Marika is ten months old.
How did that happen? No, really--how? Wasn't I just really really really pregnant and thinking that the most likely outcome was that I'd just be pregnant forever? And then I had a tiny little baby and now I've blinked and...
Last week Alisha was here for Shabbos and right before Shabbos I heard Marika cry. Then I went in to get her and she was sitting up in her crib (which she started doing right before Succot) and when she saw me she said, unmistakably, twice, "Ih-MUH! Ih-MUH!" I shrieked, of course: "She said IMMA!" and Alisha came in and said "That was her?! I thought it was Avtalyon!" Since then she's said it a bunch of times, usually when I come to get her from her crib; sometimes she just says it for fun while I'm holding her. She started saying Abba, too, a couple of days ago--but let the record show that she is the first of my children to say Imma as her actual honest-to-goodness first word.
And! Yesterday I went to get her from her crib and she was standing up! Looking very pleased with herself, too. Just a few days ago she started crawling, not just scootching on her stomach but really up-on-all-fours crawling; she doesn't quite have the arm/leg coordination down so sometimes pulls both legs at the same time, but either way, she's moving fast enough now to be a menace. You can't sit her down with a box of toys and look the other way now; if you do she'll be five feet away and sampling the under-table tasting menu faster than you can blink.
Favorite toy of the day: empty plastic soda/water bottles. She's got her bottom middle two teeth and her two top canines--total vampire teeth, much more pronounced than Iyyar's were. She still doesn't eat much in the way of food, although she likes drinking water very much; she'll eat Cheerios, she likes avocado, sometimes she'll eat a little bit of something else, but mostly it's still all about the nursing.
She's big enough now that I can't just hold her and cuddle her anymore. She loves nursing, she loves being held, but just quiet snuggles--nope. Fortunately, she is still happy in the snugli for hours and hours and hours, so I still get to hold her all I want.
Funny Snugli story (actually it's a My Tai, but whatever); last week I was shoe shopping (shoe shopping! for Naot!) with Alisha and then we did a shuk stop and then I got on a very crowded bus, more so than usual. Just as I stepped into the bottom of the stairwell, the door behind me closed and the bus (that was headed onto the highway) started to move. So, there I am, road-safety-obsessed me, standing in the stairwell of a very fast-moving bus with my baby strapped to the front of me, people packed in front of me, and nowhere to go. Hanging on for dear life with both hands, trying very hard not to fall, I saw that Marika was perfectly happy with this development because, well, there was just so much to see. Like that sparkly thing! That sparkly shiny rattly-looking thing right over there! That little chain attaching that guy's gun to his holster on the side of his belt! She has a good knack for the sideways twist-and-lurch and manages to launch herself pretty far in any direction when she has a mind to (she can't actually fall out, but she can really reach far). This time, she got just far enough to grab the chain and, naturally, start stuffing it into her mouth with one hand while grabbing at the holster of the gun with the other.
Now, I know that she could not have removed or fired the gun from my Snugli. She could, however, have given the guy with the gun the very strong impression that someone pressed in behind him in the stairwell was trying to steal it. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, because I couldn't let go. The crowd thinned a little as the people in front of me paid their fares, and the guy with the gun took a step away and with it went Marika's prize. She pouted a little; I was relieved. I got to the driver, he punched my ticket, and we sat down, at which point she started flirting energetically with whoever was in flirting distance--her favorite on-bus pastime.
Hey! Speaking of the bus (aren't I... always on the bus? It seems that way) I had another bus first the other day. Batsheva and I were on the way to the bus station when Marika decided that she was STARVING and had to eat RIGHT AWAY. On the bus. Which was full. Of charedi men. I tried to put her off for a little while but no dice; with a 25-minute ride in front of us I gave up, took her out of the Snugli and started nursing. Nobody, so far as I know, noticed, except for the fiftyish Israeli woman sitting in front of me, who shrugged and said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."