Fourteen Months: When you laugh, the world laughs with you

Dear Miriam,

You're fourteen months old and I'm wracking my brain to think of what's unique about this month. You're storming with new words, but that isn't new. You're cruising for real, but not walking, so where's the story there? But when I look back on the month, what stands out is how much laughing we do together. You're the happiest kid, you smile at people and laugh at anything silly, and join in infectiously whenever other people laugh. It's not dinner if we don't all collapse into giggles at some point.
I see you look for things that are funny and you let yourself go in gales.

You also want to join conversations, and you chime in with actual words, or with hyped up babbles that make us realize we really do have to watch our tone around you. Your mom and dad are animated people kiddo, but you're too young to be ranting.

So, new words? Clock, dog, bunny, duck, quack quack, wee! and the ever-popular thank you, which comes out dack oo, and which you say whenever you hand something to us. Since we say it whenever we take something you offer, you must have figured thank you is synonymous with take this, please. We're working on context, but we still love to hear it.

The striking thing about your word acquisition is how you use them. You can spot a ball or a cat anywhere on your horizon, I often flail to find what you're referring to, but there it is, something that is or resembles the object you've named. I don't think it has anything to do with your vision, I think that after months of having no words and not knowing exactly what anything is, you're eager to spot those things you can recognize and name.

Your default answer to anything that sounds like a question is a firm head nod No. And I think that's about power, too. With No, you can influence your environment so much more effectively than with a cry. You can refuse something -- even if you want it -- and more often than not we offer something else. You aren't milking the situation, you seem genuinely interested in this new dynamic.

As for walking, you're cruising now, and clearly enjoying it. You've walked through the gate between the kitchen and dining room several times now, and you also walked across the bridge at the rec center, holding on to both sides. And on Friday, you cheered Henry on with a loud Yay! when we all clapped as he took a few unsupported steps. You're a team player, MZ.

As for eating, a high priority at Casa Robmaliam, you're doing great. This week, you ate what we were eating at several meals, and you're starting to enjoy biting into food rather than having everything cut up in a neat dice. I watched you as you realized what those front teeth were for, cracking your teddy crackers one after another. Since then you're willing to give biting a try, to the extent you're able with only four teeth.

The biggest news of the month is that you've basically weaned yourself. I've been holding on to the 1st-thing-in-the-morning session for as long as possible, it's just so easy and nice to pull you into bed and cuddle. But the last morning I nursed you, you tried to take my breast all over the bed with you, and I had to admit you were on to more portable modes of feeding. The next morning we offered you a straw sippy with milk and formula, the same concoction you've been taking at lunch and dinner, and you took it without a backward glance. Right now you're obsessed with holding my nipple as we cuddle in the morning, and throughout the rest of the day whenever I hold you. I don't have the heart to deny you that, not right now, so we'll work on that when I'm confident you're truly weaned. But I'm practicing don't offer, don't refuse, and you've only reached for me once, when we had technical problems with your straw cup. I miss you, but I'm also grateful that you made this so easy on us, and I know you're getting more milk now than you were getting from me, so I try to remember that this is a good transition for you.

You also added another country to your passport this month. We went to Victoria, BC for your cousin Rebecca's bat mitzvah, and you renewed our confidence in travel. You were a spectacular hit, with smiles for everyone and ohmygod do the 13-year old girls love the babies. You reached for them, they reached for you, and you actually complained when they'd bring you back to us. We stood around wondering what to do without you!

It's been a fabulous month, MZ. You make it easy.



At 24.3.06, Anonymous Wood said...

Love reading about MZ's giggly personality. Congrats on 14 months!

and gosh, it does sound like she makes it easy. You didn't even mention sleeping, but I'm guessing that's not an issue for you guys. We oughta trade for a day. or night. Just kidding, mostly.

At 26.3.06, Blogger bernalgirl said...

I almost fear to speak of sleep lest we attract the evil spirits. They arrive without warning and generally tend to stay awhile, but no squatters right now... I hope yours leave soon, too.


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