They're going mobile!
It won't be long now. Leo can get up on all fours like he's about to crawl (check out the video!)
And Zoe is beginning to roll to wherever she wants to go (see how far she got!)
It's going to be a whole new world around here soon. Time to rearrange the furniture again!
They're both really interested in their own toes lately. And each other's. (Another cute video.)
We can't lie them down too close on a blanket without close supervision because they want to grab each other's body parts and pinch and tug. Ears are a particular favorite, but I've seen both of them going for the other's eyes before, too. I tend to allow them to poke and prod each other quite a bit, but I'm not ready for a trip to the ER.
Zoe's favorite physical activity is pushing things with her feet. She'll get both feet positioned against the arch on the Gymini and push it around to shake all the hanging toys. It looks like she is surfing. Her other big thing of the moment is touching faces. It's so sweet how she will reach out towards my face with such curiosity. I've started pointing out body parts to her and she seems interested. In fact, both of them enjoy "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and "Where is Thumbkin." This month, Zoe has become more smiley. When I walk into the nursery, Zoe bangs her legs on the mattress and wiggles back and forth and it looks like her mouth is going to eat up the rest of her face, the smile is so huge! I really need to get that on video.
Leo can sit up on his own now! If he puts his hands on the floor in front of him, he can sit for about 30 seconds, and with no hands, he can balance for maybe 5 seconds before he topples. As I said, he continues to work on crawling. It's amazing to me how determined he is. It's like he knows what he needs to do, but just isn't physically capable yet. Sam never worked so hard at anything, and Zoe works, but her ambitions are more in line her abilities so she succeeds before driving herself crazy. Leo drives himself crazy, but it does mean that he's doing things sooner than either of my other children. Another great thing Leo does now is that he raises his arms when he wants to be picked up. It's his first "word" in his own sign language. All babies use sign language, whether you teach them ASL or not, you know.
Speaking of sign language, I don't know if I've written here that we are doing it with Leo and Zoe, just as we did with Sam. We've started with only the few, most important words: "sleep," "food," and "more." And I've finally started reading to them. It's ridiculous that it took me so long, but I couldn't figure out how to read to them because I couldn't figure out the physical positioning. I can't hold them both and a book at the same time. And they still topple over on the couch. So I gave up trying to let them see the pictures and just stared reading to them while they're lying in their cribs. They seem to love it, but it's not too fun for me because there is no room for two cribs plus a chair in their room, so I either stand or sit on a little stool. Hopefully when they are sitting up well, we'll do lots of reading on the couch.
Both Zoe and Leo love the exersaucer now. Their feet just reach the base so they can push off and make the whole thing shake and rattle. They love that. But it's getting hard to just lie them or sit them somewhere and expect them to entertain themselves. They're at that awkward stage where they are ready to do more exploring, but are not quite mobile yet. As soon as they can sit up, I can give them the magic box - a shoebox filled with a few household objects or small toys. That was my go-go activity for Sam for quite a while once she was sitting up. Opening the box, exploring each item, and then spreading them around was fun, but she'd also lose things behind her so she had to learn to turn around and reach and develop all those skills as well. I love the magic box. Another activity that will start soon is the jumper - you know, one of those things that hangs from the door-jamb on an elastic so the baby can jump. Sam loved that, too. Leo is probably ready now, but Zoe still needs more back strength. For now, I tend to move Leo and Zoe from place to place during their play-time so they don't get overly frustrated, but of course, allowing them to feel the frustration and work to solve it is part of my parenting method. It just means I have to listen to a lot more whining and groaning now.
Both of them love going out, even if it's just a ride in the car to pick Sam up from school. We do go out more and more, but it's still exhausting for me, lugging around the car seats, getting them in the stroller, etc. With Sam, it was a huge relief when she learned to walk, instead of the endless chasing nightmare that most parents describe. It just meant I had to carry her less. She was happy to hold my hand and walk along with me. Sam walking marked the end of the difficult baby days and the beginning of the most wonderful toddler days. But with two, one of whom is Leo, I don't know how it will be. I won't rule out using one of those baby-leashes (or two) if it makes life easier on me. I think that would be better than sticking both of them in a stroller every time we go out. With Sam, we hardly ever used a stroller once she could walk, and I think it was good for her to get around on her own that way. The leashes look cruel, but they allow the child more freedom than a stroller does. And what's worse: being constrained by a rope, or being constrained by a mommy picking you up every time you stray too far? I know which one is worse for me, and as always, I think our interests coincide!
Half a year. I set my expectations that the first year would be miserable, and so far it hasn't been nearly as bad as I'd expected. Still, I feel relief that I've made it this far. And whenever I feel like these baby days are never going to end and that I'm doomed to a lifetime of menial labor, I have Sam to remind me of what is yet to come. The best.