This week marks five full months since Miss P joined us. She’s grown and changed so much since the October night we brought her home. Throughout these months, we’ve watched her transform from a squishy slumberous newborn to a curious and spunky little lady who rolls over, pushes herself up, reaches for her toys, blows raspberries and babbles, sometimes incessantly.
In fact, this has been another month of firsts, starting with the discovery of:
[Drum roll, please]
her feet, also known in these parts as, da pigs.
She can’t get enough of them; she pulls them into her mouth while she’s riding in the car, playing on the floor, sitting on my lap- even while she’s nursing. If she’s wearing socks, she tugs at the toe, lifting her leg into the air. Sometimes she sticks her tongue out while she does this. She loves to stick her tongue out.
Someone told me I’d hear Miss P’s first laugh when I least expected it, and it would likely be in response to something that wasn’t even funny. Well, one day I sneezed while I was changing her clothes, and she let out the sweetest little giggle. It was so sweet, that I spent the next week gently poking at her belly during playtime and saying, ahhhhh ahhhh ahhhh chooo in hopes of getting another one. Instead of more giggles, these attempts were mostly met with a smirk. Miss P knew I was faking it.
Lately we’ve been getting lots of giggles – even a few belly laughs – and I don’t have to go to such desperate measures to get them. Even so, I enjoy working to make her laugh. Some of the things she currently finds funny are: clapping hands, snapping fingers, pictures of babies, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, sneezes and when I pretend to eat her toes while exclaiming, da pigs! She also giggles when Tim rubs his scruffy face on her cheek.
I’ve conducted an informal photo shoot each month since Miss P was a newborn. In the beginning, these sessions were effortless, but they’re becoming progressively more challenging as she develops new skills.
It feels like just yesterday that I had to prop her against the arm of her chair and quickly snap a couple pictures before her wobbly body slumped. This month, she was able to sit erect with confidence. She kicked her feet in excitement and looked around her room as if she was seeing it for the first time. She was enamored with the bookshelves her Daddy built her and kept twisting around, grabbing onto the bottom ledge and looking up at, what must have seemed to her, a myriad of colorful books marching to the ceiling.
I was able to get a few pictures of her facing forward by waving a board book, with Eeyore the donkey on the cover, beside the camera while exclaiming, Look Miss P! It’s Eeyore! Eeyooooore! Eeyooooore! I’m learning that I will do and say the silliest things to win her attention. It’s a prize that never gets old.
Miss P’s starting to take in everything around her. She’s fascinated by shapes, sounds, colors and movement. I love the way she greets these new sights and sensations with a wide-eyed expression of wonderment.
I used to do a project in my classroom each year on The Last Lecture, a presentation on achieving your childhood dreams given by, the now late, Carnegie Melon professor, Randy Pausch after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During his lecture, Pausch urges listeners to “never lose the childlike wonder.” Each time Miss P makes a new discovery, I can’t help but be reminded of this prudent advice- for this is the very thing Pausch was speaking of, in one of its purest forms.
In addition to the firsts that have been taking place at home, last week Miss P dipped her toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
It was a windy day, and the water was rough, so I waited for a wave to crash onto the sand then I dipped her toes in the swirling foam as the water receded. We did this a few times, then we strolled down the boardwalk with Grandma and Grandpa.
When I was very young, my mom took me to visit my grandfather in Tampa, Florida, a couple times a year, and some of my earliest memories are of the beach – Clearwater Beach, to be exact. That being said, I’m grateful I was able to spend this first with Miss P and my parents. I’m also very grateful that she didn’t plop onto a jellyfish like I did on a trip to the beach when I was a baby.
In other news, we’ve been doing some serious Spring Cleaning around our house in preparation for Miss P becoming mobile – a milestone that’s surely not far off. I was organizing the Tupperware cabinet and thought Miss P might enjoy playing with one of the containers from my Bento Box. I read somewhere that providing household objects (supervised, of course) such as containers, a wooden spoon, pots and pans, etc. is a great way to promote creative thinking from the beginning since these items encourage babies and small children to use their imagination during play.
She really enjoyed the container and has been playing with it for the past week. Now I’m on the lookout for other safe objects she might have fun with.
While it’s exciting to see her grow and change – as if before our eyes – it also brings with it an ache. As we enter Miss P’s fifth month, those squishy drowsy newborn days are a foggy memory, but I’m looking forward to making many more. I also hope as the weeks, months and years pass by, that Miss P will be able to experience the world around her with the same unwavering sense of wonder she does today.