I just love my babies. When singing lullabies to them sometimes I’ll sing “You are my sunshine” but instead of “my only sunshine” I say, “one of my sunshines” because it just wouldn’t be true! In my world there is more than one sun. And they’re so sparkly and girly, and one has little bitty curls.
Anyway, my girls confound me at times. Aria can spout off any rule she’s ever been told while deliberately disobeying it at the same time. I watched her in the baby monitor one night as she leaned on the edge of her bed to reach the light and said, “no Aria, leave lights off or mommy will take out the lightbulbs” as she turned it on. “Turn the lights off, Aria.” “Lay down, Aria” as she sits there fluffing her blanket. At daycare she apparently sits on the potty and says, “no sticker if no pee on the potty,” which amuses her daycare teacher. She is constantly rattling off things she’s been told.
She had Eric and I in stitches one night, even though she just would NOT go to bed. I had put her back in bed countless times, had tried completely ignoring her but she would just come out of her room, I tried closing the door but she can open it now, I tried threatening her with spankings but she is very clever and manages to do the exact bare minimum of what I ask to avoid it (like sitting on the edge of her bed so she’s technically “in bed”).. Finally I just gave up. She came in to our room and crawled in to bed next to me and I just rolled over with a “whatever” and tried to tune out her babbling. She kept sitting up to do something or other and I was about to leave her to torment Eric alone and sleep on the couch when she sat up and said, “mommy, put Aria to bed” and climbed down and went to her room. “Come on mommy!” So I followed my very-awake-at-11:30pm-child to her room and tucked her in to her bed for the umpteenth time. And left the baby gate open because Eric and I agreed it did absolutely nothing anyway.
The end of the world happened. Just as I was crawling back in to bed we hear her yelling, “Mommy! Close the gate!” I grab the baby monitor and Eric and I watch as she stands in front of the baby gate which is mostly closed, just not latched, as she cries and screams about how her gate is open. Mind you, she can close the gate herself. She does it all the time. It is completely within the realm of her capabilities. But instead she stood there with her blanket around her shoulders, crying at the top of her lungs “mommy close the gate!” over and over again. Eric and l looked at each other like she was insane.. which she clearly is. Eventually it became clear she wasn’t going to stop freaking out over the gate so I went and closed it. And of course then she crawled over it. *sigh* We were wondering what would happen if the baby gate were to disappear completely.
Speaking of OCD, I made it a goal of mine to make ties for her curtains but I’ve only managed to make one so far. I tied her curtain back and she had a conniption fit. She literally cried and freaked out over it and threw it away she was so upset. So it hasn’t gone back up but Eric suggested I keep putting it back until she gets used to it. I figure I will once I get the other ones made. Maybe then it will have more order and she’ll be ok with it.
Avery is developing her own personality as well. She thrives on routine but isn’t OCD like Aria. It’s amazing that, when I watch her, I can lay her on the blanket on the floor with a blanket over her when it’s naptime, and she’ll just go to sleep. Sometimes it takes longer than others, sometimes she has to babble a bit first, or even cry for a brief moment just as she’s dropping off, but she always takes a nap eventually. And I don’t mean eventually like, hours waiting for it to happen.. more like minutes. The longest was probably 20 minutes of her playing on the floor before she went. She also tells me when it’s time for bed. She’ll be super sweet and playful and happy and all of a sudden she looks at me all devastated and starts fussing a little and I say, “ok we can go to bed” and she’s calm as long as she sees that I’m starting to get ready to put her bed. Even if it’s past her bedtime, once she knows we’re headed upstairs soon, she’ll chill. She sometimes cries out when she sees her bottle, but she still waits patiently for it. We’ll go upstairs, change her diaper and clothes, put her shoes and helmet back on, we’ll even read some books and the bottle will be sitting right there next to us, and she’s totally cool. But once we turn out the light she starts freaking out. She gets squirmy when I pick up that bottle and everything is flailing until she can snatch the bottle from my hand and jam it in her face. Then she’s calm and quiet and content again. Even if she’s still awake when the bottle empties, she’ll usually sit there in my lap all quiet until I flip her over and snuggle her. Or she’ll take it upon herself to try to flip over and snuggle. She’s an excellent snuggle. Probably the best snuggler that ever lived. Ever.
So she doesn’t have a soft palate in the roof of her mouth. And yet somehow she makes clicking noises. Sometimes I’ll be holding her in my lap and she’ll be sitting there contemplating life and I’ll hear the noises that you can make when you create suction in your mouth. I’ll look at her and say, “Avery! How did you do that?” and she’ll just look at me all nonchalant like, “I just do. Why do you ask?” Then I’ll do it to her and she’ll smile and find me amusing, but still won’t explain how she does it. She’s mysterious like that, keeping her secrets secret. She can also suck down a bottle in nothing flat when she’s feeling ravenous. She can hold her own bottle now and I’ve even seen her squeeze the nipple part to refill it when it’s empty if it’s not refilling fast enough on its own involved (special bottle, one-way valve that creates pressure in the nipple so she can essentially bite/chew on it to get milk out instead of having to suck). I’m not sure if it’s possible for her to understand that concept or the physics, but I have definitely seen her squeeze it to refill it more than once.
She does other things that she shouldn’t be able to do. She’s been arching her back to help you lift her out of her car seat since she was conscious of the world.. so like since 2 months or so. She has been pushing her arms through sleeves (VERY consistently) and, again, arching her back when you pull the shirt down behind her since she was 6 months. She started banging objects together and passing objects from hand to hand at 5 months. All of these early, some, like the helping to dress herself, ridiculously so. Meanwhile she was delayed on a lot of motor skills like rolling over and sitting up, but the thought is maybe because she was restrained by things like casts and devices or surgery restrictions, she just started working on other stuff instead.
Since she was restricted from nearly all physical activity for almost two months it was really hard work for her to sit up or stand once we got the all clear, but within days she was pretty much back to where she had been at 6 months and is continually improving. I was able to sit her up and leave her for roughly five minutes at a time, with her able to look around and not tip over. She’s even started to figure out how to catch her balance. She’s also willing to stand again; the first couple of days she just wouldn’t, but if you sit her in your lap in front of an activity table she’ll pull herself up and stand hunched over it. So I’m hopeful that with the progress we’ve made so quickly in a week’s time that she will just keep pushing forward. She does still have scoliosis to deal with, but hopefully it’s not too severe (we learn more in May).
I have such a hard time with my feelings towards Avery. Sometimes I look at her and think she’s going to be fairly normal, maybe very similar to her sister, and will have a normal childhood and life after she’s done with all of this stuff she has to endure right now. Other times I think she’s going to be special. Not sure how special, but somehow special. I mean, obviously both of my girls are special, but while life seems to be ridiculously easy for Aria, who rarely meets a challenge she can’t force to comply to her will and therefore gets frustrated easily when something is above her capacity, Avery is a hard worker who rarely gets frustrated and who seems to adapt amazingly to overcome her disabilities.
One thing though that I’m so blessed with is that they are both such sweet little girls. They adore each other, and they both know how to make me smile and laugh. They are such joys to be around and I’m so blessed to be their mommy. I don’t want to wish away Avery’s babyhood because she really is, no joke, the best snuggler of all time and I just love holding her, but I do also look forward to watching them play together and Aria teaching Avery how to get into mischief. 🙂