There are some time periods during a baby’s development that have been termed wonder weeks, because that is when giant leaps in development occur. It seems like Gauri’s fifth month has been one continuous wonder week, all in all.
Around the start of this month, her previously erratic sleep patterns started gaining some regularity: she usually falls asleep at 11:30 pm (no, it is not possible to put her to bed earlier: she wakes up every 3 hours if we try this at 9 pm) and wakes up at 7:30 am. I went, YAY. Before, if she would wake up by herself at say, 4:30 am she would usually need to feed to settle back to sleep….now she wakes up and often puts herself back to sleep, if she does not wake up all the way. YAYYYY!
This kid (and interestingly, some of her half siblings too) hate being carried on laps, but still she would normally go to sleep after drinking a bottle on my lap. So my jaw dropped the first time she rolled herself off my lap and went to sleep by herself on the bed! She has been doing that intermittently since….serious leaps in independence!
This child is also super social. She loves people, and cannot get enough of them. She smiles. She squeals. She converses. She is also sensitive. One day, my grandpa’s physiotherapist was home and started talking to her. This girl smiled and babbled. Then the physiotherapist said bye and went away to work with my granddad, and her face fell, the chin started quivering, and she burst into tears. Two days ago, my mother was mock scolding her…this baby got that the inflection of her voice was “scoldy” and that chin quiver began and she was wailing a minute later. The sensitive aspect to her personality (especially during social interactions) makes me a little worried, because there are so many ways that a young child can be hurt. As her mother, I want to protect her from it all, but that is simply impossible. I guess life is all about building armor, and I just have to make sure she gets the right tools. To that end, being in India drives me nuts in so many ways, but it is wonderful for her. The entire family as well as the extended family dotes on her, and a child like this thrives on affection, and needs a ton of human interaction to keep her from being bored.
She has also had her first vacation, complete with adventures such as the warming up of bottles in moving cars: Thank you Pura Kiki, for coming up with a wonderfully designed, easily warmable bottle--- all you need is refrigerated mixed up formula, an icebox, some really hot water and a cup, and you can be on the road for 6 hours. So, thus armed, we really pushed this poor child’s boundaries. We woke up and hit the road at the crack of dawn, and then we stayed out a good part of the day, and she was surrounded by people who just wanted to talk to her all day, and of course she talked and played and had naps interrupted every time the car stopped and we got out. We did this two days, and on the second day, she was cheerful and happy all day, and at night came Armageddon. She got a rest yesterday and today we are back home now after 4 hours on the road, but it may take a while for her system to forgive us.
She is also in a major hurry to get past babyhood, it seems. She is standing with assistance and manages to wriggle/roll/drag herself all over the bed, but cannot crawl yet or sit up without assistance for long periods, which makes her really mad. Once she crawls and can sit up, my job becomes easier and harder. Currently her lack of total mobility is a source of great frustration for her, and the only way I can alleviate said frustration is by singing to her. I’m so totally her trained monkey. She is very selective about which songs she likes, and gets mad at me if I change the lyrics, so I have faithfully sung the Do Re Mi song only about 15 times a day every day for the past 2 months. Joy.
In the past week, there has been a massive leap in her verbal skills. She is now “talking” in that she is saying the same sounds, one of which that sounds like a recognizable word around 10 times a day…interestingly that one is “amma,” which is the tamil word for mom.
Never a dull moment with this child!