Leaping and Bounding

Or standing and bouncing anyway…..

Petra's gone through another of her periodic developmental advances.  All of a sudden there's more of her again.  She's acquired more physical skills.  She stands very strongly and can pull herself up against even smooth surfaces like the windows and walls.  She dances now, bending her knees, bobbing her head, and swinging her hips if I sing or if we play music.  She's also happy bopping away to music only she can hear.  She bounces in Travis's arms, encouraging him to jiggle her around.  And she's taken her first cruising steps, clinging to the coffee table then reaching carefully for my knees and moving over to the chair.

Petra 205-1Petra 115-1Petra 116

She's become a real wriggler which makes changing her or trying to convince her to lie still to eat or sleep a bit of a struggle.  We used to give her toys to hold while we changed her, but that doesn't work anymore.  We've had to move on to small household objects because she's now much more interested in our stuff than her toys.  I've rinsed a baby soap bottle for her to suck on, we throw nappies over her so she can pull them off her face and giggle, and we try to distract her by being as silly as possible, but it's a tall order to get her to lie still long enough for us to shove a clean nappy on her.

The wriggliness is part of a general increase in Petra's busyness and engagement with her surroundings.  She's thoroughly delighted when we play with her, laughing away if I pull silly faces and make funny noises, or if Travis tips her upside down.  And the other day, she played with the maid.  She's been a bit leery of her, but on Thursday they had a nice time playing from opposite sides of the glass door in the lounge.  The maid waved her cloth, sliding it up and down the glass, while Petra crawled around grabbing at it and giggling.

Petra 197Petra 200Petra 201

Petra's very chatty, calling out to us and stringing together sentence-like sounds.  She grunts and growls as well as ga ga gargling and cooing.  I say "oh really," "Is that right?" and "gosh" while making wide-eyed surprised and interested faces.  She's also interested in talking to herself, waving, bouncing, and chatting when she sees her photo or her reflection in mirrors.  She can understand simple instructions now.  I taught her to get down off the sofa by turning her around and telling her to back off if she wanted down.  I thought it might be tricky to teach her to turn around, but it only took a few repetitions before she had mastered it.  We've been playing at passing small things back and forth between us.  I say "ta for mum" (a nice antipodean phrase that!) and she'll give me the toy, reluctantly sometimes, but she hands it over.  Then I say "ta for Petra" and give it back to her.  She's much less reluctant about that part of the game!

Petra seems to remember more about her surroundings as well.  She knows where things are, even if she hasn't seen them for a while.  And she immediately spots an unfamiliar item in the lounge no matter how carefully we think we've hidden it and will charge over to investigate.  We've had to move everything to higher ground, making the lounge look like a tidal wave has passed through it, stripping it bare to a height of about three feet.

She's fascinating and is very good company.  Her enthusiasm is infectious and we get to be as silly as we want to be in the name of entertaining her.

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