When I look at tiny babies now, I can hardly believe that Thora was ever that small. But she was!
Well, she's not small anymore. As of the 12th of this month, this kid weighed 22 lbs 4 oz. Yes, you read that right. She is still in the 97th percentile in weight. The rest of her (height, head circumference) is slowing down a bit, to the mid 80s. But her weight is still up there. She's currently wearing size 12 - 18 months and even has some 18 - 24 and 2Ts! But I'll tell you honestly that I don't mind the chunk. I wear her more on my back than on my front now because it keeps my back from aching, but she doesn't mind.
I love hugging her, snuggling with her, curling up around her and feeling her soft skin and kissing her ridiculous cheeks.
And she's practically a regular person now! I think I've written this sentence, or something like it, in at least half of my blog entries, but this time I really mean it! She has likes and dislikes.For example, while she is a very, very good eater, she simply does not like food of any kind when it's warm and she always spits out carrots, no matter what form I give them to her in. She feeds herself everything from broccoli to tofu scramble (her current favorite, cumin and all) to the old standby hummus and pita to Morning Os and seems to feel obligated to also feed the floor, the stroller, the carseat, my lap, everywhere. She opens ziploc bags and baby containers full of Os and dumps them, delightedly, wherever she can. Or she'll hold a fistful of Os or whatever else she's working on out to me to share and then when I move towards her, mouth open and making an "Omnomnomnom" sound, she squeals with delight and snatches her hand back and stuffs the goods in her mouth. She's not quite ready to share.
She flies at me when I come in the door after work, which makes me feel loved and missed and only slightly annoyed that she cries if I so much as put her down to try to take my coat off. As a result, I have had to learn to pee with my coat still on and her on my lap, wash my hands in a suit and heels with her nestled in the crook of an elbow, cook entire meals with her pinned between my knees on the kitchen floor. She babbles incessantly: "A ba ba! Ba ba!" and, more recently, "Dadadadaaa," which of course warms Johnny's heart and makes me walk around jealously saying "Ma ma ma" to her while she happily ignores me. She blows raspberries (very messily, I might add) and my absolute favorite, kisses:
and she screams with pleasure:
She will also pick up a book and turn the pages excitedly, babbling all the while as though she were reading the book aloud to one of us.
Everything is a toy now. We are saving a fortune since she is easily amused by common household items. To amuse her when I'm trying to wash my face I'll give her the cover of TIME magazine and it entertains her for ten minutes. Old mail, cat toys, the TV remote, spoons, pieces of floor mat, all fair game. Especially the cat toys.
And she stands by herself now. Look Ma, no hands! No kidding! Good thing she has good padding like her mom, because when she does, it's only a matter of time 5... 4.... 3... 2.... 1... and she plops down hard when she loses her balance. Mostly she lands on her tush but we have had our share of head bonks over the past few weeks too. Nothing deters her, and in fact she's attracted like a magnet to things she really shouldn't be. We look away for ten seconds and look back and find her halfway across the room, under my desk, stuffing her mouth full of USB cables or balancing with one arm leaning on the office-strength shredder or making a beeline for the cat food dishes with a hand stretched out to grab a morsel of whatever disgusting thing they are eating. I'll step in and block the path so she can't get to the cats so she'll then turn around and wander off to another corner of the apartment like the laundry closet and pull out a stray, stale O enveloped in cat hair or in one of our stinky shoes and snack on it like it was the best thing she ever ate.
She plays peek-a-boo with her daddy, who always makes her laugh:
Bath time is hilarious. We blow bubbles, play with cups and squirty animals and sing at the tops of our lungs. I have a video of Johnny throwing a purple spiky rubber ball (a dog toy) to her and her fetching it, splashing and squealing, that would make you pee yourself laughing but I am forbidden from posting it because she's butt naked, so here's a picture with the ball floating off to the left.
Sleep is also changing. She falls asleep at night faster, sleeps more soundly and stays asleep longer. Bedtime is right around 8 pm. She falls asleep still either in my arms or lying down with me, but I am now able to move her into her pack n play next to our bed fairly quickly and she stays there at least until we go to sleep and often longer. Her record is 6 am, which was the best night I have had in a long, long time. Nap time is a bit more of a struggle. Everything excites her now so it's like she can't bear to miss a second of it. She fights napping tooth and nail and though we try to put her down before she gets overtired, she often goes and goes and goes until she runs out of steam, moving from happy to melting down in a matter of seconds, and then passing right out. It's like her body gives out before her mind does.
This past weekend we took her to Farm Sanctuary for the second time, this time to see the Thanksgiving Celebration FOR the Turkeys. She is not too young to learn that turkeys, chickens and other factory farmed animals are not here for us to exploit but rather for us to respect. There were a lot of families with young kids there and I found myself momentarily overwhelmed by the hope I felt for a more compassionate future and the sadness I felt for all the turkeys who are suffering senselessly right now, who are destined to die a brutal death, who just can't wait for the future to grow up and change the world. I talked to my daughter through my tears and she listened quietly and watched openmouthed as the flock of turkeys tentatively explored and enjoyed their special Thanksgiving treat. She sat in the straw next to a young hen and petted her as she worked on her celebratory meal. She touched chickens, goats and sheep. She met a rooster that I cared for when he was a Kaporos baby abandoned on the doorstep of a local vet, left in a cardboard box with a broken wing that had to be amputated. She met a blind turkey named Pearl that I found on E. 125th Street and brought home to live in my bathtub before I could get her transported to the farm. I told her these animals' stories and I felt like she listened. She loved the cows the best. She watched them eat their hay, making all kinds of excited noises, and petted them on their heads and necks until they wandered away from us, tired of her high pitched squeals and grabby, pokey fingers.
Everyone tells me she's going to be walking before we know it. But not yet, I hope. I'm enjoying the last of this kid's babyhood - it's going so fast!