Growing Up

We thought we had Sophie’s sleep-routine well-honed. Dry diaper + full belly + darkened room + soothing music (Yo Yo Ma playing Bach’s cello concertos, lately) + nursing in the rocking chair and then to sleep. That was our recipe. Any skipped step (a belly that’s only half-full, for instance) meant the nearly-endless tears of an overtired baby who just couldn’t get to sleep, but the steps weren’t all that complicated, once we finally figured them out. But our friend is hemming Sophie’s curtains right now, so the room isn’t as dark as she’s used to. Worse, Sophie is transitioning to taking only one nap a day, and this changes everything.

It changes the pacing of our morning: suddenly we have the time from 6-11am to fill with activities, instead of the easier 6-9am rhythm we were used to. Then by 11am, she is overtired, and keeps waking up partway through her nap — but 9am naps no longer work, either, and when we first made this switch she started sleeping more soundly at night, so it seemed like time to switch. It’s been a week, though, and now I’m not so sure. She’s getting less than 2 hours of napping in, now, when she had been getting close to 4. All her sleep is fragile now, including at night-time. We’re all moody with lack of rest.

I think we’ll work the kinks out, soon. I think I shouldn’t be surprised that everything with babies keeps changing, since they do keep growing, after all. But I am surprised. I was just getting the hang of fourteen-month-old Sophie. Now she’s almost fifteen months and there’s new things for me to learn.

Not only is her sleep changing, but some of her clothes no longer fit – after nearly six months wearing the 12-or-18-month-size clothes. I love it that she’s gaining some weight. She’s in the 90th percentile of height but only the 10th percentile of weight, so she can stand to put on a little weight, and it’s cute to see her filling out her little dresses, finally.

What I don’t love is that now she is playing more aggressively. This morning, she physically moved little Gracie when she decided she wanted to play the xylophone that Gracie had been playing with. Yesterday, she pushed Landon away from his own wind-chime. And a few days ago, she tried to seize Chloe’s shoes. Chloe’s shoes are one of Sophie’s favorite things — my daughter has a bit of a shoe fetish — but Chloe herself was still wearing her shoes AND trying to climb up a slide backwards when Soph decided that she wanted those shoes. I’m still discovering how much to intervene to teach basic politeness (or fundamental safety) and how much to let the kids solve their own problems. I think that balance will keep changing, too.

Sophie still plays nicely, of course. This morning, before shoving little Gracie, she was playing peek-a-boo, gasping adorably to announce each time she reappeared in Gracie’s line of sight. She also pushed Chloe around in a wagon, and giggled hilariously when they got to walk in circles on some cobblestone. It’s wonderful what will delight one-year-olds: can you remember a time when walking on cobblestone could bring such happiness?

Now Sophie would rather sit in a grown-up chair than in her high-chair. She’s a little daredevil, that one. She can drink from her own big-girl cup, too, although I only let her drink her water that way, since some will still spill. Milk still goes in a sippy-cup. She’s still a baby, not yet 15 months. I wonder when she will wean herself.

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