Often when she’s occupied in some toddler task, Annie will keep up a steady stream of narration, in a whisper, like she’s talking herself through it.
Deconstructed tortilla soup, with grated carrot and kale.
Our baby is down to one nap after a gradual 10-day transition, during which time we inched her morning nap later and gradually phased out the afternoon. Now she’s up from 7:30-12, asleep or resting 12-2, and up again until bedtime at 7. It’s gone quite smoothly, except for one thing. Pooping hour, which previously coincided with dinner, has migrated by an unfortunate 20 minutes, squarely into bathtime. Three nights in a row now, she has dropped a load in the tub. The first night, a floater. The second night, a floater plus a couple turds that dropped out of her butt like bombs on the bathroom floor as Bryan flew her out of there, yelling, “Leslie! ¡Ayudame!” Tonight, he actually got her over the toilet for the final of 3, and I got a weary notification of two more crouching like small boulders at the bottom of the tub. How DOES one extract turds from 18 inches of bathwater? I went in sheathed to the shoulder in a trash bag.
Thanks to Amazon, a new bath sponge (this did not seem like an item we could reasonably disinfect), a training potty (to deposit her on when he sees even a shadow of “poop face”), and a tub of bleach are on the way.
Annie finally figured out how to use crayons and chalk, and she’s going at it with gusto, on paper, furniture, window sills, and walls. (Apologies in advance to everyone whose walls she draws on because we thought chalkboard paint was a cute idea.) She carefully uses one hand to position the chalk in her other, in a way that would look familiar to anyone who’s learned to use chopsticks as an adult.
Here’s one of her authorized works, on paper:
I agreed with Bryan that it was fine to throw this away once it was photographed…but I may sneak it off to hang on my office wall instead.
I used to visit homes with young kids, look around at the scattered toys and random kid detritus, and feel a smug conviction that I would surely not be “THAT kind of parent.” Now that my own home is coated in kid crust, though, it turns out I rather like the sight of a tub of blocks, a stuffed armadillo under the bed, even toddler handprints on the windows where she’s spent half an hour blowing kisses and waving “dee-dah” (it’s either hello or goodbye, hard to say) to passers-by. It’s her house, too, after all, and right that she should make a—sometimes literal—mark on it.
Overheard, from halfway down the stairwell, as Annie pauses her descent, dad-fingers in hand:
“Oh, you’re pooping. … Are you still pooping, or are you done pooping?”
To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 13 months old.
You start chattering in your crib around 7, and at 7:15 are sitting up and ready for the day. Your dad unzips your sleep sack, lifts you out, and gets you a fresh diaper. Then it’s downstairs for your now-usual breakfast: a bowl of plain yogurt with a little pureed fruit and three tablespoons of powdered cereal. “Pink yogurt,” I call it. You love it. We buckle you into your high chair and start spooning it into you. You’re working on feeding yourself with a spoon but are usually too impatient for breakfast to put up with experimentation. This morning Dad spoons, and I read us an article about Uber and Lyft ditching Austin after they lost a battle over city regulations.
When you’re finished, we swab the yogurt off your face, free you from the high chair, and you grab my fingers for a romp around the house. You love this so much that I’m afraid it’s stunted your solo-walking progress. You will take some steps on your own but vastly prefer to march around with a parent in tow (preferably me—apparently my fingers are better grips). So, we march.
I seize a break in your stride to sit on the couch for a second—I’m pretty darn pregnant now, after all. You join me and start playing one of your favorite games: pulling individual eye drop capsules out of a box, spreading them around, putting them back in, putting them in my mouth, letting me put them in your mouth, repeat. The notion of games and toys for babies has never struck me as so silly. You’ll make a game out of anything.
I take a shower, and you play in your room with Dad. Then you join us for family tooth brushing and sit on the counter (Dad’s got a hand on you) while I put on my make-up and dry my hair. You stand up, lean forward, and kiss your reflection. Nanny Charly is on vacation this week, so at 8:30 our back-up arrives: a nice grandmother from South Africa named Petra. She’s with you all week. You’re not thrilled to be handed off, but she starts strolling around to distract you from your sense of abandonment, and we all survive.
You spend the rest of the morning with her at home, reading and playing. Your favorite book right now is from your Aunt Johanna; it’s called Doggies and requires a great deal of barking. My favorite page is “six quiet dogs,” with no barking at all. Your dad and now Petra are teaching you to say “shhhhhhhh” for this one. She draws pictures on the wall for you.
From 10-11:30, you nap, then you’re up for a lunch of frittata with mint and peas, more yogurt, and half a banana. You do some important self-spoon-feeding practice. I’m told you have an excellent bowel movement.
You head to the playground for some swinging and a bit of solo walking after your second nap. This is the last week you’ll get them—next week we’ll start to transition to a single mid-day nap in preparation for your daycare schedule.
I get home at 5 and find you playing happily. You demand a tangerine immediately, and I oblige, get a report on your day, and say goodbye to Petra. We march around the house, explore the contents of the pantry’s bottom shelves, and then look at cards from a game our friends Emily and Tony have given you for your birthday. You roll a big fuzzy die and pick a card with a matching color that instructs you to do such things as pinch your nose, clap three times, or do a funny dance. It’s too advanced for you right now, but you enjoy the pictures, and listening to Mom quack like a duck. “Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack,” I say. “Quack quack quack.” You watch me carefully, and finally offer, “DAA DA.” You babble all kinds of nonsense sounds, but when you really mean to say something, all your words begin with “d”.
Your dad gets home at 6 and plays with you while I make us goat cheese sandwiches with tomatoes and olives for dinner. You have some strawberries, too, and drink big gulps of water. We sit and eat at the table for 20 minutes, and then you wave your little hands in the air to tell us you’re all done. Fortunately, we are too. You and I play with teabags and tablespoons in the kitchen while your dad cleans up. (And then, whoops, you spilled some oil on the counter, and hey! you’ve got both hands in the salt bowl.)
At 6:45, he takes you upstairs for some quiet time and a fresh diaper. Then it’s finding the mouse on every page of Goodnight Moon, lullaby, and, goodnight!
(But wait—then I watch you on the monitor, rolling around your crib for another hour before you sleep. Yeah, we can probably let go of that second nap already.)