First words? And other milestones?

An ad popped up on my browser today for a service that turns your blog into a soft-cover book. It reminded me that this blog serves as a Laurel's baby book and therefore I must be diligent about recording all the little milestones that pass by in the course of ordinary days. And so, I will record....

As a linguist, watching Laurel's speech develop has been a fascinating real-world example of things I learned from textbooks and lectures. I don't remember the first time she said mama, although I think she said dada first. She uses the word baba to mean milk, or bottle at this point, but it used to mean nursing. Miss Sue heard her say "crackers" the other day when she pulled her lunch box out at daycare. I heard her say something that really sounded like "record" as a request to put on a record (we have a record player in our bedroom and it's become a comforting ritual for us all to listen to a record both in the morning when we get up and as we're getting Laurel settled in the evening). But it's hard for me to say that she actually talks. It's more babbling, with the occasional syllable that sounds recognizable. She says something all the time that sounds like "gogle-gloock", and looks at me with a serious expression, blue eyes wide and blinking and waiting for me to get it. But I don't know what it means.

Her receptive language is obviously far more developed. She points to her nose, eyes, mouth, fingers, toes and belly on command. She can follow a single-step direction like "put that in the garbage can" or "give that to mommy". She likes to mimic nursery rhymes, and she pretend reads her books.

As for other milestones, she's getting better about using her potty chair. We don't have a reliable way for her to communicate when she wants to go, although if we happen to go upstairs, she will just go and sit on it. But I put her on it when she gets up in the morning, after naps and before the bath tub and she very often goes. I've had a couple of dry diapers in the last day or two, which I consider a true victory.

She is also, thankfully, sleeping all night. A few weeks ago she started to reliably sleep for 6 or 7 hours at a time. Technically, this is the definition of sleeping through the night. However, a baby who goes to bed at 7:00pm and is awake 6 hours later...well, you do the math. So, while it was an improvement, it was not awesome. I was still getting up twice a night with her, before the 5 am alarm, and that does not make for a very happy math teacher. During the last few days, she has started to sleep 10 or 11 hours at a time. That, dear readers, is awesome. I've had three solid nights of sleep in a row and feel like I'm starting to recover from a long illnes.

The best new milestone that I can think of is her desire and ability to play. She loves to be chased and to hide under the covers. We play tea party and pour pretend tea into her cups. She makes the same sound I do when pretending to fill up the cups.

She's also starting to be kind of helpful around the house. She does whatever I'm doing in the kitchen, so if I'm cooking at the stove, she grabs a pot and stirs vigorously. But she'll actually help with the chores, too. Yesterday we mopped the floor together. She will put things away if I tell her. The other day I took her downstairs to the laundry and she was helping to toss the wet laundry into the dryer.

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