23 January 2008

Eyes on the prize

I have reason to believe that my daughter, M-, may be desperately trying to eat her way to a forward-facing carseat.

She is an extremely willful child, but I'm happy to say she seems to be learning that tiny balled fists being what they may, she can't scream her way to getting what she wants. So now she eats.

The backstory: In the chaos and confusion of trying to install two carseats in my parents' car on our way to the airport a few weeks before M-'s first birthday, I accidentally installed her carseat facing forwards instead of backwards, as recommended before age 1 and/or 20 pounds. This didn't strike me until we started driving, but given that we didn't want to risk missing our plane and that she looked pretty safe in the seat (not like a 16-inch softball on a sack of sugar with a Jell-o neck, like during the first few months), I let her be.

I cannot do justice to the looks of wonder and unexplained giggles that frequently radiated from that seat during the magical 20-minute ride, so I won't even try.

Since we got back from our trip, she has resisted being set into her usual backward-facing seat by any means available to her, including crying and stiffening her body while arching her back. Whenever she gets a glimpse (usually upside down) of the front seat, she shouts with glee, attempting to address anyone she sees up there.

After several trips starting like this when we got back, she began eating voraciously, essentially not ceasing all day to cram anything she could find into her cry-hole. This is because shortly after we got back, she turned one, but since she was sick for over a week around that time, she is still shy of the required 20 pounds. (We plan to make her wait till she's safely over that level, but don't tell her that.)

She has been plowing through her remaining baby formula, downing jars of food, shoveling in baby cereal, and even licking her hand and dunking it into piles of grownup cereal, for more efficient stuffing of said cry-hole. It's all I can do to get in a couple hours of videogames a day.

I've just got to get her feeding herself more reliably and less messily, so I can set up the baby gate in the kitchen and leave her there with the pantry door open for a little while each day, so D- and I can read and relax..... and play more Super Paper Mario.

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