I started this post yesterday and got five lines into it before I had to abandon it for something else. So I really was on time, even if it’s published a day late. I thought about doing away with this post altogether, but wanted to record where we are and how far we’ve come.
We celebrated by shopping for nappies, rusks, and baby shampoo! Swimming didn’t happen because the naps were thrown out of order because of the shopping and Arlo slept when we should have been at the pool. But we did go to our favourite teppanyaki restaurant for dinner (where Arlo dined on apple sauce). We bought her some foam floor tiles (which she is currently devouring!!) that I have been wanting to buy all winter. With her rolling and commando crawling, the hard floor seemed, well, hard. Now that she is almost crawling good and proper, the soft floor seems a little less necessary, since she’ll be spending less time on it and more time, as I said before, eating it.
So where are we at nine months? It seems to me that there are a lot of things Arlo is not doing that all the experts say she should be doing. Not that we care – around here we do things in our own time.
She’s not crawling – but she has the strength to do it, she just doesn’t realise she can do it. She does a lot of downward-facing dog poses (she’ll be a yogi before long), and will get on her hands and knees and just stay there looking around, but then to really move, she drops down to her elbows and puffs and grunts and hauls herself along as though she’s half paralysed. I don’t mind that she’s not crawling properly yet – at least I can keep up with her!
She doesn’t have any teeth – but she chomps down on anything so I’m not too worried about that either (since she’s still breastfed). I figured she was teething at 4 months, since she was drooling and chewing on her fists and anything else constantly. If I was right then she’s been teething for five months now with nothing to show for it and that must really suck.
She’s not cruising around the furniture – in fact, the only thing she pulls herself up onto is me. It makes dressing her in the morning, where I sit her down in front of me, a pain because she lurches forward and grabs onto me and pulls herself up to standing. She often grabs the flesh of my upper arms and I’m constantly covered in bruises.
She’s not sleeping through the night – but it’s generally not a hassle. She’s still sleeping in our room and she’s breastfed so when she wakes it’s pretty easy to meet her needs. However, we are having occasional nights when she thinks that waking every two hours for a drink is acceptable. It’s not. So we’re in discussion (often loud) about that one. Last night she actually went six hours without a feed – though there was only five hours of sleeping…!
She does like her food – occasionally. I have to try a lot of tips and tricks to get her to eat, though I’m not too worried if she doesn’t eat much because she’s still drinking lots of milk every day (or so it seems to me). Last week she’d eat anything if there was yoghurt in it. That hasn’t worked this week. I discovered that she’ll eat any food I give her if she has a rusk in her hand at the same time. I don’t expect that to work next week! We’re still doing the baby-led weaning to some extent, but we eat a lot of food that isn’t suitable for her (peanuts, spicy, etc.), and it’s easier to turn other stuff into mush than deal with her puking when she feels like it (which she’s doing a lot less of, thankfully). Still, she’ll devour sticks of broccoli, long pieces of pasta, and would eat Vegemite on toast all day long if I let her.
She shakes her head – when she’s unhappy with something or doesn’t want something. I have no idea where this comes from as we don’t shake our heads at her. At first she did it just because it was fun to shake her head – or it was fun when I copied her, but she really seems to use it in context. So if I offer her something and she shakes her head I interpret that as her saying no. She also shakes her head when she’s finished playing with a toy, wants her bib taken off, etc. This is pretty big for her (and us) – it’s her first way of actually communicating with us (other than crying) that is getting results, so we’re all happy.
She understands us more and more – we’re pretty consistent with the baby sign language (our own version – a cross between American and Australian sign language), especially at meal times. When I sign “drink” she looks at her drink bottle, though her own sign for “more” is usually her leaning forward with her mouth open.
She talks – well, babbles. She says mama, dada, baba (Chinese for daddy) – but has no idea what she’s saying, so we can’t brag that she’s speaking yet. But hearing her chatter, with a couple of baby squeals thrown in just makes my day.
Current stats – something over 9 kg; she’s pretty long and her head circumference is pretty big. But all within normal. Ok, so I don’t know those details. I do know she wees and poos and smiles and giggles and babbles and that’s what’s important, right?