

 -- Joy