tricks up her sleeves

oh, hello.  you again.  i suppose you’re tired of hearing about birthday celebrations and want to know about what josephine’s been doing lately, other than being feted.  well, i’ll tell you.  but i’m warning you: by the time you read this, she’ll have about a dozen new things she’s capable of.  i can’t keep up; you shouldn’t even try.

to sum it up, josephine has been talking.  morning til night, this kid babbles about whatever it is one-year-olds talk about.  yesterday we were sitting in the car waiting to pick up ned from work and she was looking out the window and talking so enthusiastically to the house across the street that i was convinced she was seeing ghosts or something.  was she really saying “hi” and “bye” over and over again to the house?  “hi” and “bye” are her favorite things to say.  she practices them a lot, even one time in the middle of the night when i thought she was asleep and i was sneaking out of her room.  i heard a little “hi, hi, hi.”

she can copy sounds we make pretty well, but the words she says that actually appear to mean something to her are “hi,” “bye,” “book,” “up,” “cup,” “woof” (for dog), “block,” “uh-oh” and “tickle tickle tickle.”  this last one is the best — when presented with her own naked belly (or someone else’s), she wiggles her fingers all over it while saying “tickle tickle tickle” in a squeaky voice.  she can also tell you, if she’s in the mood to do so, what the snake says, what the sheep says, what the monkey says (complete with armpit scratching), what the dog says and what the lizard says (tongue-waggling).  she can sniff.  she can do the signs for “more,” “eat,” “water” and, sometimes, “please.”  she can also blow a pretty nice kiss.

she surprises me every day with new words or new ways of showing she understands what’s going on around her.  we volunteered for another study at the UW, this one looking at babies who have older siblings with autism to try and determine if there are earlier markers of autism than currently known (josephine was in the comparison group of babies without older siblings). as part of the study, the researcher was showing josephine two pictures in plastic frames and having her pick the one she was more interested in.  with each pair, josephine picked a picture, examined the picture then flipped it over to check out the back of the frame.  the researcher gave her a minute with it, then gently took it from her and said “bye bye, picture.”   after selecting a picture from the fifth pair, josephine did her routine of looking it over, front and back, then handed it across the table to the researcher and said “bye!”

suddenly, josephine is very interested in pulling herself up to standing, much to the relief of a certain worrywart grandma who was growing concerned about little j’s motor skills.  i talked to the nurse practitioner at josephine’s one-year appointment about her (at the time) lack of pulling up and she said that she guessed josephine is a careful perfectionist who is just biding her time.  i liked that assessment.  and, just a week later, she was pulling herself up on the bookcase and the chair and the couch and in her crib and on the shelf in her room and on ned’s legs while he read to her and on my legs while i try to make her lunch in the kitchen.  something about her little legs standing straight and her arms working to keep her steady pulls at my heart and makes me prematurely nostalgic for my baby — i can’t help but picture her as a 5-year-old, dancing off to school.  or, worse yet, as a teenager, rolling her eyes at the tofu i serve her for dinner.


3 Responses to “tricks up her sleeves”

  • Grandma Susan Says:

    ok–she is darling and i love all her new words and all her moving around (i can’t imagine someone being a worrywart over that..) but what i do see is the red spot under her nose from that fall. is she going to end up with a scar just like every other female she’s related to?

  • oma Says:

    i know, how could someone worry about that, mom!?

    the red spot under her nose is actually from a different face plant she took just a few days ago. and today she fell into our office chair–right into the pointy lever that adjusts the chair height–and banged up her face in that same spot. it’s like a magnet for trouble.

  • Carrie Says:

    i LOVE how fast they are mastering new things these days!

    put a little something in the mail for josephine this morning~ have fun doing gorilla chest bangs! (as compared to monkey armpit tickles!)