SteelyKid will be seven months and two weeks tomorrow. I almost skipped this post for next month, but she's changing so fast!
For instance, this has been the month-plus of teeth. She now has top teeth—and not the two in front first, but the two on either side, so she was Mommy's Little Vampire for a good part of this month. It looked so silly, but I never got a picture. The middle ones are coming in now; one's broken through and the other is almost there.
With the arrival of her top teeth, she's taken to scraping a top and bottom one together, which is a horrible sound and drives me nuts—I know it's not actually tooth-grinding like I do (and have done since pre-school, apparently), but more testing out the new things in her mouth, but still, she pulls her jaw to one side to do it, and ugh. Every time I catch her at it I stick something in her mouth quick.
For a lot of this time she's also has a slightly runny nose, which I put down to the teething—my mom tells me I did that—but I think now I was wrong. She suddenly got much more congested last week, sufficiently so to head to the doctor's and get the aforementioned eye drops plus an oral antibiotic, and since then she's gotten much better: no congestion at all, even though that sixth tooth is just about to break through, and in such an astonishingly good mood all the time that I really think she was low-grade sick for weeks.
This good mood, the last few days, has been even though she's only slept maybe an hour, an hour and a half total at daycare. From the time Chad brings her home to 7:30, 8:00, she's just smiling and laughing—often at nothing we can tell—and playing and then falling asleep very calmly. Previously on days when she's slept this little at daycare, she's been unhappy and we've had tough times getting her to sleep; so maybe she really doesn't need more sleep than a couple of half-hour-ish naps, and that was her being unwell, or having a growth spurt, or something. The daycare staff tell us that she wakes up happy, too, after these catnaps (if she wakes up unhappy, then they know to try and soothe her back to sleep).
Unofficially, a week ago she was 18 pounds and 27 inches (Chad did the measurements while waiting for the doctor). She's now out of her infant car seat and into convertible rear-facing seats. We're still using the infant seat with its stroller frame for the next little bit, though, since as a stroller it doesn't need to have such a rigorous fit of straps.
Our big long baby is also a big strong baby. In the last week or so it seems she's made a leap to sitting on her own for much longer—which, okay, is still on the order of seconds, but ten seconds (or more, depending on the surface) is a big improvement over her prior tendency to sit for a second or two and then list gently forward and to the side, ending up on her stomach. She's rolling over routinely at daycare, and when she's on our laps at home, is getting alarmingly good at rapidly twisting herself around into different, often precarious, positions.
Some of the rapid lunges are for stuff. She's fascinated by the remote control (shiny and silver), the tissue box (possibly because Chad once let her shred a tissue while he was trying to do something, but more likely because, well, it's there), the fringe on the throw pillows on the couch, the yellow legal pad I keep notes of her feeding times on . . . And all in a much more demanding and purposeful way than before, as in, I've taken to hiding the remote control and the pillows under a blanket. I keep being surprised by her reach, too; last night she was on my lap while I was eating dinner and she managed to get her hands on two cut-up pieces of pork chop before I could stop her. I was sure she was far enough away, but no. (Emmy was thrilled, because she promptly dropped them on the floor, the first in what will be a long line of human food dropped by SteelyKid.)
Other things she likes to grab: her feet, which she can now reliably get in her mouth. The stripes on Chad's rugby shirts—shortly after the last post, she learned that color contrasts sometimes mean there's something to be picked up, and attempts to apply this to our clothes. My wireless keyboard, which she literally picked up and threw off the back of my keyboard shelf (strong baby!).
She really, really wants to crawl, and will jerk her legs around impressively when on her stomach, but so far can't manage it on her own (though two weeks ago Chad put his hand under her chest and she moved several inches). And she still loves bouncing, and will put her feet on my belt or stomach when I'm carrying her upright and boing away.
Another new appellation she's picked up is "my rollercoaster baby." My mother pointed out that the more you startle or jar her, the better she likes it. For instance, Mom discovered that she loves, of all things, having her hand slapped rapidly against something. She loves the "trot trot to Boston, trot trot to Lynn, watch out (SteelyKid) 'cause you might fall in!" game of being bounced on closed knees and then dropped through them spread-apart—which I'm not brave enough to do but should really work up the courage, because when Mom did it that was just the best thing ever. Anyway, I look forward to her being old enough to go on rollercoasters with me.
She is still a very social baby. At Dad's wake, she went from person to person with almost no fuss and then quietly fell asleep in my arms. She still likes having raspberries blown on her cheeks or belly, and is still ticklish at her collarbones and the tops of her thighs. She continues to sleep pretty well, going about four hours or so between feedings, and often with no intervention at all or just a very brief in-crib soothing. It'll be interesting to see whether and how that changes when she's fully weaned—right now we're starting the process by, first, gradually increasing the amount of formula she gets relative to milk at daycare, since in the past she's refused to drink it straight, and, second, gradually decreasing the amount of milk I pump at work. This weekend I'll also skip one of her daytime feedings. I have a specific deadline for weaning her: I have a major court appearance in New York City the morning of April 7, for which I have to go down the night before, and I badly want to bring neither her nor the pump. Though, looking at the calendar and thinking of the progress made so far, that may not be realistic, and if so I'll manage, but still, it would be so nice.
And that's SteelyKid at 7.4 months.
As always, no unsolicited advice.
Edit: how could I forget, noise? She loves things that make noise—a little plastic key-toy that cycles through multiple noises, of which her favorite is a doorbell sound, shaking rattles really hard, banging plastic toys down on hard surfaces. Also, yelling just because she can.