Friday, April 18, 2008

Baby Legume--10 and a half months

Baby Legume is learning so many new things now, practicing and perfecting so many new skills. And I think—was it this way before? Was it this way with the Bean-girl, and I’ve simply forgotten? We tell ourselves we won’t forget, but we do. My baby is growing so fast, I can hardly keep up.

From pulling herself up to standing, she is now cruising and standing with only one hand on a surface for support. She is even letting go and temporarily—very temporarily! just a second or two—standing all on her own, before folding to the ground. And just today I noticed that she seems to have learned how to get down all on her own from a standing position; she’s no longer stranded holding onto a table, but can let go and sit down with a little thump.

Just last week, for her Aunt R’s visit, Baby Legume learned to tentatively crawl up the stairs. Now we can’t keep her away from the staircase. She crawls all the way up to the top on her own, with ease (and a nervous parent following behind). She is very nearly crawling up into her sister’s toddler bed. My mother called today to tell me that she had dreamed that the Legume was walking. She isn’t yet—but I think that in a month or so she will.

Her vocalizations are great fun. Lately she’s been screeching and babbling rather loudly. Bean-girl in particular has great fun with this.

At dinner the other night:

Legume on her high chair (chants): Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa
Bean-girl laughs: Baby Legume is singing a short baby song!
Legume: Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa
Bean-girl: You made a good song, Baby Legume!

Bean-girl also enjoys “interpreting” Legume’s words for us. Yesterday the two girls and I had the following conversation as I drove Bean-girl home from preschool:

Legume: Ma ma ma ba wa wa ba ma
Bean-girl: Baby Legume is telling me about her day. She is talking about how she had fun staying at home with mommy. She had fun playing outside with mommy. Except that she didn’t actually go outside.
Me: You're right, Bean-girl. We didn’t actually go outside today.
Bean-girl: She was just kidding!

Bean-girl is quite fond of “kidding”, and apparently Legume now is, too.

I’ve often felt guilty over not giving Legume the attention that her elder sister had. Although I have stayed home this time with Baby Legume, and went back to work with her sister, my one-on-one time with Legume is dwarfed by the attention that Bean-girl received, and continues to receive. When I had the Bean-girl I was a nervous mother who bought into the idea that my baby needed to be constantly stimulated, talked to, read to. I was constantly in the Bean-girl’s face. We sang and danced to pass away the dull winter months. She was constantly held. Baby Legume is not. But Husband and I have also realized that Baby Legume is a different person, and she doesn’t want to be held so much. She likes to explore on her own, checking every now and then to know that mom is still in sight, and then returning to her play. She doesn’t really have the patience to look through books (unlike her sister at this age). At first I fretted that my relative neglect of Legume was tantamount to the neglect of children in a Soviet-era Romanian orphanage. But Baby Legume doesn’t seem to have attachment disorder. And she seems, in fact, to be hitting all her milestones right on time—standing, babbling, eating, growing. She seems to be growing just fine.

And one thing she has that Bean-girl never had as an infant—a sister. An older sister who adores her, and cares for her, and plays with her. I hope that makes up for the scraps of attention that she must share. I know that she was born into a richer environment, thanks to the presence of her big sister. She has one more caretaker (albeit one that must herself be supervised!)
Time is in short supply with two little girls. It always is. Time is running faster than I can believe. Baby Legume is not slowing down, and I barely have the time to stop and look, to watch and try to remember her here in this space, as she now is.


post-doc said...

I used to love looking through my baby book and hope that both your girls someday enjoy reading about how much you loved and enjoyed them when they were small. It really is lovely to read.

EcoGeoFemme said...

Do you ever read your old posts describing the girls? I bet you (and the girls) will cherish them when the girls are grown.

It's adorable and I think rather lucky how they get along so well. Have you employed any parenting techniques to help them build that positive relationship?

arduous said...

Oh yeah, that sure sounds like Soviet-era neglect, indeed. ;)

I LOVE these posts where you talk about the relationship the two girls have. It's so sweet how much they love each other.

ScienceMama said...

I worry about this as we contemplate having a second one someday, but I think that Baby Legume is probably lucky to have an older sister to share her parents with... and probably learning a lot from her sister, too.

I love that Bean-girl is interpreting for Baby Legume. Bean-girl is just hilarious!

science cog said...

Your girls sound so cute. Don't feel guilty. You are a great mom. The younger child has a lovely playmate to make up for any less attention from you. My oldest child has a much thicker first year photo album than the second child.

ScientistMother said...

I've popped over after reading your comment on my blog. thank you so much for posting, as you've lead me to a treasure trove of great science & mom bloggers.

Mad Hatter said...

"I barely have the time to stop and look, to watch and try to remember her here in this space, as she now is."

I think this blog will be a wonderful way for you to remember Baby Legume's and Bean-girl's childhoods when they're older. Particularly since it captures not only what your children were doing at various stages, but also what you were thinking and feeling at the time.

Queen Zucchini said...

Awwww...they sound like the greatest kids! I can't wait to have a girl some day.... ;)