She is a bad baby. She has done something bad. Well, not just one thing. A few actually. I don't know what I'm going to do with her, but lately I've considered baby boot camp (they have that, right?), eBay and/or Craig's List, and am open to trades. What did she do, you ask?
She has started to grow up.
I, of course, am handling it with grace and dignity. I'm sure you can tell.
Since Christmas, my baby has started hitting developmental milestone after developmental milestone with such enthusiasm and vigor (Yay her!) that she can often be found practicing her new skills in her crib sometime right around 3 a.m. (Yay me!). Aside from the interruption in sleep cycles these milestones have brought, they also have really thrown me for a loop. I kinda thought I had a little more time before my baby started doing all this "big kid" stuff--she is only 7 months afterall!
Um, yeah, so my baby is quickly becoming not a baby, and here's why. . . in the last 4 weeks--read that, 4 weeks!--Avalee has:
- Learned to crawl. Fast.
- Learned to sign for milk when she's hungry.
- Learned to clap.
- Learned to wave.
- Pulled herself, by herself, to standing.
- Said her first words. As in plural. Words.
Yes, I realize that a lot of this sounds fairly insane, and before you think that were some of those overly-gushy first time parents who think that every tiny thing their child does is "Ah-mazing!" and counts little babbles as words, I will remind you that I don't want my baby to be doing any of these things! I want her to stay little as long as possible! (I should explain that I saw how quickly my little brother (6) grew up while I was gone to college and vowed not to push for and anticipate every single milestone with my own baby. I want to savor this tiny amount of time I have with this tiny little baby who will soon be a tiny little person. I hope someone besides me sees the humor in calling my 20.5 lb seven-month-old "tiny.")
At any rate, Avalee is now doing these things--rebellion already?!--on a fairly regular basis. She picked up the sign for milk between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I pretty much just started showing her the sign whenever I could tell she was hungry and when we nursed, and about a week later, she started to sign on her own at mealtime. At Christmas she was just starting to crawl, which was hilarious, as she would go two paces, get frustrated, plant her feet, and launch herself about a foot forward onto her stomach and often her face. Now, she is silently tearing through the house in search of tiny pieces of plastic packaging that missed the garbage, unsecured electrical cords, and shoes, glorious shoes, to eat. She clapped for the first time a couple days after Christmas for her Aunt Emily who pointed out to me that she was doing so! Now she claps any time you say, "Yaaayyyy!" or when she finds something particularly funny, which can be anything from being tickled to me sneezing.
Waving became the new "thing" somewhere around the second week of January. She waves when you wave at her. She waves when she wants your attention. She waves at herself in the mirrors at the dance studio. She waves while saying "Hi" and "Bye-bye" when you leave. And about that...the talking started with the usual "bababa," "mamama" babbling around Christmas time and me teasing Travis about how 99% of babies say "Da-da" first, but my smart baby's first word was going to be "Mama." Then she started making a sound that sounded an awful lot like "Hi" when she'd wave. And then one night one of my dancers said "Bye-bye!" to Avalee as she left the studio, and the darn child started waving at her and saying "Bye-bye!" Now her favorite thing to do whenever I walk through the studio lobby on my way to refill my water bottle is to screw her face up into the very most pathetic frown and desperately wail "Maaaammmaaaa!" Of course, these words are not perfectly articulated yet, but are clearly discernable and identifiable. She uses them fairly consistently and appropriately (maybe 75% of the time). In fact, we weren't really counting them as words but just normal babbling that sounded like words until Avalee's Thursday night babysitter pointed out that she was clearly connecting meaning to them. And Marlene is a speech pathologist.
Then yesterday, as I sat working on the computer doing some, well, work, I looked up to see her standing at the coffee table. I grabbed my phone and snapped the worst picture ever, and twenty seconds later she fell over, hitting her face on the coffee table on the way down. Fun times. She did it a few more times last night, just to spite me, I think. And a couple of my dancers are going to be doing a brutal set of push-ups next week, because I walked out of the studio last night to see them letting her take steps while holding onto their fingers.
She has also outgrown her infant seat and started (slowly) to eat a little bit of solid food.
Geez, that's pretty much it, I guess. My baby is growing up way too fast; I'm so proud of her. I knew that she'd do these things eventually. I just wasn't prepared to deal with her doing them at 7 months. I don't know whether to clap for her (while saying "Yaaayyyyy!" of course) or cry myself to sleep. I guess I really am a Mama now.
And, just to prove we aren't making it all up...