All new, all the time
Jamie walked yesterday! I had set him down on his feet near the couch, and he wanted to get to the ottoman. Instead of dropping to the floor and crawling as usual, he took three steps and arrived at his destination.
It is not that surprising physically, because he is rock solid at standing for long periods of time, so we knew he was strong enough. It was a matter of motivation. So far he has not repeated the feat, but I can be patient. He’ll be walking for the rest of his life, so there is a finite amount of time for me to appreciate his head-down, arm-swinging, hand-slapping-the-floor, often-accompanied-by-yelling charge that we call his crawling.
Audrey seems to be in an expressive phase. She has always been good at imitating; now she imitates almost everything we do. When we finish reading a book she likes, we ask, “Do you want to read it again?” and she responds, “Geh.” I taught her to use the “more” sign for “again” (the “again” sign is a bit hard for babies), and she makes it with so much force at the end of a book that she might hurt her finger.
She also knows which books she likes. She has held a particular book out to me to read it, which is the first time any of them have essentially asked a question. She points to everything, especially lights (so I learned the sign for “light”). I also taught her the sign for “elephant,” which is a common animal in our books–it’s making your arm into an elephant trunk and lifting it. She raises both arms over her head for that one. This morning, Abbie taught her the sign for “book,” and she imitates it as best she can.
It is so fascinating to watch how they process language and meaning. We were teaching them signs for “milk” and “water” and Audrey has now associated those signs with the containers–bottle and cup. We realized this when we started putting milk in cups–we would make the sign for “milk,” asking her if she wanted to drink, but she would make the sign for “water.”
Theresa is getting several more teeth, which makes her uncomfortable. It has not slowed her down, though–she crawls faster and faster each day, pulls herself up and gets down on her own without trouble. She still loves walking holding onto an adult’s hands.
She also has been branching out of her uncertain-in-new-situations phase. Yesterday at music class, she crawled away from us and played with the instruments on her own, among unfamiliar kids and adults. The teacher used a parachute to float up and down over the kids sitting on the floor; Jamie and Audrey crawled away, but Theresa loved it.
All of them know what they want or like, and have strong individual personalities. People often ask me if they have distinct personalities, as though being a multiple means that you inevitably share some sort of psychic connection as well as physical.
It is hard sometimes to describe these temperaments and personalities without judgment words. Perhaps I am too sensitive to semantics, but I worry that if I say one child is very social, that implies that the other two are somehow antisocial, and on and on with whatever words one uses to describe an individual.
In these posts I try to describe what they do without using that language, because language can be self-determining, and I don’t want one of them reading this ten years from now, thinking, “If Mom said I’m too sensitive, maybe I am…” They are who they are.