MimicPlay

Coraline pulled her Grandma’s apron off of the chair back and held the ties. Normally with long string-like bits of fabric she would wave it around and chew on it, noisily chatting and smacking her lips.

This time, however, she was absolutely silent while we ate and repeatedly pulled the strings up past her shoulders and head, occasionally holding them above her head. She clearly had seen Grandma do something similar and was trying to copy her to figure out how it worked.

Eventually the only sounds we heard were the softest, sweetest coos.

It’s an interesting sort of play. I felt emotion, peace, contentment, and even love, not idle curiosity as I often see from Coraline, as if by mimicking Grandma she was connecting with Grandma, someone she adores completely and trusts fully. Someone she loves most clearly.

I helped her put it on and she experimented with trying to take it on and off. Not until later did she stubbornly explore it by examining the hems and eventually waving it around a bit as she normally would. When Grandma reached to play with her with it she turned her body away and gripped it so tight, refusing to give it up.

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Balance of rest

A challenge I’ve had lately is how to balance life so Coraline gets enough rest, but also how to get done what I need to do.

Generally it isn’t too bad – we do our thing when she wakes, we try to work around her schedule or plan longer drives during nap time.

However, she has had a huge jump in development (walking, climbing, clapping, clicking her tongue, sticking her tongue out, interacting with people more), and she has been sleeping so much longer for naps during the day now.

Somehow I have to take her to work, but she won’t nap early enough to sleep the full 1.5-2 hours before I need to leave, or if I work later the last 30-60 minutes of work is her fussing, exhausted, and grumpy for her second nap.

Other occasions are similar – church, or any other planned event. She won’t nap when we are out and about either.

She’s been so tired that at times she is fussy and worn out 30-60 minutes before bedtime, but if I let her sleep she wakes up an hour later and has to be up for 20 minutes before she can go back to sleep for the night.

Growing up is so tiring and so much work, poor baby.

Achievements

Coraline has started sticking hee tongue out and took 5 whole steps, both done today. Just yesterday she seemed shakier and clumsier than today. She couldn’t open to drawers until today either. She’s been waiting, planning, and scheming, and now it’s time for carrying out her plans!

Quiet time

I love morning nap time. I’m not sure how I’ll manage work in the Fall when I won’t get these 1-2 hour time periods where she’s asleep and I just get to REST and recharge, sipping coffee slowly. Work might be a break of its own, but I’ll still be surrounded by children. It’s a huge reason why I haven’t substitute taught for a whole year, despite being qualified, or why I haven’t applied to teaching positions for the fall.

I’m hoping her sleep continues to improve and therefore I’ll have less need of this time. It slowly is.

I think a huge part of the tiredness of being a parent for me though is the over stimulation. Even when doing childcare or teaching martial arts or teaching in school I would have to sit in silence for at least an hour after work to just feel human again after constant noise and activity. This is what I expected from parenting, and why I didn’t want to have a kid right away. I knew I’d need these moments of quiet.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a bad parent for detaching myself any chance I get – as soon as she’s in someone else’s care I disconnect. I feel I do this multiple times in a day. The problem is it’s not as refreshing as when she’s asleep or fully in someone else’s care because I still am physically present and feel a string connected to my child.

Trust

I saw some article about signs that your baby trusts you.

Coraline trusts me, because according to movies trust falls are a sign that you trust someone.

She can stand, she knows how to safely fall in most instances (knee-first or butt-first), and even delay her falls with a couple steps once in a blue moon, but if I’m anywhere nearby she just launches her body at me with full trust that I’ll catch her.

Sneaky

Coraline seems to know when she isn’t supposed to do something. She waits until our backs are turned, or turns her body so we can’t see, so that she could do certain things that we have repeatedly pulled away from her or drew her attention from.

Going into Tia’s room has been one obsession for the last two months (she knows how to push the door open now, but she smacks the ground harder when she’s bolting for the door so we always catch her first).

Another obsession is putting everything in her mouth. People say it’s a thing kids do, but I suspect Coraline is a bit more extreme in this. EVERYTHING goes in her mouth if we aren’t there to stop it. Now she will turn her body if we repeatedly stop her from eating a particular thing, as if trying to sneak it by blocking it from our view.

She has gotten very good at the pincer grasp now. She can pick up very small, barely visible things to eat now.

Hungry girl

Coraline loves food.

She’ll tolerate being fed if it means she gets food. She used to not, but she eventually realized it was the only way.

She loves feeding herself most of all.

She tells me now when she is hungry usually by opening and closing her mouth, sometimes touching her mouth, and if we are too slow she’ll fuss a bit. She does this especially when we are eating.

Anything we eat she wants. If we sit down with even a small snack she will come up to us smacking her lips with her little arms on our knees, begging like a cat.