I haven’t really taken the time to write recently and tell you all that’s changed. Aili has been through a burst of development. About a week before we went to Alberta she started to sit herself up. She loves being able to be upright anytime she chooses! She also learned to clap, so she would sit up and then applaud her own cleverness. At first it was a struggle, but now she is so fast in transitioning from belly to sitting to back down again.
While in Alberta, as you’ve seen, she learned how to pull herself up to standing AND climb stairs. Now that she’s figured out how to pull up, all she wants to do all the time is stand! Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to sit back down again, so she’ll pull herself up against the rails of her crib and then screech until I rescue her. This morning it took three rescue attempts before she finally settled in for a nap.
She’s been doing the ‘wounded soldier’ to get around for the longest time, but also while we were in Alberta she started making a more serious effort to crawl. She can kneel with remarkable balance for a long time, and is quite comfortable on hands and knees. But so far her crawling is one hand, one elbow, and both knees. I guess this soldier is still a bit wounded! When she wants to really move she flops back down to her tummy and drags herself to wherever she wants to go.
Aili’s also become extremely vocal, carrying on extensive conversations with herself in a language that only she understands. It involves a lot of ‘ba’ and ‘da’ and ‘ma’. Sometimes it has sweet girly cooing sounds, sometimes it’s the Happy Snarl, and other times she’s practicing for the ‘World’s Longest Vowel’ competition (“aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhooooooooooouuuuuuu…”). The other day she was playing with a small metal bowl (which makes really loud noises when you smash it into something else) and I said ‘That’s a bowl. Can you say ‘bowl’?” and she said ‘bo’. I don’t think she associated it with the object at hand, so I don’t consider it a first word, but there is definite progress.
Simiarly with the signing. She’s starting to repeat or copy signs, but doesn’t yet seem to associate them with anything. She can do ‘more’ and ‘milk’ and when she wants cereal she points directly to the cereal boxes. If I ask her if she wants ‘water’ and do the sign for water, she looks directly at the sippy cup in anticipation, so she understands that sign, but doesn’t repeat it. She waves and claps and points at EVERYTHING.
She is really starting to enjoy having stories read to her, and loves to be in charge of turning the pages. She’ll find something on a particular page, and point it out every time we read that book together.
It is absolutely stunning to watch her development. The pace is blazingly fast. I feel like I can’t even keep up! Interestingly, it seems that many of the new skills are something that she’s figured out by accident, or through trial and error. It seems to be hardwired in there to fiddle around with new sounds, or try different movements, in order to achieve the next step.
I cannot wait to find out what’s going to happen next.