Notes from Nine and Three-QuartersMiss Kavya is a drama queen. We do not say this because when she falls down and hits her head hard (as she does about once a day during her incessant exploring), she immediately howls. No, that is a normal and entirely reasonable response. We say Kavi is a drama queen because when she leans over two inches and bumps her head, or drops her bottle on her chin, or even sits down a little too fast, she pauses, looks around to see if either of us is watching, and then howls. If we do not immediately pick her up and cuddle her and tell her what a good, brave baby she is, then the hollering quickly escalates in tone and volume. Tears start pouring down those cute little cheeks. And the longer we take before starting to comfort her, the longer the comforting process is required to be in exchange. I.e., immediate comforting generally results in peace and smiles within five seconds; whereas a thirty-second wait before comforting requires three minutes of snuggling before peace will ensue. We tend to respond very quickly now; she's trained us well.
In the last few weeks Kavi's developed a decided preference for mommy. When she's hurt, or is sick, or tired, she wants me. Kevin is an acceptable substitute, and can generally calm her almost as quickly, but when I come into view, she tends to reach for me now, and sometimes holler if she can't get to me. Kevin is still definitely preferred to the various babysitters, though. First mommy, then daddy, then everybody else. They warned us this would happen eventually; even though it does make a bit harder to just hand her off to other people and go work, it's kind of nice to finally know that she really does love us best. :-)
She's desperate to walk. Kavi pulls up on every available surface -- coffee tables, couches, her Busy Zoo, the wine rack (which yesterday we emptied and put away, as part of our ongoing childproofing efforts), mommy's leg, the safety gate on the stairs, the glass doors to the balcony. She used to be a little bent over when she did that, but the last week, she's generally been standing very upright. Sometimes she'll work her away around a structure, like the coffee table, trying to reach some non-child object on the other side that she intensely desires, such as a tea mug, crochet needle, Kevin's math papers, Ellie's slimy fake bone, a Hemingway novel that she already tore the cover off of (Kavi does not like Hemingway). We keep moving the objects just before she gets to them (mostly). If there's another pull-up structure not quite within reach (i.e., the couch is just a little too far from the coffee table), she'll stand up at one, reach a hand out to the other, realize she can't actually get there, and look utterly indignant. How dare the universe deny her complete mobility? Sure, she could crawl to get there, but that would be so undignified.
Kavi's been dancing for a while now, or as much dancing as you can do while sitting down. Her favorite singer is Lisa Loeb -- when "Big Rock Candy Mountain" or "Little Red Caboose" comes on, she immediately starts smiling and rocking in approximate time from side to side. Or if she's standing, she'll hold on with one hand and wave the other to the beat. She's also quite fond of Trout Fishing in America and Philadelphia Chickens. A few days ago we got her a Band in a Box. The cymbals frustrate her a little because she can't figure out how to get them to chime together -- too much coordination. But she loves the maracas and the tambourine. A toy piano is arriving in a few days. It is very hard to resist buying her toys, especially since she gets bored with them faster these days. I also have to make a real effort to keep them age-appropriate; I keep wanting to buy her things that are years too old for her, and our house is just not big enough for that! (It's bad enough that sometimes I buy ahead on cute clothes when they go on sale -- the worst I've done so far is a top and jeans size 7/8. I'll be storing that for seven years! It was a great sale, though.)
She makes all kinds of sounds. No words yet, I don't think. But one of her favorite sounds is ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma. (Along with nya-nya-nya-nya-nya and laka-laka-laka). And yesterday, I was sitting on the couch and she crawled over and grabbed my pyjama leg and said ma-ma-ma-ma-ma very insistently. Hmmm...
Kavi's really learning how to play, and not just with us. It started with the binky game. About a month ago, Kevin started taking Kavi's pacifier out of her mouth, and instead of giving it back to her, would pop it into his own mouth. Kavi thought that was the funniest thing ever, and would laugh her head off at silly daddy. Mommy did it occasionally too, though she worried a bit about germs. But it's hard to resist a laughing baby. Then Kavi started doing it herself -- she'd pull the pacifier out of her mouth and try to stick it into our mouths. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but it was always funny. After a while, we were passing the binky back and forth; she would put it in our hand too, if we held our palm out and asked for it. Then, one day, she tried to put the binky in Ellie's mouth. Ellie was not amused.
Since then, she keeps trying to give things to Ellie. Kavi has little dried apple-rice wheels that she feeds herself, slowly -- she'll be chewing on one, then try to pass it to Ellie. Ellie licks it, but Kavi usually has a good hold on it, and takes the apple wheel back and sticks it right back in her mouth. Good thing there are so few diseases common to dogs and humans! Kavi also tries to do that with her teething biscuits, but those, Ellie just takes away when offered and eats them -- Kavi doesn't get them back. Starting about a week ago, they started playing with toys. Remember the shanti stick? Kavi will take it in hand, offer it to puppy. Ellie will gravely take it, and then give it back to Kavi. They pass it back and forth that way a few times -- Ellie would like to play tug, I think, but Kavi doesn't have the hand strength yet.
Yesterday was our day off. Kevin and I took turns watching her for the most part -- I did some cleaning and Warcraft and painting while he watched her. But there were a few hours in the afternoon where we all just played together. The sun was pouring in the west windows and Kavi and Kevin sat on the floor, watching while I chased Ellie around the dining table; Kavi always finds that highly amusing. (She likes it even better riding on someone's shoulders while they chase Ellie, but Kevin and I are both still recuperating from the flu and not quite up to that.) When I got too tired to run, I sat down on the floor too, and we threw Ellie's mini-tennis ball for her. After a while, Kavi wanted to play too -- she would pick up the ball and then try to give it to Ellie. Ellie obediently took it, but then brought it back to me or Kevin, because we did more interesting things with it. Kavi has not quite gotten the hang of actually throwing yet, but she did manage to drop the ball a few times. Intentionally, I think.
It won't be long until Kavi and Ellie are really playing together, running around the house, chasing balls, destroying everything in their paths. I can't wait. :-)