Iris is at the cutest, most dumplinglike possible age: almost seven months, and so cherubic it is pretty much a full-time occupation to kiss her cheeks and the back of her neck. And lately (now that ear infection number two is on the way out) she is in the greatest mood: screeching at the cat, grinning at all of us (but mostly at Ingrid), levitating towards the ceiling fan and the hanging bell in the dining room. Loving sweet potatoes and letting most other foods dribble down her chin. And pulling off some amazing physical feats like going from tummy to sitting to tummy again all on her own.
And her sleep continues to go pretty darn well. Since last Saturday, putting her down for naps and bed has kept on being, well, easy. Nurse, doze, put down, cry for usually less than five seconds, sleep. Middle of the night wakings are still not so good. But the predictable napping and easy put-downs do a world of good for my sanity and, I am convinced, her mood.
Ingrid has done some pretty unbelievable things in the past week or so, too. She is all of a sudden using the toilet for all her waking pees, and is completely into doing it All. By. Herself. Could you give me a little privacy, Mama?
She is also suddenly interested in climbing into the car seat on her own. How embarrassed should I be that I have not been able to get her to do that until now? She’s a reluctant climber, and I just couldn’t persuade her to do it, even last summer when I had to swing her into the car over my giant pregnant belly. All of a sudden, she doesn’t even want me to stand near her while she gets in. Phew. Hooray.
And—this tickles me the absolute most—lately she is looking at letters and words in a different way. She’s realized what I am reading when I read her stories and is interested in how words look. One day last week we sat together at the computer “typing.” (She loves this. Big font. She chooses the color. She asks me to type words, or she presses keys and asks me what she’s written.) I typed “Ingrid” and “Mama” and she “read” them (not a surprise, since she sees those words often—it’s more shape recognition than reading). Then (here’s where the genius comes in) I typed “Daddy” and asked her what it said. And she said? “David.” Which in my opinion is pretty damn awesome. David is a kid at her day care (all their names are written on their cubbies in big letters). She could have easily guessed “Daddy” from the Ingrid/Mama context, but she was looking at those letters enough to know that it looked like David’s cubby. Must give the standard disclaimer: There’s no pressure about this kind of stuff around here; we just follow what she’s interested in, and I know early reading isn’t necessarily a sign of future anything (isn’t even necessarily good). But it’s so exciting to see her figure this out.
There is also, as you perhaps may have detected in my posts of the past, oh, seven months or so, some weirdness and strife in Ingrid’s and my relationship, and it’s hard to explain why but I feel like I am on the verge of figuring something out that will make things better. She has become so mysterious to me, and it seems like there is a key thing about her that I haven’t been understanding right, and I feel like I am almost to the point of figuring it out enough to at least know what questions to ask. That sounds cryptic, but I don’t mean it to—it really is that foggy, even to me. More on that later.
I am turning 34 on Wednesday (Or is it 35?, I keep asking myself, honestly.) My birthday gift from A (which, ok, I requested pretty explicitly) is the time and money to attend, over the next couple of weekends, two writing workshops through our terrific local writing center. Hooray. And spring is almost here. Hooray again!