Today you started hopping on your knees all over the place. You start in a position with your legs bent beneath you and your bottom resting on your heels, then lift yourself up a bit, using the momentum to hop a few inches forward. You’d hop across the floor, mostly hopping on the hard slate floor even though Rachel did her best to keep moving you to the carpeted areas. You were a crazy hopping little girl today; I’m not sure where this move came from.
A new play gym, Shredders, opened in Boulder about six months ago, trying to partially fill a void left when Gymboree closed. Its goal is to introduce little ones to snow sports and to help them learn to love and thrive at these sports. There’s even a fake hill that kids can ski, snowboard or sled down; today you did the latter.
Nana and I took you to a class today called ‘mini-yetis’. The class is for kids starting at 10 months, and I remember I was so excited for you to turn 10 months so we could finally go. However, our schedule and the infrequently-held and oft-timed mini-yeti classes combined in such a way that today was the first day we could finally attend a class. There were two other girls, both a bit bigger than you, and as you usually do you just sat and watched for the first many minutes. The instructor dumped a bucket full of balls on the ground and that got you moving. You grabbed two and didn’t let them go for a while. After playing with the balls and then beanbags, we went to the top of the hill and rolled the balls down. You still didn’t want to let go of your two balls, so I’d get balls and drop them down and you enjoyed watching. Finally on the very last round of balls to be dropped you let yours go!
Towards the end of class we could sled if we wanted to, and I decided to have him sled down with you. It was actually a pretty big hill, and I was scared we’d turn backwards or somehow tumble out or end up in the wall on the far side of the gym. He sat you between his legs and down you went. You seemed unfazed by it, neither smiling nor unhappy during the slide or at the end. We decided that was enough and called it a day. I think you’ll really enjoy the gym as you get more mobile and start walking.
Your nana took you to story time at the library today. Apparently a little boy was playing with a dinosaur on the floor next to you. You were looking intently at him and watching him play. He saw you watching him, held the dinosaur up to you and made a growling, guttural type sound. You were so startled and scared that you started crying, causing everyone at story time to stop what they were doing and look at you. Nana scooped you up and comforted you, but it took a few minutes to get you settled down. Thankfully the dinosaur didn’t make an appearance the rest of story time, thanks to the little boy’s mother.
You have what looks like a little cut on your lip. I didn’t think much of it, assuming it was a cracked lip from the cold weather and from you breathing out of your mouth at night due to your stuffy nose. You’ve had this before. When your nanny arrived she told us that it’s a cold sore. I really hope it is not a cold sore. They are extremely contagious, so we’ll have to keep you away from other kids and activities where you could spread the germs (so no birthday party this weekend). And once you have the virus you’ll have it forever; you could experience outbreaks throughout your life. We’ll keep an eye on it over the next couple of days and call the doctor if it seems like it’s getting worse.
I miss my easy-going, happy-go-lucky, sleeping through the night baby. You’re sick with something and you’ve had a rough couple of days. Last night you hardly slept. I laid you in your crib and you slept for a few minutes, but quickly started tossing and turning and then crying. We kept trying to rock you and get you settled, and you just cried and cried. Finally, we brought you to bed with us and you kept tossing and turning and crying. I’d rock you or hold you, try to lay you on my chest, anything to get you to settle. You’d sleep for a few minutes then wake up crying. We took your temperature and you didn’t have a fever. We didn’t know what to do, but we were really worried. Around midnight you started sleeping in larger chunks of time, for one to two hours.
This morning you woke up and you were in a fairly normal mood, perhaps a little bit fussy, but nothing too out of the norm. We headed to downtown Breck to see the snow sculptures. You were bundled up and in the carrier and happily looked and babbled as we walked around. We met up with my parents and Liz and Jim for breakfast, and you slept for most of the meal. After that we headed off for a snowshoe. We’ve been putting you in the backpack and you really seem happy back there. Today you were so content and comfortable that you fell asleep! I couldn’t believe it; you were babbling and seemingly wide awake for about 98% of the time, and then right when we were almost to the car you fell asleep. I guess the snowshoe wore you out!
Tonight at bedtime you were inconsolable. We rocked and held and comforted you, but you would not settle, and you were crying really hard. We tried to bring you into our bed and lie with you, just like we had last night, and that didn’t work. You still didn’t have a fever, but we didn’t know what to do. You have never cried so hard for so long. Finally I suggested that maybe we should head back to Boulder, thinking that maybe the drive would settle you and help you sleep. Your dad agreed and we quickly packed up and left. You started screaming and flexing your back and it was a battle to get you into the carseat. You were so upset and it is so hard to see you like that; I started crying too. Finally we got on the road. I sat with you in the back and the minute you got in the car you were content. You started babbling and sticking your tongue in and out and making a funny repeating sound – blahbla, blahbla, blahbla – and you did that virtually the entire way home! We were so surprised because the drive lasted from about 9:30 to 11 pm. You were surely exhausted. When we got home I nursed you, you feel soundly asleep, and you’ve been asleep for awhile now. Hopefully you’ll sleep well tonight.
Your dad and I skied today and nana and papa kept an eye on you. They had so much fun playing with you, escorting you around and around and around the house as you explored, and feeding you. Your papa asked if we were sure we wanted to come back from skiing so soon; clearly he wanted more time with you. We had found some areas of not-too-bad snow and so we happily obliged and skied for a little longer.
This evening your nana’s cousin, Liz, and her husband, Jim, came over for dinner. They brought you a little bouncy car. You sit on it and when you apply pressure to the seat the little ball underneath pushes a sound maker and a variety of noises are emitted. You’re a little too tiny to be able to sit on it and push it yourself. But we can push you and you’ve also (of course) discovered that you can walk alongside it. I told your dad that we’re going to need a parking lot of walkers and cars at home for you. These are some of your favorite toys because they help you explore while standing up – your favorite activity.
Today was a fun day with lots of play adventures. This morning your dad and I took you to Gym Jam at the rec center. I’d never been with you before and it was neat to see you lay with all the toys and other kids. You happily played, observed, toddled and crawled around for almost two hours. We walk there and back from our house, and it’s perfect because you nap on the way home.
This afternoon my friend Erik and his daughter Freja came over. We saw her and her grandmother at the library a couple weeks ago, but you haven’t had a play date with her in months. You two play really well together, and we plan to get you together more often. At one point you two were both pushing the walker together; it was good teamwork. You each liked to watch the other one, you even watched her intently for a bit while you were both pushing the walker.
I have to apologize for something I did. A couple of days ago in the afternoon you were clearly exhausted and needed to nap, but you just would not nap. You’ve been doing this a lot lately, fighting sleep when you are visibly tired. We’re not sure if you’re trying to transition to one nap a day, if you’re teething or not feeling well, if you’re going through something developmentally that is making it hard for you to sleep. We just know that oftentimes it’s hard to get you to sleep. Sometimes you’ll fall asleep in my arms, but the instant I put you in your crib you wake up screaming. This happened today, multiple times. After I’d spent over an hour with you, feeding, rocking, putting you in the crib, picking you back up, starting the process over, on the third attempt of laying you, asleep, in your crib and you waking back up, I decided to leave the room and see if you’d settle down.
You used to do this – wake up right when we laid you down – and you’d cry for about 30 seconds and then fall asleep. Even now you often awake in the middle of the night, cry for a few seconds, roll over and settle back to sleep. So I told myself I’d give you five minutes to settle (admittedly, in retrospect, this was way too long) and I’d keep an eye on you on the monitor. I went into the next room and watched you. You stood up, holding onto the side of the crib, and cried and cried and cried. After about two minutes, right when I was about to give in, you sat down, sucked your thumb, bent forward and appeared like you might be going to sleep. I was so relieved and happy. And then, in about 5 seconds, you sat up again, then stood up, and resumed crying. Since you’d come so close to settling, I decided to wait the five minutes I’d already set for the limit. You stood and cried the entire time. Finally after five minutes I went in and picked you up, and held you tight while rocking you. You rested your head on my shoulder and slowly settled down. You had tears running down your face and you were still gasping to catch your breath. It was awful. I started crying too, and apologized for putting you through that, putting you through something that accomplished nothing.
It’s so hard figuring out what’s right and wrong, what works and doesn’t, what method of the seemingly hundreds that are out there are best for us. Obviously this is all trial and error, and everything we do we try to balance between what intuitively feels right, what research says is best, what we hear from others works, and an abundance of other drivers. Add to this the fact that often once we find something that works, or settle into a routine, right when we think we have this parenting thing figured out, you change. You sleep differently, or become mobile, or react differently to things that once used to make you happy. It’s a constantly moving target. So please always remember that we are doing our very best, that we’re learning as we go, that we love so you much and that at the bottom of all of our actions is that love for you. And please accept from me my first, of what I’m sure will be many, apology.
Last night your dad had a get together for his work at a local restaurant. We went and met him there. His boss, his bosses’ wife and their baby were there too. Their son, Owen, is five months. You’ve met him before a few months ago. Last night you were really interested in him, and as is your usual protocol, you wanted to reach out and touch him. You kept poking at his face, but finally, with some prompting from your dad, you settled for holding his hand. It was very cute.
During all of this I was talking with one of your dad’s coworkers and explained that you’re a little aggressive with other babies. You are very hand’s on and you want to touch them, especially in the face. He had a nice spin on it, saying that you’re not aggressive, you’re just outgoing. I can’t argue with that.
You’ve been trying to raise yourself to a standing position all on your own, without holding onto anything or anyone. You start on all fours, then stick your bottom into the air and then try to lift your top half up to stand. You’ve been getting really close to succeeding, and your nana said today you did it! You stood, and even took a step. She said you were rightfully wobbly and so she offered you her hand and you took it. I wish I could’ve seen it. The gains you make in progressing towards walking are visible virtually every day. It’s amazing to watch.
But along with these first steps comes lots of falls. Today you were standing and playing with Tupperware in ‘your’ cabinet, and you slipped, fell, and hit your head on the shelf. You had a large bump on your forehead that almost instantly turned into a bruise. Your nana and I tried to ice it but you’d have none of that. You were upset for a while, but soon enough you were ready to play and go exploring again. I really do want to get you a teeny, tiny little helmet for you to wear for the next, what, few years?