Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fourteen Months (Updated)

Calliope with SMC buddies Jack and Luna. I guess she didn't like the
book they were reading?

Yesterday, at exactly fourteen months, Calliope took three steps for me! (We are not counting the alleged steps she took last week with the nanny.)

I tried to capture it on camera, but only got one step and then a plop down onto the floor.

Signing: Last week, on two different occasions, she signed "potty" when she saw me using the bathroom at the zoo.

She is reluctantly sort of signing water... only when I insist. A work in progress. "More" took a long time and now she uses it readily... though lately she has been substituting the sign for "food" when she means "more."

She also signs, occasionally, "change me" and "diaper." But "diaper" is hard to decipher because her version of it is slapping her belly... and the signing song that we sing called "change me" also includes belly kissing. Plus I think she enjoys the sound of her slaps resounding off her little belly. So I never know, exactly, what she is communicating when she slaps her belly. But she enjoys it, regardless.

Words: baa, woof, book, ball, mama, neh neh (nurse).

Her receptive language is also growing. If I ask, "are you hungry?" she will make the sign for food... and then crawl to the kitchen. When I say, "Mommy has to go to work," she blows kisses without being prompted.

She loves it when I let her roll over during a diaper change (she re-learned how to roll over!) and crawl away with a naked tush. She laughs and laughs as she knows she's doing something slightly naughty.

She also loves to crawl onto the ottoman in her room, then across the rather wide gap between it and the reclining chair. At first I was very nervous about her bridging the gap, but she is quite the adroit little climber, so I let her. But as soon as she settles into the chair, she throws her arms back and laughs triumphantly, extremely proud of her of her conquest.

Speaking of climbing... on weekend mornings we go to a nearby playground and meet our friends baby Jack and baby Eleanor (as well as other neighborhood kids who are becoming a regular part of our routine) for an early play date before nap time. Jack (pictured above) is four weeks older than Calliope but ever so much physically advanced (also more verbal), and so when his mom stopped climbing after him on the play structure, I stopped following Calliope as well. Of course, Jack was walking well at that point and Calliope was (and is) still crawling, but she was accustomed to the structure and I was reasonably confident by that point that Calliope wouldn't lunge off the structure. I stay very close by, but standing on the ground.

Catherine also taught Jack how to lie down on his stomach to go down the slide, so I taught the same to Calliope. It makes a lot more sense to me -- she's in control and gets to decide if she slides, she's not reliant on me getting her situated in a sitting position at the top of the slide, I don't have to catch her at the bottom -- more independence -- and best of all, I don't have to worry about her tipping over and off the slide from a sitting position.

Well, this past weekend we saw a friendly acquaintance at the playground whose son is a few weeks older than Calliope, and walking well. She didn't follow her son up onto the playground structure, apparently because I wasn't following Calliope. But did station him at the top of the slide (seated) with Daddy waiting at the bottom to catch the baby. Anyway, her son was toddling happily on the playground structure when she suddenly lunged for him. I was on the opposite side of the structure, closer to her son, so I put a restraining hand to his waist, to keep him from falling, but truly, he wasn't anywhere near the edge.

Then she said, "I didn't realize that he could fall from there! Since you were so cavalier with Calliope, I figured it was safe."

This made me kind of laugh to myself.

A few minutes later, she apologized and said, "I didn't mean to say you were a cavalier parent!"

I laughed and said, "hey, it's fine. There's only one of me, so I can't be there every second. And we come here every weekend, so she's used to the equipment and I know she probably won't try anything too dangerous."

But I'm still sort of chuckling to myself about this. My friend Jen made a comment to me about this too, about how she still follows Luna onto the playground equipment and is more nervous than me. I guess I have Catherine to thank for modeling this, but I'm happy to give Calliope a fair bit of independence on the playground equipment. She's probably the only crawler up there without a parent... but I think she loves it!

She has mostly given up the second nap. Today I asked the nanny to keep her up until 10 am because yesterday she was melting after a 75 minute nap at 9:15 and then "quiet time" in the crib in the afternoon because she didn't sleep. She slept two hours today as a result!

(ETA: she woke up to nurse at 5:30 am today, something she has mostly given up.... but then went back to sleep and was still sleeping when I left for work at 7:30, 13 hours after she went to bed last night!)

Her eating varies widely. I think she eats much more with the nanny than with me. I can't figure out why because I definitely don't pressure her to eat. I think the regularity of her weekday schedule probably helps. With me, most of her meals are on the go. Sometimes it looks to me like she has stopped gaining weight again, but today, she looked different and bigger to me after being gone at work all day!

I never thought I would be like this, because I had a lot of trouble overcoming inertia before parenthood (pregnancy, oh my god, terribly hard to do anything!), but now I find that we are always on the go, usually two and sometimes three times a day. There's just so much to see and do out there! It makes me really wonder how I would hypothetically juggle two kids. I love being able to tailor my day to Calliope's needs and interests. I don't remember my parents ever delighting in child-oriented activities, and it brings me so much joy to know that she won't have to experience what that feels like.


  1. I can't get over how quickly 14 months have gone!

  2. Yay Calliope! Congrats on your first steps! I've got a friend, a pilates instructor, who insists that it is MUCH better if babies start walking later (re: body mechanics, proprioception, core strength, etc). Thanks for sharing her words - spoken and signed. Reassures me that perhaps Carys isn't too far behind. I know there's a huge variation in when kids talk, but Carys is just SO far behind where Fiona (an early talker) was, it's hard not to worry a bit.

  3. Yeah for 1st steps!!! Happy 14 months!!

  4. Seriously... 14 months already!! Yea for walking for mommy! (I agree it doesn't count if someone else saw it first. I think Elsie's day care just didn't tell me. :)