The Teeny Toddler Tralala - One year down and movin' on up.

I know she's still a baby. And that she will always be a baby to me in some regard. But this little twelve month old ain't much of a baby to me. I look at her and joke that she must have eaten the little newborn we brought home last year.

Tasty little morsel she was too!

Of course the synapses are firing like the pyrotechnics at a Ramstein concert. She's developing connections, inducting all kinds of basic principles, banging ever more stridently on ever more things, and interaction all the more intensely with the world around her. She may not be walking on her own yet, but she is casting her net over a wider and wider swathe of the world around her.

And mixing it up on all kinds of fronts.

Sleep. She sleeps through the night now. That was kind of a mutual decision after her nose was so stuffy that trying to nurse just woke her up more. It seems to have stuck.

And then there is napping... That old nemesis.

Who knows? Naturally, a baby drops to two naps, gets on a schedule and then... somewhere between (I'm not joking about the mushiness of the range) a year and 18 months... They drop to one nap! So far this array is squishier than even that. For instance, Chaya's 11 month friend Alex mostly takes 1 nap a day. Her buddy Sebastian takes three. It makes our weekly playdate a pretty exciting game of baby roulette. It's pretty well guaranteed that one baby will be napping or about to take a nap at almost any time during the day.

I'm told that babies often appear to be dropping the second nap when they first turn on year. That for a few weeks, it looks like the second nap is on its way out. And that it's a fake-out that fools many parents into having an ongoingly exhausted toddler. Something about developmental milestones.  Because if it isn't teething, it's "developmental milestone" in this age range. For everything. Baby turned purple? Developmental milestone and maybe molars.

Sleep training is a hilarious act of - Ok, winding up here - an act of breathtaking nihilism(1) Getting babies on a schedule is a marvelous little treadmill of triumph and tragedy. You'll get your child on schedule. You will feel pretty amazing about this. Confident, even. Finally, you have hacked the unhackable. You are the uber-parent.

 And then she'll get sick. There will be aftermath as you dredge through the wasteland of razed sleep. And just when you start to get back on schedule... teething! Then sick! Then some other kind of sick.  Then developmental milestone. Then vaccines screw everything else up. And just when you're reeling from all that and ready to get back on track... suddenly their wake time has extended. Or by golly, forget that, time to drop another nap and move bedtime right back up to earlier than the rooster's supper. (2)

(1) Cited from a Paul Auster book that a friend loaned to me while we were travelling in Morocco. Apparently it did not agree with me at the time, as I found it stilted and pretentious and otherwise full of self-congratulatory prosody. It may be that at other times I would have tolerated it or abandoned it. But we were poor in the Medina and had little other recourse to English entertainment than books. And it was in between Gravity's Rainbow and Sheltering Sky. And I felt hostage to a book I disliked. Then this line hit me and I spent the rest of the trip referring to just about anything as acts of breathtaking nihilism with heavy sarcasm. The line has thus stuck with me, making Paul Auster's somewhat forgettable book gain credit for having utterly imprinting my soul for all eternity. It's more ironic than rain on my friggin' wedding day. 
 (2) Pretend that's an idiom. 

 So, I have no idea at this point if Chaya started to turn naptime into an all out war zone last week because of the ever-suggested-never-manifested teething, gas, a tummy bug, a cold, dengue fever, ennui, the endless churning of a brain hitting the developmental milestone of climbing everything in sight and risking broken necks in the process...

... or if she knew I scheduled a doctor's appointment for her to occur shortly after her previously scheduled afternoon nap... or if she's just perilously close to chucking two naps in favor of one or none before resetting to twenty micronaps a day. But our handy little schedule - a schedule devised partially for convenience, but largely to shift her bedtime back to a time daddy could actually be a part of - is flying out the window. (1)

(1) With the rooster's supper. 
Nor do I know if she has been back on a fairly normal schedule of napping because she's still a little groggy from the five bajillion shots she received at her one year appointment. Or whether it's just easier to fall asleep now that she can suck her thumb again (THANK GOD!) Nor do I know if that one blown morning nap was tummy pain and poop that seems to ber her preferred post vaccination side effect. Or if the blown afternoon nap a few days ago was...

Of course, she comes and goes. With a perfectly fine sleep day following the rather torrentially bad ones. It's hard to say. I guess you're supposed to watch baby sleep for two weeks before thinking it's anything worth reacting to. Yeah. Because babies don't have a whole new slew of challenges and problems within two weeks.

If the war-zone trend continues there would be a bright side. It does suggest that we might be at a point to let her stay awake longer between naps. Since she will anyways. And since mommy is tired of singing to a struggling shrieking baby for thirty minutes for what could be a ninety minute or just possibly a thirty minute nap. And basically from what I can tell, we may just gradually be moving her nap and bedtimes back a little bit at a time right up until we hit THE END OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS and/or the oft threatened dropping of a nap. At which point Chaya will go from falling asleep at, say, 10:00 p.m. to going to bed at 5:00 p.m. or something. If I understand it correctly. Of course, if I rely on this at all, Chaya will then mix up all the rules and do something drastic. Like go back to three naps. Or four. Or just contract some kind of exotic sleeping sickness and wake up a hundred years later with a long bushy beard.

In other news, apparently we now nurse "on demand" I still offer after naps lest she get distracted and subsequently hangry. But suddenly Little Distractibaby will dive headfirst into my shirt at random, anywhere, and at totally unpredictable times. Pretty much if we're alone together and she's anywhere near my shirt, she's burrowing into it like a rabid groundhog. If she's standing, she'll dive from a standing position. If she's sitting, she'll stay latched on while pointing at objects in the wall and grabbing my mouth. She'll nurse in public too sometimes. The nurse (har har, badinage!) at her one-year appointment asked if she was still breastfeeding (or... nursing bwahahaha), and Chaya responded by demonstrating for the rest of the interview that she was indeed still nursing. On demand. Pointed demand. At a playdate the other day, Sebastian was actively crawling over her, yet she kept latched. Admittedly she nearly ripped certain mammary glands well off, as she turned to survey the room around her. But she stayed latched.

May I just say a little WTF? Thank you

 Months and months of nearly force-feeding my little munchkin who seemed hellbent on weaning at the earliest possible moment. Weeks of praying she'd figure out a sippie cup so I could rest assured she'd still get nutrition. And here we are. Chaya drinks water and cashew milk from a straw cup more often these days. But she also dives straight like a boob-seeking missile at bedtimes.

 I suppose it may be that we dropped the last middle of the night feed? But it also just seems like she suddenly realized that she had this incredible power over me and that mommy's shirt is magical. She suddenly realized that nursing can be done from five bajillion active positions, and that it's very comforting when you don't feel well. That it's fun to do acrobatics and munch a mammary smoothie simultaneously. Toddler nursing gymnastics.

So I don't really know if this will last and what this means for my plan to wean off the domperidone. It will be interesting to find out I suppose. I've officially weaned off pumping, except for the occasional night where Chaya decides that fifty nursing sessions between nine a.m. and noon were enough for a day (twelve hour sleeping through the night after the body has been given the message to produce produce produce... ouch). I'm still gradually cutting back half a pill at a time. But I really don't know where this will lead us. Except at naptime, I now wear a button up shirt so we don't get back into nursing-to-sleep.

Of course there are downsides. Like weaning would get a lot more complicated. Maybe it's teething, but seriously she wants to nurse all the flipping time sometimes without break. It increases the odds that my shirt is dangling open while I'm wandering about in public. It means that I probably will have to deal with the baby-bites I thought I'd avoided with her late teething. And, it definitely throws off the convenience of anything remotely scheduled. A few days ago, I found myself in a parking lot thanking the heavens I opted against buying a huge bag full of ice during my pre-party run.

Yes, party party party

I may be generally fairly socially inept, but I can plan things

So we had a meet up at Bloedel for all the summer baby birthdays. Chaya ran laps, ate some grass. Tried to steal Sebastian's necklace (of course).

Temporarily stole Sebastian's daddy for some additional lapping. And observed everything around her.

he also ate a few grapes.

They were hardly sour.

All in all, the toddler toddles boldly forward with the seal of approval from doctor and parents alike. Things, my oh my, they are a changin' Thus off we stumble. To infinity and beyond, baby!

And if anyone sees my eenie weenie infant-Chaya, tell her I love her and miss her, but her bigger self is super duper cool and I wouldn't trade her for the world (though possibly I'll just have to trade her for an even bigger better Chaya on the horizon)

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