Thursday, November 4, 2010

My daughter, the crab.

Lucy has recently learned how to pinch. Hard. It’s just one of a string of recent developments that has her acting like less of a “baby” and more of a “little person.” One moment I was playing with her on the couch, the next she made a grab for my knitting needles. When I hastily pried them from her fingers, she looked up at me, yelled, and, that’s right, started pinching my thigh.

Where do kids learn this stuff? Admittedly, Lucy gets much less peer interaction than most kids her age. To my knowledge, she’s never been pinched by anyone else. And with the exception of her Baby Signs and Classical Baby dvds, she doesn’t watch tv- and I KNOW there’s no pinching on there. I am at such a loss! Clearly she’s not aware that it hurts, and she finds my reaction hilarious- it’s only slightly different from the one I have when she isn’t careful with her teeth when nursing or chucks food on the floor from her high chair. It seems as though Lucy is constantly researching how her behavior affects ours. If I had to name this stage, I would call it, “Let’s see what I can do to make Mama and Daddy make funny faces and funny sounds.”

Some of Lucy’s other recent developments/favorite activities:

- She LOVES to give hugs- to her stuffed animals, us, the dogs….

- Although she’s still not speaking many words, she has so many associations! I can ask her, “Lucy, can you please go in your room and get Tugs (her stuffed puppy) and bring it to Daddy?” And she’ll do it! I can ask her to hand me things I drop (handy when you’re super-preggo) and she will.

- In that vein, Lucy is obsessed with opening and closing drawers and doors, as well as moving items from one area to another. What’s worked for us: if I catch her opening a drawer, I’ll ask her to close it, please. Usually she does- then I make a big deal of it, saying, “THANK YOU, Lucy! Thank you for closing the drawer!” She gets very excited that she is doing what Mama wants and it generally distracts her from what she was doing- which is usually preparing to dump everything on the floor and move it somewhere else. I’ve found socks in the kitchen drawers, and once discovered she’s dumped the wet wipes from the wipe warmer in her room, only to replace them with dry ones from another basket.

- She loves to open the clothes hamper in her room and shove *clean* clothing and diapers into it.

- The girl is crazy about animals! In the last week, she’s managed to grab a lizard (a green anole), and has had two near-snake experiences. And no, she wasn’t scared. Lucy pets and gives her puppies hugs constantly, and is constantly trying to catch the neighbors’ dogs and cats.

- Lucy is still taking two/three bottles a day- one in the morning (she wakes up around 5 am, then I nurse her, she has a bottle, and goes back to sleep), one at naptime, and one at night. As soon as the Deuce is born and my supply comes back, I’m planning on exclusively nursing her morning and night, which will easily cut out those bottles, and she’ll be on a cup for her naptime milk. The rest of the day she uses a sippy. She still takes her pacifier, but only at night, and I’m not in a big rush to drop it. I know that she still has a need to suck, especially with still being breastfed.

- Can you say hissy fit? Lucy is the queen of throwing a tantrum. Last weekend in Best Buy, Lucy wanted to climb the lower merchandise shelves. As soon as I told her “No” and pulled her away, she threw herself on the floor, yelling and kicking her arms and legs. The kid is quite the actress! I’ve also seen her throw fits over having items taken away and for not being allowed outside. What does Mama do in moments like this? Ignore, ignore, ignore. I’ll walk a step or two away, and pretend to be very interested in something else. If we’re at home, I’ll walk out of the room. That usually does the trick.

Overall, I’m amazed at what a little person my daughter is becoming! She is starting to really show her personality and her own preferences and dislikes, which can definitely lead to parenting challenges. However, I’m loving how interactive she is, and how independently she’ll play now. Brett and I both agree that many kids these days have too much schedule and form in their lives in terms of early education- classes, routines, pressure to develop a certain way, etc. Our focus is on independent, creative play. I’m also starting to look into what type of home-schooling we’ll be pursuing (Waldorf? Classical?), but that’s another post for another day.

No comments: