Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Places to Go, Things to See

I've written about how Kailey is a very calm, happy and generally easy baby. She rarely cries, preferring instead to grumble a bit when she is upset, elevating it to a sort of half-cry if her grumbles go ignored. Every once in awhile she breaks into this sobbing cry, as if to say "why. aren't. you. listening. to. me." But, she's pretty good at communicating her needs for someone who is non-verbal (although, the babbliest, loudest non-verbal person I have ever met), and also tends to reserve her grumbles for things that can be addressed: hunger, diaper changes, being held, or being put down. But, the fact that Kailey is good natured does not mean she is not a bit exhausting. Kai is a mover. Or a squirmer. A wiggle worm. She seems to be constantly in a hurry to get somewhere... and, if possible, she would like that somewhere to be wherever we would least like her to go.

I remember when I was pregnant at one of my doctor's appointments the doc was trying to listen to Kai's heart and she was squirming around and kicking so much that we couldn't get a read on her. The doctor said, "I've always wondered if the really squirmy ones stay that way as children, but I always forget to follow up with parents and find out." Well, doc, in our case the answer is a resounding YES.

As soon as we put Kailey down on her back, she attempts to flip over -- this has made changing her a bit challenging. It's more like a wrestling match. A wrestling match with a kitten. You put Kai on the changing table and she twwwiisssttsss her body to try to roll over, and we try to pin her down and get the diaper off, but as soon as we put a hand on her chest to try to prevent the roll she grabs onto our arm with both of her arms and does this bear hug/kitten attack maneuver complete with biting and growling. Changing her has become a two person job.

Kai's constant movement has also resulted in her slowing in her weight gain. She has been hovering just over 17 pounds for awhile now. She was 17.5 for awhile, but her recent cold resulted in some weight loss.

She is funny to watch -- she flips over and then locks onto some object and gets this sparkle in her eyes as she prepares to go after it. She likes power cords, laptops, Oscar's bowls and toys, the animals... pretty much whatever she isn't allowed to have. Once she has a lock on her desired object, she pushes her knees up under her and lunges forward with a great big grunt/growl. It's quite a production. Luckily, it's a fairly slow production and we have time to let her take a few lunges before pulling her back to safely. However, she is not easily deterred. The other day, we were in the kitchen and Eric was cooking while I watched Kai. She was squirming to be put down, so I put her on the floor and she made a bee line (or a snail's line... just doesn't have the same ring, does it?) for Oscar's bowl. When she got within a couple of inches, I pushed her back a foot. Undeterred, she went for the bowl again and when she got close, I pushed her back again. We did this over and over and over again. I think she went for the bowl 20 times, grumbling a bit more each time and then finally breaking into a cry, at which point I ended the game.

Then there was yesterday, when she decided she wanted the power cord that was on the couch and spent a good 10 minutes trying to crawl up the couch... which she couldn't figure out how to do, but oh did she try. I'm telling you, this child is determined.

It's fun watching her go after things with such gusto - but it's also exhausting to have to constantly go after her or try to find something safer to distract her with. Tonight she was crawling after the alarm clock for the whole time I was trying to put her to bed. I would flip her over on her back and lay down next to her, she'd eat a little and then flip over and head for the clock. I'd pull her back. She'd squirm away. She would roll onto her side and then turn in a circle. I'd put her back next to me. She'd flip again and try to get away as quickly as possible. We did this for 15 minutes and then, finally, I flipped her back and she just fell asleep, exhausted.

I better get to sleep. There's more exploring to be had tomorrow.

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