I am really enjoying motherhood at the moment. Ok, I don’t get as much sleep as I would like (understatement of the year?), solo toilet trips are a treat, and my tea is often cold, but currently parenting is pretty much how I hoped it would be when I was waddling around with Frida in my belly.
She is now eight and a half months, and my god she is fun. As I have said before I think she has recently gone through quite a developmental shift, as if lots of things have finally clicked into place for her. She has seemed much happier of late, apart from when she is tired or hungry she is so smiley and chatty which makes her a pure joy to have around.
She is moving around much more – although she’s still not crawling she can move across a room, sit herself back up, then lunge to grab whichever object she has her eye on – and I think this is helping her to feel less frustrated. She has been able to stand up whilst holding onto something for around three months now, and she’s now close to being able to stand unaided (she can do this for a second or so then looks terrified and loses her balance).
Her communication is also developing lots – for a few weeks now she has been waving, clapping, and making an ever increasing number of babbling sounds, mainly dada (no mama yet despite my most enthusiastic efforts). She can always tell us very clearly what she wants, and I feel like “conversations” with her are very much two way. She seems to understand that “hello” means waving, and is now trying to join in with “pat-a-cake” games. She is very playful, and enjoys games. One of her favourites is when she is in the sling, trying to catch her hat which I dangle just out of reach, laughing hysterically every time I move it away, and looking very pleased when she eventually manages to catch it. She loves going on the swings when we go the park.
She is very, ahem, enthusiastic when it comes to bashing us in the face so we are trying to teach her about being “gentle gentle”, showing her how to use her hand to stroke rather than hit or scratch. She finds this absolutely delightful and cackles with laughter when we hold her hand and use it to stroke our faces.
She is getting a lot out of her activities and toys too, and will sit for quite long periods engrossed in something. Until recently objects were either discarded or just put in her mouth, but now she touches, observes, handles and moves them, sometimes lovingly whispering “dadadada” to them. This makes my life easier too as I can leave her to it a bit more, and no longer feel like she needs me to entertain her every second of the day. She is finally starting to let us read books to her again too (hurrah!) after a long period of just trying to grab them from our hands to put in her mouth.
I recently wondered when she would start eating food rather than just tasting it and playing with it. Over the last few days there has been a definite increase in the amount of food she is taking in – most of it still comes back out but I feel like here too there has been a shift.
On Christmas Eve I went for an impromptu lunch with her and found it such an enjoyable experience – she is as good a restaurant companion as any. She seemed so grown up, sitting there opposite me nibbling her bread and garlic oil, chewing her pizza, chatting away, drinking in her surroundings. It gave me a sense of flashing forward to the years to come and the many meals we have ahead of us.
Yesterday she spent the entire Christmas visit to my family smiling and playing, and spent the longest time on her auntie’s lap chatting to her. After a very “clingy” (I hate that word but it’s a good description) period it was so reassuring for us to see her able to spend a long period of time not on one of us! Now if only her sleep would be a bit more reliable…