Over the past few weeks, Cordy has made some amazing transitions. Some for the better, some for the, well, let’s just say not-so-better. Three that stick in my mind right now:
At her birthday party in September, Cordy could toddle stiff-legged behind a push toy, but couldn’t walk on her own. Actually, she could only go in a straight line with the push toy, then whine until I turned it around.
November showed some progress, with her taking 2-5 steps between Aaron and I, as we showered her with praise to encourage her. She still showed no interest in really stepping out on her own.
Finally, in early December, she started to take those few, unassisted and unprompted, steps. As the parent who thought my daughter would be crawling to elementary school, I was thrilled. But while she started walking on her own, crawling was still the preferred method of locomotion. I again wondered why she insisted on crawling so much when the world was so much more interesting from a higher vantage point!
Today, she spent this afternoon trying to figure out how to get out from under the dining room table. She had crawled under it to retrieve a toy, then tried to stand up and bumped her head. Instead of just crawling back out, she continued to try to stand, cracking her head each time. I reached under the table, trying to convince her there were easier ways to test the height of an object, but she cried in frustration (and likely a sore head).
Then I realized: my crawler now favored walking over crawling! I’m not sure when the transition actually happened, but it’s wonderful to put her down someplace and not worry about her immediately dropping to her hands and knees, finding the most germ-ridden spot she can crawl to. Now she can walk to the spot and bend down to put her hands in filth. I finally have a walker.
Then she learned to sit up, and somewhere around the same time developed an intense fear of water. Bathtime became nothing but a struggle. She did not enjoy splashing, she did not have any interest in her bath toys. She just. wanted. out. NOW!
And Cordelia was quite good at convincing anyone in earshot that we were bathing her in hydrochloric acid and not water. Her screams echoed in the hallway, down the stairs, and filled the house. Once she learned to pull up and stand, it got worse. Bathing generally involved two people – one to wash her, and one to hold her down as she fought like a wet cat to climb out of the tub. We discovered just how strong a determined child can be – it’s quite amazing, really.
Aaron and I used to argue over when to give her a bath. A typical conversation:
“She doesn’t smell too bad, we can wait another day, can’t we?”
“Her hair is greasy, and she just rolled all over a dusty floor.”
“OK, fine, she’s dirty. Can we just clean her off with wet wipes?”
Once again, sometime around mid-December, things changed. Cordy would peer over the side of the tub when the water was running, and tried to reach in to touch it. One day I placed her in the tub, and she stood there, but didn’t cry. Stunned by this, I didn’t force her to sit down.
I gave her time to get used to the water, and soon she willingly sat down! As I looked around, wondering what cleaning solution she got into under the sink to make her behave this way, she took a bath toy and started splashing and laughing. From that day, she’s taken her baths without complaint, save for complaining about having to get out of the bath.
Like I said, some transitions have been good, some bad. This one has gone downhill, and is starting to get to me. Prior to Christmas, Cordelia was sleeping through the night 6 out of 7 nights a week, on average. It was lovely. No – it was heavenly.
Then came Christmas Eve, when Aaron and I had to take Cordy to a family gathering that started after Cordy’s bedtime. That night, she was up nearly every hour screaming and exhausted. It was her first experience with being overtired, and each hour, while I comforted her, I cursed the family for insisting that Cordy be at that party.
Since then, we have yet to get back to the way it was. One waking each night, generally around 2am, requiring the offering of a bottle in order to calm the child and convince her to go back to sleep. At this point, even Benadryl is starting to look like a sleep option. (I’m kidding. Really.)
Three big transitions all in one month. *Sniff* My little baby is growing up.