Friday, 13 February 2009

Grace - 13 and a half months

So Grace is 13 months old, and scared of snowmen...

We made one in the garden during the cold snap. First she cried, then tried to eat him. She has learned how shake her head to say no, but does not know what the gesture actually means.
If you offer her food, she shakes her head then goes ahead and eats it anyway.
In fact it's not just food she says no to, it's everything.

She points at something she wants, so you say "Do you want it Grace?" and she shakes her head vehemently but carries on pointing till you bring it to her anyway so she can sling it on the floor and start saying no to something else.

She is obsessed with a toy dog who sings jingle bells and waves it's arms around, a bright pink Hippo who sings "Do you love me" whilst wiggling it's plastic bum and a brown bear who croons Humpty Dumpty in a very posh voice (he also tells the story of Goldilocks but gets bored halfway through and ends abruptly with "and she was never seen again").

She sets them off one by one, a look of utter concentration on her face as she searches for the 'play me' buttons on their paws/feet. We then have to listen to them woofing and warbling over one another again and again and again and again and again.

We just managed to wear the batteries out but then James' folks came down and replaced them! They also bought her a plastic dog which we can't switch off and has to be fed a plastic bone every 3 hours or he starts barking and shouting "FEED ME, I LIKE BONES". James had to go downstairs at 3am the other night to give him a plastic bone. The dog said "BONES ARE YUMMY" ten minutes later and woke us all up again. Oh the joys of toys.

Gracehas also started copying everything we do. If I am drying my hair she will pick up anything she can get her hands on and start stroking it over her head, or hold it to her ear as is if she is on the phone. If James and I are laughing about something she comes over and joins in, which is just the funniest thing I've ever seen. She really likes to feel she is "in there" with what is going on.

She won't be fed at meal times now. She has to do it herself. It takes her about ten minutes for her to get a single piece of pasta on her fork, and another five to get it near her mouth. Then she has a spasm of excitement at how well she is doing so misfires and pokes herself in the eye.

Her best trick though, is walking. She can do ten or twenty step now before collapsing in my arms, sweaty and utterly delighted with herself. She giggles with each step she takes and my heart swells with pride. I looked at her the other day and felt fear for the first time, that it was all going too fast. I missed my tiny helpless baby. Grace is racing towards toddlerhood without a backward glance whereas I keep digging out photos from this time last year and getting all misty eyed.

That said I am NOT ready for another one - especially after the latest bout of sleepless nights. My god she can make a noise if she does not get wants.

All the book say to never to bring your baby back downstairs once you have taken them up for the night. We've decided the books can just um, not be adhered too, When it's 3am and Grace is screaming the place down unless you carry her round the house so she can turn all the light switches on and off then that is exactly what we will do, because it works.

She calms down and starts acting less like a child from the Exorcist and more like the baby we know and love. It's just a shame that the next day feels a bit like a dream and I put coffee in the fridge, the milk in the washing machine and forget the names of things like keys or shoes.

It's all worth it though, when Grace gives you a kiss, which is what she just started doing this morning. She uses a bit too much tongue and sometimes surprises you with a little nip of her monkey teeth, but it's still very sweet, and just in time for Valentines day!

There are photos but I've not had time to upload them. I will soon however!


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