[The toothbrush is one of her favorite things and we can’t make it out of the bathroom with her without letting her have it to chew on.]
Ronin’s personality continues to emerge like a some kind of 5-ton backloader trashing its way through a brick wall. She is very verbal and all sign language she had picked up initially has been abandoned in favor of words. Loud words. She has a large vocabulary of nouns but still lacks the muscular development to actually pronounce them. The three of us are the only living scholars of Roninese on the entire planet. We go to the park and she’s all about the DZEE (tree) and HOU (house) and DA (dog) and DU (duck) and in the past couple of days, she’s started to say “HI” to people we pass in the street. They are always like, “Did… did that baby just say ‘hi’ to me?” I was pretty shocked the first time she did it too. We can ask her things like, “What does the kitty-cat say?” and she’ll answer, “maw maw,” or “What does the chicken do?” and she’ll say, “bok bok.” “What does the mama say when she stubs her toe?” …
Also, she has started screaming at last. It’s not fun. I don’t know whether to ignore it and hope it’ll go away or what.
[I built up quite a freezer supply of expressed milk just in case. Turns out Ronin refused to drink it unless straight from the source. I held onto it until it was way past expired and then finally dumped it down the drain. Ronin had a field day with all the little iceblock-baggies.]
She is a very picky eater. I have no idea how we managed to spawn a picky eater but there you have it. We always assumed it was something the parents did that made the kid reject perfectly tasty food but now I’m convinced it’s a born genetic trait. Mealtimes are a study in patience and perseverance. Textures must be just so and in the right combinations, she will happily eat one thing for a day and then refuse to eat it forever after, she will often not eat more than a single bite all day long until we are sure we’ll go crazy (dropping everything we give her onto the floor instead) then eat fine the next day like nothing was wrong. I’ve gone to great lengths to make her elaborate dishes trying to find something she will eat (she hates quesadillas; what child hates quesadillas? I ask you) and I am dismayed to discover that one of the few things that do it for her are prepared baby foods in a jar, ‘turkey and vegetable’ and ‘winter squash’ flavors only. She won’t touch freshly prepared and pureed squash that I’ve made but she’ll eat this stuff out of a jar. Tragic.
We’ve taken to sneaking foods into her mouth, for example piggy-backing some yogurt (iffy) onto the spoon with applesause (usually a go) or pulling the Ol’ Bait and Switch (waiting until she opens for one thing and then quickly shoveling in a spoonful of food). While it worked the first few times we did it, now she carefully inspects each spoonful of food we try to feed her looking for tricks. She has a unfortunately good memory for such things and presenting her a spoonful of something white, even though we haven’t tried to feed her yogurt in DAYS, results in inspection, rejection, and often the entire meal from there on out is a bust.
She is very particular about her snacks, which she calls ‘nana’ (after banana); we feed her freeze-dried bananas, mangoes, blueberries, and cheerio-like things between “meals.” (The term is used loosely because basically “meals” are one big fat whine-fest where she grouses about everything we put in front of her before rubbing it into her hair or tossing it onto the floor.) However, she’ll eat them in descending order of preference only: bananas first, then blueberries and mango (she likes these the same), and lastly, the cheerios, which she often refuses to eat at all depending upon what day of the week it is.
We went nuts a few weeks ago and bought her a bunch of toys: a wooden shape sorter, a push wagon walker thing that we’ve loaded up with all her stuffed toys, a little bead maze that suction-cups down to our coffee table, and a stuffed polar bear puppet. She has always been extra obsessed with the polar bears in her Baby Beluga book and she totally loves the puppet. I think she thinks he is alive (we named him Nigel). She hugs and hugs him and sleeps cuddled up with him. It’s crazy adorable.
While she pulls up on things and will walk if you hold her hands, she doesn’t really show much desire to set forth on her own. We discovered that if we let go of her hands, she’ll stand there for a few seconds before realizing her predicament and slowly sinking back to a safer sitting stance. I wouldn’t be surprised if she gives it another couple of months before really trying to walk on her own. But then you never know, these things seem to sneak up on you that way.