Standing tall

It’s only happened once and Maddi was even more surprised than I was, but I’m proud to announce that as of March 25, we have an independent stander. One minute, Maddi was pulling herself up on my knees as we sat on the floor, the next she had removed her hands and was standing all by herself, smiling at me. She stood for a good five seconds until my wild applause rattled her concentration and, with a wide-eyed mixture of delight and confusion on her face, our baby toppled over.

Since then she hasn’t done any unsupported standing that lasted more than a second, but she has tried taking steps from one item of furniture to another. Unfortunately, her endeavors have earned her nothing so far but a bruise on the forehead.

She still refuses for the most part to walk with an adult holding her hands, but she does, however, “dance” with me, which is just as good. Even better, really, when you consider the cuteness factor.

In other news, Maddi’s favorite thing to do lately is hide underneath her crib. Because there’s a dust ruffle, it’s like a little fort under there, and for the last several weeks, she’s spent a lot of time crawling underneath the bed and playing with the old Bumbo we keep there. The past week, she’s also been dragging her toys into the “fort” and has annexed the area behind the glider, which I suppose is the equivalent of an outpost. Occasionally, while we are playing on her floor, she will smile at me playfully and then race under the crib to be “captured.” Being a baby, of course, she still labors under the misapprehension that if she can’t see you, you can’t see her. So if you peek under the crib, chances are good that if Maddi sees you coming, she’ll crane her neck so that her face is as high and difficult to see as possible!

This week also marked the very last week of Maddi’s afternoon nap. After weeks of curtain-yanking, sheet-unzipping, pants-removing fun during what was supposed to be her naptime, we have thrown in the towel. Although she is crabby as can be when “naptime” rolls around, I’m now combining the afternoon and early-evening naps into a single 4 p.m. nap. We are still ironing out the kinks — yesterday, Maddi got NO naps — but soon we hope to have naptimes that involve actual sleep rather than the devastation of her sleeping quarters.

This week marks the first in months during which Maddi has learned not a single new word. However, she does have a new game. When asked, she can point to my nose, eyes, mouth and belly button, and she can show you her hands and feet. For whatever reason, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to our wee one yet that she might also have eyes, nose, mouth and belly button — perhaps because she can’t see them. Her understanding of anatomy has made it much easier to dress her, because she understands commands such as “put your arms up” and “put your legs down.”

Diaper changes, however, remain a challenge as our wee one has decided that the ultimate good time would consist of removing a poopy diaper and flinging it merrily from her change table. So far, she has managed to move a dirty diaper a few inches, but I fear it is only a matter of time before our persistent princess prevails. Just last night, she managed to plunge a pacifier into her freshly diaper-creamed nethers. And we will not speak of the kicking, scratching and hitting that occur when her attempts to escape the tyranny of the diaper are foiled.

However, as I see it, Maddi’s new ability to stand can only help in her efforts to walk, and when that happens, we’ll be that much closer to the ultimate goal, which is potty training. Sweet, sweet potty training!

Coming soon: Pictures of our 47-week-old stander and non-napper, doing one or the other.

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