Wallis is taking showers now. She refuses to take baths since moving her to the bathtub, and prefers showers instead. Ha! Of course she does, because Wallis has never thought of herself as baby the way Mowgli didn’t see himself as a human. Did I tell you a good portion of my hairline has turned white?
Wallis never stops moving and a bath would cause her to actually sit still for a moment, so that’s just ridiculous mom and dad! In her previous bath she was in this mobile bath that fit in our kitchen sink, and the position of it didn’t make her feel like she could stand up and go…but a bathtub, well that’s a totally different story.
Her first bath was bliss, she sat and played and I thought, oh this is so great! We’re going to have so much…and then she stood up and that moment washed down the drain with the rest of the bath water.
Wallis is officially walking, no assistance needed. We called it semi-assisted last month, when she really started walking, because we were always hovering around her, so fearful of her falling, but our pediatrician got on to us about that at her 9 month appointment, so we stopped hovering and she’s doing great! No tumbles so far, she’s quite a sturdy little thing and when she’s about to fall, she’ll just plop down on her butt.
I feel frustrated at us because Wallis really took her first steps before turning 9 months but we didn’t know that’s what she was doing and because she was still pretty unsteady, we didn’t think we could call it “walking,” but now I’ve seen other “first steps” videos and understand, that she was indeed walking. I swear Andrew and I are this child’s greatest obstacle, or at least our fear of her ever getting hurt is.
She feels quite in control these days and if you try to make her go in a direction that she doesn’t want to go or sit down or put her clothes on, she does that thing where she puts her arms up and goes limp. It’s like wrestling a string bean. She also has four teeth coming in at the same time (nightmare) but I think we might be nearly through it…I am so terrified of molars…and I just know that they’re coming for us!
She tries to whistle when we whistle, she loves to play catch with her ball, and she’s been giggling so much lately, and also randomly to herself. It makes me laugh and then she starts to laugh more and it’s such an adult laugh, like she’s mimicking the way I laugh. We showed her the video we made of her (see below) and she giggled all the way through it!
She’s been doing all those sweet things like clapping, waving, pointing for a while now – but a few weeks ago she started doing that thing where she covers her mouth and moves her hand over it…I grew up hearing it called an Indian War Cry, but we don’t call it that around here for obvious reasons and nor, did we teach it to her, she just started doing it. We started making the sound after she did it, and it’s so adorable! I like to do it while I’m making dinner in the kitchen, and she’ll hear me all the way in her bedroom and I’ll hear a faint reply, ha! Cracks me up every single time.
Wallis has always been a big kiss giver, she gives so many kisses and she makes the most adorable sound when going to give said kiss, so you know it’s coming. My hair particularly gets a lot of kisses, but now she’s really cuddling up. She loves to come over to us and lay her head on my shoulder or Andrew’s lap and pushes herself against me while I wrap my arms around her, or Andrew rubs her back. We love it so much, it only last for a few seconds each time, but man, if it isn’t bliss.
She’s been initiating play when guests come over too and it’s so amazing to watch. She’ll walk around a corner and then peek her head out and make this sly little face like, here I am, wanna play? Then she’ll give a big grin and start giggling. Oh it’s too funny and honestly hard to explain, but I love it so much. I can’t pay attention to what anyone else is talking about when she does it, because it’s too hilarious to miss! However, she’s still super stranger danger, there have been no improvements there, but given enough time with the “stranger” in the room and if she initiates the play, it goes pretty well…until they come into her personal space, then she does her warning sound.
Wallis is so curious, smart and sensitive. She’s funny and loving and joyful! I look at her and am amazed at everything she can do…but Andrew found this article about High Needs Babies the other day, and it felt like someone had wrapped us in a warm blanket and hand fed us mashed potatoes, it was so comforting.
Andrew and I haven’t been relating much to people we know personally that have babies…their babies are not like Wallis. Their babies sit/lay for long periods of time, they stare at objects for long periods of time, they take their time to reach milestones, they sleep and eat well.
Meanwhile, Wallis does not waste a single second of time until she is forced to take a nap or go to bed, and when she wakes, she instantly pops up, grabs the rail of her crib and starts jumping while chirping at us like a bird that’s felt the first signs of spring.
It has been like this from the very beginning, and when we say we’re exhausted we’re not exaggerating, on top of her never-ending silent reflux…yep, we’re not exaggerating.
So reading about High Needs Babies made us feel relatable, like there were other people out there like us and even though we know that, we haven’t met them. So even though Wallis is incredible and we are absolutely beyond in love with her – she’s also intense, and though I wouldn’t have it any other way – we still appreciate feeling like we’re not alone in this emotional world of child rearing. Of course, not every single detail matches our experience, but there were several main points that made us understand where Wallis was coming from, and we’ll always value that kind of insight.
You are forced to be an extreme kind of present when raising a child, you are so present in every single thing that they need, that you don’t have a moment to actually hold on to what is moving so quickly. You can see it moving, you can be so dang grateful for every second of it, but you can’t quite hold on to it, because you are too busy being present for everything else.
There’s a being present and then there’s a parent being present and man, if that isn’t the most difficult type. I believe in heaven, and I was thinking the other day, my heaven would be to do this all over again but with the knowledge that there’s nothing to fear, no bills to be paid, no stress at all – only time to be fully present with Wallis, without a single cloud in my mind. Oh what joy that would be, what peace I would have in that glory.
The footage I put together quickly below was taken over the course of 10 minutes…homegirl never stops moving. Also, that crazy face at the end…100% goon, love her so!