SteelyKid is thirteen months old today! Yes, I missed her one-year developmental post; her birthday was while we were in Montreal, and since then it's been busy busy sick busy sick busy travel. Which means (a) I am determined to get this up tonight, though I don't have a lot of time to edit and so forth, and (b) I will try to note at what point during the last months the new developments came.
Big news in the gross motor skills front: she is now walking like a walking thing. About halfway into month eleven she was going about five steps at a time, and then belly-flopping into our arms to give us enormous hugs—I'm not sure if she ever really needed to belly-flop to stop walking, but pretty soon after this we caught her stopping by sitting down, but only when heading away from us. (She is a cuddly child. She likes to come up and hug us around the legs, flop onto us when we're sitting on the floor, and so forth.) When we left her just before her birthday with my mom, walking was already her preferred method of locomotion; while we were in Montreal, she learned to get into a standing position without pushing up on anything; and now she makes laps around, and around, and around the house . . . She's not quite as confident on the uneven ground of the backyard, but she still makes very good time over it.
Fortunately now that she can walk, she doesn't go up the stairs twenty times a day, just a few. She hasn't figured out how to get down the entire staircase yet. She got the one step down to the library early, while she was still crawling (back up, turn sideways, lower one leg down, turn, lower other leg down). And she consistently backs down three or so steps the way she goes up. But she hasn't yet generalized that to the entire staircase. Also she keeps trying to walk down the stairs like an adult, which I wish I could figure out how to discourage because her legs are nowhere near long enough for that.
She is still a roller-coaster baby and loves being bounced by us, getting flipped upside-down, and riding on our shoulders (carefully—besides the low-doorframes problem, she once decided to combine two favorites and flopped so far backwards that her head hit Chad's spine). This weekend she decided that she definitely likes playground swings, but she's still slightly dubious about slides. (Well, going down slides. She really wants to climb up them and is frustrated that she can't make it work.) She's not so crazy about bouncing herself in her bouncer these days, because it restricts her mobility, but still uses it: she's taken to sitting in the V formed by the bouncer's supports. She really likes sitting up against stuff: the couch, chairs, and in the last few weeks, small corners that she worms her way into and looks very pleased with herself to have found. Whatever makes you happy, child.
(Now that she's walking I'm trying to train myself out of calling her "baby"; I've decided to go with "child" as lasting longer than "toddler." Chad maintains he gets to call her "baby" while she's still in the infant room at daycare. Where she is now the oldest, so weird.)
She didn't learn to walk by holding on to our hands (thankfully) or pushing a cart or anything like that—in fact she actively resists having her hand held while walking—but she does like to sit on a little plastic car and has figured out how to scoot it backwards with her legs. Since that's how she started crawling, I'm sure that going forward will come with time. Oh, and she is a climber. The bookcases downstairs are all blocked off, and she's not allowed unsupervised in any of the rooms that have them, but we have an étagère (open shelves) in the dining room that we are going to have to do something about fairly soon.
At her one-year pediatrican appointment, she was 23 lbs 3 oz, 30 5/8", and had a head circumference of 47 cm. I believe those are all 90th-ish percentile.
In fine-motor development news, she learned how to clap palms-together about halfway through her eleventh month, which she finds very amusing. She learned to high-five in the last month, also very amusing, and claps her right hand to the side of her head when we say "Oh no!" At dinner we put her in her babypod seat on the dining room table and whenever she feels we aren't talking to her enough, she will go through her tricks to get our attention: hand to the head (we say "Oh no!"), clapping ("Yay!"), and then high-fives all-around. (We are teaching her "touchdown" for the start of the NFL season.)
Other major areas of development: in the eleventh month she decided she was ready for real solids and demanded Kix (puffed corn cereal) when other kids at daycare were having them. (I'd tried something solid a month or so previously and she'd gagged.) She's steadily expanding her previously-sadly-limited repetoire of foods and we're just about to start the transitions to meals-first (rather than formula-first) and to cow's milk.
Though some foods still give her a bit of trouble at night, she is sleeping much better, to my great relief. Just before we went to Montreal we had a miserable several days where, despite my to-that-point moderately successful attempts to get her to go back to sleep without picking her up, she would scream bloody murder for so long that I'd give up. Then I'd fall asleep in the chair with her and wake up stiff, groggy, and despairing. My mom broke her of that and now, unless her stomach is bothering her, she can be soothed to sleep in her crib with, at most, a couple minutes of crib-jiggling and shhh-ing. (Huggies overnight diapers failed the first night but have been great since; thanks, all.) Daycare has successfully gotten her to fall asleep in her crib for naps the past several days, instead of needing to cuddle her to sleep, which is good. Less good is that she seems to want to go from two naps to one, except that she does not reliably take that one nap at a reasonable hour or for a reasonable time . . .
She is babbling frequently and extensively. We've got one definite correlation: "guy" (with a bit of a sharp finish, slightly like the Japanese "hai") means "take this thing that I am going to very forcefully give you." She has a number of other babbles that we haven't fully figured out yet. I'd hoped that she was saying "da" for "Dad," but time has made it clear that there isn't a correlation there. I'm betting that her first word will be "dog," because she's getting pretty close. She mimics other sounds too, like the dog barking and Chad making sniffing noises when he reads her a book.
Just Friday we found out that her daycare does sign language with the kids—how I neglected to ask and they never mentioned before this I don't know—so tomorrow I'm going to get a list of signs from them and we'll start working on them at home. We got her to do "please" tonight, so she's definitely got the idea.
The people at daycare characterized her "please" as fairly abrupt, which I think is just reading her personality in, because she is a determined child who has very specific ideas of what she wants to do. Fortunately she will usually let herself be redirected, but if you have to pull her away from something or tell her "no," well, that's not so popular. So I can get ahead of her and block the entry to the mudroom where the dog's crate and bowls are, and she'll toddle into the next doorway instead, but if she's tired and I have to pick her up to stop her splashing the dog's water around, there may well be screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth. (She also does this thing I particularly loathe, crying while flopping extravagently and completely limply on the floor, which often results in her banging her head and makes it more difficult to pick her up.) But usually her specific ideas about whatever she wants to do are charming, like playing "clueless mail carrier" for up to half an hour (give her an envelope, watch her toddle around, wave it in the air, peer at it intently, hand it to people, take it back, toddle around some more) or deciding that everything needs to go inside a box right now, push toss throw shove bang.
As far as play, when not tired she much prefers to do laps around the house, but she's getting a little more prone to stopping and playing with a specific thing even before she gets tired, which is a nice change. She loves music, and every single time she plinks notes out of a toy piano she looks up and grins. She likes to be chased. She likes to put things in and out of containers. She badly wants to be able to stack things and is so pleased with herself when she manages it. She's also trying hard to play catch (I roll a ball toward her, she throws it . . . somewhere). She's obsessed with a lift-the-flap book, some of whose flaps are on the verge of disintegrating, a month after she got it. And she still loves peek-a-boo, "hold my toy," and giving and receiving raspberries and tickles.
Otherwise with regard to socialization, she's warming up to strangers more quickly now. Within, oh, half an hour or less, usually, she's going up to people, thumping her hands down on their legs, asking them to hold her toy, or smiling and waving. (And she'd do anything for anyone with a dog, because she is fascinated by them. Emmy puts up with her pretty well but they both have boundaries that the other hasn't learned to respect yet: SteelyKid can only tolerate so much face-licking, and Emmy doesn't want her toys messed with or her tail pulled. So they interact under very close supervision.) She is still partial to me, which I would prefer not be the case, especially since when she's really tired I can't leave the room without her freaking out. But she doesn't have general separation anxiety: I drop her at daycare or send her off on errands or have Chad put her to bed at night with no problem.
She's been getting molars for weeks now; yesterday I saw a spot of white on the closest one so we may finally be getting a breakthrough on that. She remains a beaver child: we got a plastic sticky thing to go over her crib rail so she'd stop scraping the top layer off, and we had to take away a set of pine blocks, and a big puzzle with a painted cardboard top layer, and any paper-bound board book, and so forth. Sunny Beaudelaire, still her hero. (Everything gets stared intently at, and then touched, and then put in the mouth. Fortunately she's getting more tolerant of my fishing rocks out of her mouth.)
ETA next day: first molar broke through, with a bit of bleeding and crankiness (understandably; molars coming in look so awful that I don't understand how she's not cranky 24/7). ETA again: two molars, actually.
Anyway, she is a ton of work but she's really fun and charming too. I love watching her observe the world, figure things out, decide what she wants, and make plans. She's affectionate, cheerful, lively, and just generally seems to be enjoying herself. And that's really cool.
Two requests for advice:
She's started really disliking water running down her face in the bath. I got this pitcher with a flexible rim that doesn't help at all with rinsing her hair, and have taken to using a not-dripping washcloth to get as much shampoo as possible out of her hair to minimize the amount of water I need to pour over her head. (She will not tip her head back reliably.) Any suggestions?
ETA: knew I forgot something. She hates a washcloth-as-barrier too and pulls it away.
We're working on weaning her from her pacifier by keeping it out of sight during daytime and only bringing it out when other attempts to soothe her have failed. We haven't tried at all at night, figuring one thing at a time. Tips on this would be helpful.
And that's our SteelyKid at thirteen months. I'm sure I've forgotten things so feel free to ask questions.
Here are all the pictures and videos Chad's posted since I last dumped links: