Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby Steps away from Babyhood

As predicted, Viv has reached the milestone of biped ambulation.

Two weeks ago we tried to get her to walk a few steps between me and her dad. Her best was four steps, which is notable for a nine month old. The next day she took eight steps completely independent of me. She just decided to walk from a window to a chair, no cajoling or bribing at all. I was stunned, but I can see now that this might be her way. When she figured out the stairs, there was a period of her playing around/on the bottom one and then one day she went all the way up as if she'd done it a hundred times before. Same with the sizable drop -off of our back deck into the yard. She had played near it dozens of times before with little interest in trying to climb it, but then one afternoon she went to the edge, turned around, lowered one leg and then the other, and crawled away on the grass. Not only was she proficient at the physical level, she was even graceful in her movements.

Steve has gotten a couple of these "You won't believe what the baby just did..." calls and texts followed by "WHERE DID MY BABY GO?". I know all kids grow up and I'm really OK with that and look forward to watching them develop into little big people (they'll always be a little bit little to me, I think). But why do my kids grow up so fast? Even in the womb, my midwives tell me I felt my first kicks weeks before the average mom. I'm convinced they just don't want to be babies. We make adulthood look so fun they are dying to be old (I'm 25 now so I can say stuff about being old).

The next day she did it again. Independent of me and apparently just for fun, she walked across a room to her favorite dancing spot in front of the TV stand. She is really wobbly, holds both her hands up above her head as if grasping someone's fingers (C says she walks like a monkey), and tends to take big steps with her right foot and tiny catch-up steps with her left, resulting in a sideways trajectory, but she can most definitely be deemed a walker. Every day since, she goes farther and with more surety.

I'm curious what these pattern of development means for her personality. She is pretty fierce when you take away the toy she just took from her brother (who had already taken it from her while trying to trick her into swapping it with his inferior toy), and will often bite the offending hand. C, bless his heart, is still very sweet with her and usually plays gently and respectfully of her, her space, and her things. He growls and grumbles a lot, but he calls for me to "put her away" and doesn't shove her off his books. She is also very cuddly with me and likes to twirl hair- my hair. She also fake laughs and for the camera. One flash and she is all squinty-eyed-grins until the camera is put away.

Besides walking, her other latest developments are imitations of real life. She has loved playing with bags, purses, wallets, bank cards, etc for months, but it wasn't until yesterday at the grocery store when I saw her trying to swipe the card she was holding in the card-reader that I realized she knew what to do with them. She also has picked up on the pretend phone thing, where all things phone-size occasionally are held up to her ear. While folding laundry today, she kept picking up a pair of C's Yo Gabba Gabba underwear and putting it on her head as if she knew that clothing belongs on bodies. What?! I know. She is just too much sometimes and I just want to squeeze her and hold her and go Granny Wendy on her with squunches and "Stop growing up!" ultimatums.

Creedo is great, too. I'll feature him next time. Stay tuned for tales of the jungle, painting projects, declarations of rights, pint-sized shopping carts, trips to the Dark Side, and zombie get-aways.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ghostbusters or Bust

For the ward Halloween party, Creedence was Tin Tin and Vivian was his trusty sidekick, Snowy. Steve was Captain Haddock for a three minute span during which I took pictures. I was everything else, as usual.

For the actual Halloween day, it somehow ended up with me in zombie make-up and Vivian in a skeleton onesie. I don't have control over what the rest of family wears, and they chose not to participate. In fact, I dragged the kids to do trick-or-treating at the grocery store and that was all I could get Creedo to do. He didn't want to go out door to door. He wanted to eat treats and watch Halloween movies at home, so Ghostbusters and Dum-dums it was.

I'm not sure what Creedo thinks Halloween is. Since the first time he saw a soda display that involved Frankenstein's monster printed on the cartons in a store in early October, he's been saying, "It's almost Halloween." We made a paper chain to help count down the days. We've watched hundreds of Halloween jib-jabs, we made pumpkin-everything-edibles, we listened to the Monster Mash on repeat for hours.  But sometimes he would say that it's Halloween in the back yard, or we just passed Halloween, or that he's going to hit the bad guys with Halloween. Not sure where I got off teaching him that one...

Is it really bad when you live next to a super busy day care and across the street from an elementary school, two clear signs of lots of local kids, and yet not a single trick-or-treater comes to the door? Everyone apparently goes to a ritzier neighborhood a few minutes away instead of staying around here. The point is that now we have so--- much candy. And so little time.

In other news, stay posted- Viv is going to start walking any day now. At least, Steve's trying really hard to make it happen.

 He played doctor the whole time. He did not want to touch the insides of the pumpkin. I pretended to get my hand stuck to see if he would reach in to pull it out for me, but he offered to go get Dad instead of do it himself, 
 Snowy and Capt. Haddock
Camera-shy TinTin. Today, he tried to re-create his Tintin hair with hand soap. It sort of worked... 

 This is what Creedo wanted to do on Halloween, despite a month of preparation, casing houses practicing innocent faces to elicit extra treats
She's a natural