Rabbit takes a bath

Its not a secret that I have a very dirty baby. She’s never complained about a dirty diaper and is happy to walk around with a shirt wet with drool. So its not surprising that she doesn’t keep her toys clean either. Just last week she spat berry coloured liquid multi-vitamin syrup on her soft toy rabbit and we had to put it in the washing machine. After that rabbit hung by its ears on the clothesline for a day to dry and throughout this period Sophia was constantly pointing to rabbit and demanding for it.

I thought the traumatising experience of not having rabbit to play with would be a sufficient deterrent against dirtying rabbit again so when she tried to carry rabbit with papaya stained hands I said “No no, your hands are dirty, if you hug rabbit it would need to go for a bath!” she couldn’t care less but proceeded to hug rabbit anyway. Then did this to rabbit:

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That’s Sophia’s bathtub in case you’re wondering. I hate the bright red but it was part of my chinese wedding necessities so from an environmentally sound point of view it makes most sense to just use it instead of throwing it into an incinerator after the wedding.

Y-bike

It was raining last sunday so our plans to bring Sophia to Marina Barrage were canned and we had to stay indoors at Great World City instead. One of my favorite shops for kids stuff is Motherswork and of course we must make a trip there.

Y-bike is fun

Sophia had a ball of a time playing with the Y-bike and when I told the hubby about it he asked whether we should think about buying it. I think not. She will outgrow it very soon and meanwhile she has her walker car to ride on at home. Mum being too pragmatic? I’d rather save the money (and storage space at home) for a strider when she gets older.

Speaking of which, the less than 2 year old Korean baby who plays by my apartment’s pool everyday can ride on a skate scooter! I’m truly amazed at her psycho-motor skills. But for now I’m happy my baby wants to hold my hand and walk with me.

Where is Peter Pointer?

As all mummies would know, babies have short concentration span and to get them to sit still for a meal when they are at 1-ish is quite a feat. Sophia is actually quite good about it compared to some babies I know but she still needs to be entertained while she’s on the high chair. So today when she started fussing I passed her one of the alphebet fridge magnets. It happened to be a “P” and she put her index finger through the hole of the P so dad and I started singing “where is peter pointer? where is peter pointer? …”. When we got to “run away”, she put her hand down! I thought it was a fluke because, as far as I could remember, I’ve only sang this song to her a couple of times and when she was something like 8 months old. She couldn’t have really known the actions. So we tried again, and again, and each time she did it.

So proud of my bright baby.

Kiasu mum

When she was learning to cruise a few months back, Sophia spent an inordinate amount of time in front of this mini fridge we have in the living room, using it as a walking/standing aid. This made me think it may be a good idea to buy some alphabet magnets for the fridge and maybe she’ll know all the alphabets by 18 months like Amy Chua’s daughter Sophia. Perhaps I was too ambitious because all she was interested in was swiping the magnets onto the floor and stepping on them… and making us sweep off the alphabets stuck to her feet thereafter. There goes all my grand plans. I remain hopeful that one day, when she’s ready, the alphabet magnets will become a good learning aid.

Pretty obvious where Sophia's hands swiped.

Milestones, sort of

These days I’m impressed by mums who can accurately pinpoint when their children hit certain milestones. For me, other than sleeping through the night, which was clearly evidenced by me not having to wake up before 7am, all the other milestones were a blur, a process that happened gradually such that I couldn’t say for sure when she started being “able to” to certain things.

Take holding her bottle for instance. When i first started trying to make her do it, the success attempts looked to me like her hands just happened to fortuitously be in a position to clamp the bottle in place. Over time, as consistency built up and her fingers opened up to truly grab the bottle I became happy to declare that she can hold her own bottle. But ask me when she started being able to and I’ll be stumped. When she was 2 months old and clamping the bottle between fists or when she’s 6 months old and holding the bottle gingerly between her palms or now when she can grab the bottle and send it accurately into her mouth, and tilt it upwards when the liquid is no longer in the teat?

Same with walking. The process went from me holding up both her hands and her flailing her legs in semi running manner (8 months?) to gradually being able to place both feet on the ground and move stably while holding on with both hands to being able to walk holding just one hand to being able to lunge forward towards me taking a step or two unsupported to being able to walk across the living room unsupported to being able to walk unsupported while hugging a rabbit soft toy bigger than her, and still I’m not comfortable with saying she can walk because unsupported she will fall after a maximum of say 10 steps.

So that’s why you seldom see declaration of milestones on this blog but yet what’s the point of having a baby blog if not to remind obeself of the cute milestones? And so with great reluctance i say sophia can (sort of) walk and can competently feed herself with hands using the pincer grip (when she is not distracted by something 100x more exciting than food, like a camera)

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That’s her eating very well, picking out pieces with the perfect pincer grip, until I fish out the camera, whereupon she immediately spat out everything in her mouth and I can just hear the brainwaves saying “forget food, gimme camera!”

When did she learn to make the connection?

Since when did the little wriggling wormlet who was only capable of waving her hands and making “eh” sounds  become capable of complex thought characterastic of an actual human being?

To illustrate my point: 2 nights ago, grandma brought Sophia out for her nightly stroll but only reached as far as the lobby before they turned back for it was raining. When grandma put her down to warm up her night feed, she walked in the general direction of the door/shoe cabinet. Grandma assumed she may be trying to reach her shoes but since the shoe cabinet was closed and the handle too high for her reach, its unlikely she’ll succeed. Hence grandma ignored her and went to the kitchen anyway. When grandma returned, what did she see but Sophia walking towards her with a foldable umbrella hanging on her wrist. She has it worked out that they can still head out as long as they bring a brolly!

Ok ok, I know its supposed to be like common knowledge but I assure you, its amazing to me.

古灵精怪

I’m not sure when it started but Sophia’s really starting to play the fool intentionally now. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was a helpless little babe whose only means of communication was crying? I can’t catch up with her development!

Today I pushed her out in her stroller and gave her a teddy bear to keep her company. Along the way she got bored with just the bear so I gave her an empty mineral water bottle to play with. She pretended to feed the bear with the bottle (I didn’t know she could pretend play already!). After a while, I noticed that she started to point the bottle at the bear’s ears instead of the bear’s mouth. I initially thought it was lack of psychomotor skills so just mockingly said “Bear bear doesn’t drink with his mouth, does he?” And guess what, she moved the bottle to bear’s mouth! So she knew all along and could point to the mouth, she was just intentionally feeding teddy through its ears!

Later in the day, she was bored and started playing with her shoes which I tried to stop by holding her foot and saying “No.” She smiled at me and tried putting her shoe into her mouth. I glared at her with a stern look and she smiled more, attempting the move again. Each time I glared at her and gently pushed her foot away. After about 3-4 attempts she got it that I was serious and let go of her foot. The cutest thing was she then hugged my arm and gave me the sweetest smile while pushing her cheek into my arm. This little girl already knows how to curry favor at this age!

I’m a big girl now

Yes, she’s firmly out of her separation anxiety stage. Although of course I know that immediately after I jinx myself by saying this tomorrow she’ll cling on to me like a koala bear. But for now I’m really happy about the progress she’s made. A couple of weeks back she was making noise at service so I brought her to creche and left her there. Surprisingly, after I sneaked out, she played very well with the teacher there and didn’t miss me at all! Look at this photo I took from the window:

I'm having fun without mummy

Peek-a-boo review

Sophia went to peek-a-boo last friday with ultra adorable and sociable Isabella last friday. Here’s Izzy. Look how charming and smiley she is. (G, I hope you don’t ind me posting Izzy’s photo. I’ll take it down if you do.)

Izzy

We started off at a corner with Sophia clinging on to me but soon she started exploring, starting with this slide nearest to us. I think she was amazed that children emerged from the slide.

Exploring the slide

Then we moved on to the trampoline when the big kids cleared from it for some reason. After bouncing on it for all of one minute Sophia decided to crawl off it and down the steps leading to it all on her own! I was quite surprised she managed so well. No wonder she was insisting on walking down the stairs at Lily’s place. She probably thinks she can do it. But then no way I was going to let her try with normal steps. The gym’s was heavily padded and just 3 steps or so.

Crawling off the trampoline

Eventually Sophia found this small house that an older kid was playing in and basically took over the house. Seemed like the older kid wasn’t happy about playing with a baby. Oops.. guess all kids like to play only with older kids.

Playing house

Look at Sophia, happily opening and closing the door, and going in and out of the house. Her grandpa tells me that she does the same thing at the playground at school.

Open; close; open; close

At one point, though, a little boy pushed a walker very fast towards Sophia and knocked on her. I guess for some reason the impact wasn’t great because she didn’t fall and didn’t cry. I was quite shocked though and decided to sit behind her as she plays just in case. Pictured below is the said walker that crashed into Sophia.

Walker that bumped into Sophia

Overall the place was not too bad. I can see how there will still be more and more things for her to explore as she gets older but there is already quite a bit that she enjoys now even though she can’t quite climb up to the higher levels yet. Best of all its free for children 11 months and below so its a good opportunity for us to explore the place for free. I also like places that are fair that way because children below 1 really cannot enjoy much of the facilities but families with multiple children would of course bring the whole family out together so to have a no-charge policy for under 1 is good.
 
I don’t think I will use the drop-off service though, because I didn’t see the staff paying much attention to the children. For example they didn’t step in when the boy was going around bumping into other children with the walker although the boy’s mum was there so after a short while she stepped in. Towards the end Sophia was very tired and wailed loudly but again they didn’t even look over much to see if anything was the matter. I’m personally not too concerned about that though, because the staff was friendly enough and I generally won’t entrust Sophia to the care of others anyway.

The mighty pen

Sophia has recently gotten into the habit of going around clutching something. Its usually a pen but can also be her colour cards, my lipstick, grandma’s eyeliner, grandpa’s comb or just whatever happens to catch her fancy at the moment. Pens are favourites so grandpa no longer keeps a pen in his pocket. It never stays there anyway. Look at her, refusing to let go of her pen even when drinking milk.
 

Clinging on to her pen

If we try to pry the pen away from her she screams. Speaking of which, she is really growing into a little tyrant. When we bring her out she’ll dictate who she wants to be carried by and if she’s not carried by the appointed person she’ll make a fuss. She’s also started fighting for toys with other children, which she never used to do. I hope this is just another phase that will pass once she starts to speak. I suspect she’s now frustrated by her inability to express herself. And she has so much to say! In babyspeak that nobody understands……