Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy birthday

Marika is one today. One! One year old! How is that possible?!

She doesn't look one. She's TINY--not quite 18 lb. But it's OK. She's stayed nicely on her growth curve, somewhere between the 5th and the 10th percentile on the standard charts they use here and between the 15th and the 20th on the new WHO breastfed-baby charts. She is STRONG--if you're trying to change her diaper and she decides she doesn't want you to, you'd better be up for a wrestling match. She's standing, pulling up on everything, and just beginning to cruise around on the furniture. The second shelf of the bookcase is now in her reach, and one of her favorite things to do is crawl over, pull herself up on it (yes it's bolted to the wall) and merrily empty it of its contents. If that's not age-appropriate behavior, I don't know what is.

I think she had a nice birthday. She got a doll, pink and plush, the one and only girly toy currently in residence in our home; Alisha was just in New York and hauled back all manner of goods for us, including said doll, and some books for the boys, which served as their presents for Marika's birthday (non-birthday children get small presents too around here.) Gifts were handed out Friday night and she loved the doll: her eyes went wide and she made that baby sound of great interest-- a sort of palatalized "atch," or what, if I were transliterating Russian, I would write as "at' at' at'." Followed by a lot of heavy breathing, also indicative of extreme baby interest. The doll is in her crib right now, which, along with her pink crib sheet, pink baby blanket, and pink flowery pajamas, looks very girly indeed.
She also got a piece of chocolate cake, which she enjoyed, but didn't get as worked up about as Avtalyon did with his first-birthday cake. She's just not all that into food right now. Nursing? Yes yes yes. Food? Take it or leave it, mostly, unless it's something I'm eating while she's in the Snugli, in which case she WANTS IT NOW. The other day I had something in a paper bag in my hand that she knew was good stuff. She made a serious attempt to get at it by hauling my arm up toward her, hand over hand.

She sleeps through the night, mostly, as of a couple of weeks ago. She's still quite happy to be carted around Jerusalem in the Snugli, and registers outrage on the infrequent occasion of being confined in a carseat. The other day I put her in a stroller for I think the fifth time in her life. She was not pleased. I can sit in the park with the kids running around, and she'll be content just to hang out in my lap and watch for a good long time before demanding liberty. But if I put her down, she's off like a shot. Her favorite place to be when inside the house is on the floor, and whenever I set her loose she scoots directly under the kitchen table to check out the buffet offerings down there. It's occurred to me more than once that she might eat more if I served her all her meals under the table, instead of in a high chair.
How else can I say it? She is a total delight. On the way back from visiting Orley this week, she struck up a friendship with the young guy sitting behind me; she was in the Snugli and I guess he was playing peekaboo, because she'd lurch waaaay over to the left, look intently behind me, giggle, then lurch urgently to the right to do the same thing again. I peeked back once and saw him, grinning, having fun with his new buddy. She also does this on the city bus--picks some random person and informs them, "You're my new best friend!" No one has yet declined.

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