I can’t even think (much less speak) in terms of the tenderness I’ve felt for Lennie recently. She’s started letting me put her to sleep at night. Sometimes this is a real challenge, with her bawling and struggling against me for a few minutes or waking up every time I think she’s good and asleep. Other times, like the last two nights, I go into the darkened kitchen with her and walk, and she snuggles in close with her head nestled into my neck. Sometimes, she pats or strokes my arm. The last couple of nights, there’s been no struggle. It’s been as if she finds me comforting and wants to be with me. After a couple of minutes of cuddling, she drops off to sleep, and then I go into the living room and sit in my chair, leaning way back, with her asleep on my chest. After another few minutes, I’ll finally lay her down on the bed so that I can get some things done. There’s something peaceful and almost meditative about holding your baby whom you’ve managed to put to sleep, and I think doing this is very good for me and hopefully for Lennie.
It’s very easy, when others are around to take care of the baby, to slip into a pattern of not spending as much time with her as I should. This is something I need to keep an eye on, because I take much pleasure myself in hanging out with Lennie, besides whatever good it may do for her.
So some quick updates now. I’m way behind, travel and work partially to blame. This comes mostly from emails M’s sent me over the last few weeks. Some things Lennie’s really ramped up on in the last couple of months:
- says “deh” (there) and points to where she wants to be carried
- says “toes” and points
- says “beh-ee buh” and points to belly button
- opens book, points inside, and says “Mama” to ask to be read
- shakes finger at Moby when he begs for food during meals and imitates my “Get down doggie.”
- lifts M’s shirt, says “mama” and makes “milk” sign
- talks on phone and reads books to herself with different voice inflection
- hears the office door open and starts saying “Daddy”
- kisses baby doll and pats her back
- gives kisses to people, particularly Mama, Daddy, and Ella
- lifts her arms to request tickles, particularly when she’s finished eating (usually when we enthusiastically say “Stick ’em up!”)
- tries to lift leg to climb into bathtub (or onto many things, like chairs, her wagon, the coffee table)
- put money in her piggy
- says “mmmmm” to ask for food
- claps and expects to be clapped for
Let’s see, what else that’s more recent? She walks like crazy. Her hair’s growing like weeds (M trimmed her bangs for the first time the other day because she rips hair clips out). She drinks out of sippee cups like a champ and will sometimes say “wah-wah” for water. Her talking has become much more articulate. I don’t mean that she says many more meaningful things, but simply that she uses the parts of her mouth more; there’s more detail in what she says now. She climbs into her chair all the time and can twist and roll off the couch with no problem. She generally hates diaper changes but can be pacified sometimes if I give her a book to read while I change her. She does (sometimes almost on command) a scrunchy/squinty face. There must be tons more. That’s what I can think of for now, though.