Ellie is so happy, so much of the time, it’s practically mind-boggling.
Seriously, the kid is getting eight new teeth all at once, and is only occasionally cranky. One nap instead of two? No biggie. Getting dragged around to one errand/doctor’s appointment/big-kid activity after another? Whatevs! Just happy to be here! Oh sure, she eventually reaches her limit. But she is really so easy-going, I can’t believe how lucky we are.
So, what is she up to these days? She has started playing peek-a-boo and clapping, and now claps for herself when she plays peek-a-boo. While I wouldn’t say she yet has any discrete words, she’s very vocal and expressive. Lots of variation in tone and pitch and volume, different consonant sounds, different vowel sounds. Seems pretty good to me on the language-development front for a 13-month-old who otherwise has some fairly notable developmental delays.
In the motor skills department, she’s still probably closer to a 6-to-9-month-old than a one-year-old, but she’s making really nice progress on her own schedule. She can support herself standing, either holding on to me or to a bench or something. She isn’t super steady, but getting more so every day. She has been able to get herself up from belly to sitting for a little while, but it involves this crazy legs-in-the-splits maneuver that her physical therapist HATES. Entirely too flexible in those hips, I guess. Anyways, we’ve been trying to encourage a more graceful and less-cringe-inducing bent-knee version. She has finally figured it out with the help of her sleep sack (since she can’t get into the splits in the sack), and with this fun new skill, has decided her afternoon nap is for suckers. Great.
She is getting closer and closer to crawling. When on her belly, she can get up on her knees and rock back and forth. She pivots around, she scoots backwards, she reaches and rolls. And just the other day, for the first time, I saw her just barely inch forward. In the meantime, I’m constantly pulling her out from under a bench or a chair.
Ellie is still fed 100% by her G-tube. The leap forward she had made back in January has tapered off and taken a step back. While she no longer gags every time something is near her mouth, she has lost interest in actually trying baby food. Basically, she has decided she’s a toddler and just doesn’t feel like it. Awesome.
There are times when I feel badly for Ellie, being the youngest of three. The older kids determine so much of what we do each day, with school pick-up and drop-off, activities, habits, and opinions. She doesn’t have the classes and baby-centered outings and playdates that her brother and sister did at this age. She just has to fit into the pre-existing machine.
On the other hand, she gets a lot more one-on-one attention than the older kids ever got. It’s just me and her for a few hours every day. The big kids are relatively self-sufficient, while she’s cute and cuddly and needs to be picked up to go anywhere and DOESN’T TALK BACK (yet). Plus, she’s got these two goofballs who will do literally anything to make her laugh. Yeah, it’s not so rough being Ellie.