Posts Tagged 'baby sign language'

More Than Words

Josie has shocked us every day of this 13th month with at least one new word. Josie can baby sign, speak, or both the following words (and more that I am too tired to remember now): book, car, dog, eat/food, hi, bye-bye, bird, bus, ball, toothbrush, outside, sun, key, airplane, nursing, swing, eyes, more, tree, balloon, all done. She understands and communicates so well that she rarely gets frustrated with us for not knowing what she wants or is saying. The frustration is mostly about getting from here to there, and it’s on both our parts.

I’m in a room full of toys and music and a bunch of 1-year-olds running around me, climbing on things, sitting down and getting up. I look over and see my beautiful sweet daughter, sitting and watching and then reaching for me with hands ready to hold on to my fingers while we give chase to these other kids.

My back hurts, my hamstrings hurt and my hip flexors hurt. They all hurt a lot.

French manicure -- clearly not my hands.

French manicure — clearly not my hands.

But I do this “walk” several hours a day, maybe to both Josie’s and my detriment, because she totally skipped crawling and will not get up on her own… not to a sitting position from lying down and not to a standing position from sitting. When she walks her legs are stiff, and when she bends down she bends at her waist, not at her knees. We thought for a long time that these movements would all just come on line eventually, but when we talked with some people who are not each other about it (including her new docs), the idea that she has a developmental issue in this area became a thing—as in a thing we are being proactive about but that I also stress more about with each passing day. We are trying to get her into pediatric physical/occupational therapy that will be covered by her insurance. We’re reading about the motor skills development of kids with special needs. We’re trying to get her on the ground, experiencing her knees, and off of our fingers.

People who hear me talk about how she isn’t walking yet say, “Oh, don’t worry, so-and-so didn’t walk till she was 2!” I don’t need for her to keep up with the Joneses; it’s not a pride issue. I’m really not worried about the walking; she is pretty good at it with the fingers. It’s her not getting up and down or using her knees that has me biting my nails (when they’re available to me). Because I know that we will do whatever it takes however long it takes to do (e.g., I will not be walking her with my fingers across the stage to get her high school diploma), I can daydream about the time when this is a memory and I can blog about something else. After all, it seems like yesterday she was only in the 4th percentile for weight, and now she’s up to the 25th!




I am the target audience for mass hysteria. Killer bees in the ’80s was hard for me because I really liked swimming in the pool, but there were bees everywhere. Traveling with the wife to visit her Midwest family in summertime gets me scanning newspaper headlines for the words West Nile or malaria. Now see, none of those things have gotten to me (and here’s the psychological issue) because I worried about them. So by not taking the flu seriously this year and forgetting about flu shots, all three of us have been sick all of January. Yes, it is my fault. And for it, I got pneumonia—one of those arcane diseases of the past that I think barbers used leeches to kill or something. Oh! It’s just like how I spent so much energy during my pregnancy worrying about getting a C-section that I didn’t even consider worrying about episiotomies and forceps—I mean, that’s so boil some hot water and grab some towels, right?

Don’t waste a moment worrying about my twisted narcissistic logic for how the universe works. I’m always in therapy.

With that said… I have been in bed for a few days now, which does not seem possible. How is the world going on without me? Right now, Josie, who is almost done coughing completely and hasn’t borne the brutality of the external nasal suction device in days, is out playing with the sitter while Kristy is at work. I did sneak out and vacuum as soon as I had the house to myself because in my brain the enormous amount of our dog’s shedding is somehow connected to illness. But I also showered, without rushing, which is huge.

Being out of commission has made it painfully clear to me how little Josie needs me now (I mean really needs me). She’ll be brought in to the sick chamber for an occasional nursing but is otherwise out of my sight for hours at a time. When I’m healthy, I am the upended marionette with Josie holding onto my pointer fingers as she walks around the house over and over. I had been moaning a bit about the unkind ways of her puppet mastery and the pain in my back. So, of course, I get fluid in my lung! Do you see? Now I’m in bed instead of walking her around—i.e., I did this to myself. Okay, enough with the self pity and frightening misguided views of cause and effect.

Josie is at this taking off point between baby and toddler that both Kristy and I have noticed very suddenly. She turned 13 months old, and wham! a toddler. She still doesn’t walk on her own, but there’s just something different about her. She’s started signing and/or saying a ton of new words, like book, car, all done, more, shoe, sock, all within a week. This is huge when the one word forever was “Hi” (spoken in three syllables like a flirty Southern Belle). She’s got at least a million teeth now, too. She walks behind her walker wagon and scoots while sitting on her car—things it seemed she would never do a few weeks ago. I’m so happy to see all of this. So happy and also kind of sad, which is understandable (the tiny baby Josie is growing up!) but also stupid because letting someone like me with depressive tendencies get a little sad is like giving a kid carte blanche access to the ice cream container; I’ll gorge and get messy with it. When I’m not with her on these long lonely diseased days, I feel a physical ache, like I need her near me (I mean really need her). Is it because I’m still breastfeeding? Can I hope that this is all just hormones inducing what in any other relationship would be deemed codependency? I freakin’ hope so. Ich!

Now, for what you’ve all been clambering for, another FoGy (Funny or Gross) Moment:
We were making a video of Josie for a friend’s birthday—ya know, to post on his Facebook page kind of thing. We have the hardest time taking photos and video of Josie, so we thought we’d do it in the bathtub where she can only move so far. We made the video and were watching it later to see how it came out. Panning up from the adorable baby to a taped-up sign that reads Happy Birthday the camera catches a UBO (unidentified brown object) sitting in the soap dish on the wall. It unfortunately does not resemble the pumice stone it actually is but instead looks alarmingly like dookie. Now, most people may see this and not assume poop, but if you know Josie like we know Josie (and have told others about Josie), you have to wonder/shudder. See for yourself:

(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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