Merry Miss Mali

Mali turned 13 months old on Monday the 26th.

God damn but if she isn't the cutest thing ever. Seriously. Who wouldn't be a sucker for a baby who, when she sees you, starts squealing and motoring towards you, grinning so hard it looks like her head is going to split at the hinges.

She imitates me brushing my hair. Will demand my brush and then do it herself.

She holds full-on conversations in her own private language. Especially when you're holding something she wants to eat. Then she nods nods nods at the food item while enthusiastically describing exactly what you are holding and exactly how much she'd like to eat it. I will try to record and post this as it is hilarious.

Loves to look at herself in the mirror, repeating her name.

Most often used words are "up," "apple" (meaning food in general), "yogurt" (meaning food in general), and "cracker" (meaning food in general).

There are only so many times you can ask yourself "Did she really just do that?" (for instance, hitting her head and saying "ow," thanks Leelo.)

I love watching her think, seeing her scan things and the variety of expressions on her face as she considers that which she's examining.

She has different waves, for hi, bye, even for come here. Sometimes she says "Hi, bye," as well.

The other day she placed all the toy pianos in a circle around her, so she could alternate between them without having to move.

It is easier to grocery shop with her and Leelo if he is in the cart seat and she is in the bin. Or it used to be until she started going into the fruit- or vegetable- bags and extracting anything she liked to eat (it never occurred to me that she would do this until I found her partway through an apple).

She is doing basic shape sorters. If she sees me take a piece out of her sorter she will watch where I put it, go get it, and then put it back in the right slot. (Her formal MYND Institute 12 month report arrived while we were gone, stating that she is above age level in visual problem-solving and at age level in all other things.) It may be that other babies do this at 6 months, but I am still quite impressed.

She is finally allowing us to read books to her instead of merely regarding them as fun objects to tear apart (finally!). She will even insist on reading them again, anticipating favorite parts and starting to laugh as they approach; She then goes through the books on her own and verbally approximates favorite passages.

Though she prefers to hold the books upside down. Oookay...

Baby food is all done. She gets whatever we're eating; she's fine with almost all of it (At Japanese restaurants, she eats: Miso soup including mushrooms, tofu, seaweed. Seaweed salad, including chili flakes. All tempura vegetables, including asparagus. Nori. Masago. Edamame. Inari.) She likes lamb, but likes chewing on lamb bones even more. Guess this one won't be a vegetarian. Eggs still get spit out, though. Iz and Merlin were also good eaters at this age, so I'm going to enjoy it while we can.

Loves to climb into any drawer. Likes to empty any drawer.

Overall she is a cheerful happy girl, too cute for words.

Hair is still wispy and see through in the front, but is getting fuller. Barrettes don't work really well yet as her hair is too thin and silky for them to stay stuck.

She is still not that into walking. She will do demonstrations for applause, but doesn't yet buy into it as a valid method of locomotion. Which is fine by me as our top-of-stairs gate is still in the garage.

She is still miserable to dress. Twisting and shouting the entire time, despite my singing, despite an arsenal of changing-table-side "distractors."

Still chokes and sputters a lot when drinking from anything that is not me. But is getting better.

Still nursing far too much for my tolerance. It is no longer all that enjoyable to me; I want my fucking body back, or at least for the rack to do its usual post-nursing three cup sizes deflation). I am trying to cut her off during the day but not having much luck. When she's overtired she does aerobics while nursing yet does not release me from her iron jaw clamp. Ow.

Bittersweetly, she's already ahead of Leelo with the pointing and waving, and comprehending how to take a bite of food.

Sweet girl.

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