Monday, September 29, 2008

Things Change

I was watching educational* TV this morning with Kiki and heard this quote. It strongly appealed to me, so I wanted to share it.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. -- Elizabeth Stone

I was thinking today about all the changes Kiki has gone through in her almost 18 months of life. I remember the day we first brought her home, how nervous and anxious I was, how sweet and peaceful and trusting she was. It struck me how 18 months later even though she is now rambunctious and active and vocal and willful and curious and explorative, she is still so sweet and so trusting.

There are times I feel like I can't even trust myself, times when I'm just about at the end of my rope and I have to put her in her playpen and walk away for a few minutes, and even at those times, her trust is liquid and implicit in her eyes. She has absolute faith in my best intentions; she knows to her very depth that she is safe with me (even if she may disagree loudly and wailingly about my insistence that it is not her God-given right to pull my hair and toss my glasses across the room.)

There are so many big things, big changes, but so many small ones too. Cutting her nails, for example. That was one of the big things I'd dreaded because I'm scared to death to even cut the dogs' nails. I'd read and heard suggestions like using a regular nail clipper instead of the ones intended for babies (because you already know how to use those, so you'll be more confident) or waiting until she's asleep before attempting the procedure so there won't be any fighting.

It turned out to be a nonissue. She never fussed or fought while I clipped her nails. She'd watch, calmly and quietly, while I conducted the procedure. I always used baby clippers, the ones with the magnifying glass on 'em (which is, by the way, utterly useless. I never have actually used the glass.) And it was a once a week thing (or sometimes twice a week, depending on how fast they grew) and every time, there was never a problem.

That, too, has changed. For the past few weeks, she will not sit still for it. I've had to do a couple fingers at a time over a couple of days just to get them all clipped. She fusses, she squirms, she wrestles. She's been doing this when I dress her too. She's always done it when I muck with her hair, but now every aspect of attending to her (with the exception of bathing) has become a battle. Diaper changing is still calm, unless I change her anywhere but the diaper changing station on her Pack and Play (and I KNOW she's too heavy for that thing by now).

I'm sure it's a natural phase, exerting her will and finding herself and whatnot, but man, it's exhausting. I thought it was supposed to happen between 2 and 3, not 1 and 2. Gah!!!

At this point, I think it's time to start teaching her to dress herself. I'm not quite sure how to go about doing that exactly, but I think we'll both figure it out.

She used to grab the spoon from me and put it in her mouth by herself, when I first started her on solids. Now she has no interest in grabbing the spoon, and when I prompt her to take it, she sticks it in her hair and then tosses it to the dogs. So I'm guessing I'm going to have to arm myself while I do this feedin thing with about a dozen spoons, the dogs in the bedroom, a tablecloth under her high chair, and about 5 bowls of small amounts of food. And seven towels to clean up.

Yeah. I prefer the cleaner milestones. But she's always so much happier when she's accomplishing something, when she figures something out, when she's doing something on her own.

Oh! So to try to get her to start cruising, her PT had started this game with her. She would put a toy on the edge of the loveseat to encourage Kiki to pull herself up to a standing position in order to get it. Then she would move the toy a little ways down the loveseat, to get her to cruise over to grab it. Kiki would instead drop to the ground, crawl over, and pull back up to a standing position.

So this morning after breakfast, I was watching her play. And she picked up a toy, carried it over to the loveseat, pulled herself up to a stand, and put the toy on the edge of the loveseat. Then she picked the toy back up, and threw it so it landed at the back of the loveseat. She pondered that for a second, then dropped to the floor and repeated the process.

Then? She nonchalantly cruised from one end of the loveseat over to the other end to reach for both the toys she'd tossed out of reach.

This is me, still wishing I had a video camera surgically installed in my forehead.

*It was Outer Limits on SFC. Hey, I learned something. That makes it educational.


YarnHacker K September 30, 2008 at 7:35 AM  

It's worth considering that Kiki can actually do every single thing you, the PT and others want her to do but finds it supremely entertaining to watch you try to make her do it. Then, when she thinks you're not looking? She just does it. The evil Factor on that is very high and Auntie YarnHacker encourages such evil behavior (in others. Not in her own child. Though she gets it anyway :)

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