That's where Staley is living these days. On the verge...of talking...of signing...of getting onto hands and knees...of pulling up to stand...of feeding herself. She has two 'are-they-words?' sounds. 'Mama' is still a favorite, but it's hard to know if mama has a true connection to me. Tonight Staley got upset when I left the room. Zach said she started crying, looked right at the door I went through, and said 'mama.' But then 'mama' comes out when she's playing, eating, with me, without me, happy, sad,...it's hard to know for sure. I am not yet ready to declare it a first word. The other sound in the running for first word is 'more.' We've been working on the sign for 'more' during meal times. When we ask, "do you want more?", Staley often answers with 'uhmah'. If we are too slow with the bite, 'uhmah' gets louder and more pronounced. And on two occasions (both with banana puffs), Staley has combined 'uhmah' with bringing both hands together for the 'more' sign. But can it be a first word if it doesn't actually sound like the word? And can we claim that Staley knows a sign if she's only used it repeatedly on two occasions?
Motorically, Staley has been on the verge of making some big changes as well. Getting onto hands and knees would be fun, but Staley hasn't quite figured out how to get both ends of her body working together. She can push up on her arms and she can bring her legs up underneath her...just not both at the same time. If something is out of reach, she will stretch as far as she can, but hasn't found an effective way to move herself forward. When unable to reach what she wants, she'll eventually roll onto her back and play with her feet. There's something to be said for the toys that are always attached to you. Standing is still the skill that Staley is most proud of. She loves to stand holding onto furniture, her activity table, or our hands. Staley can pull herself up to stand at her activity table from sitting on my lap. She has invented a fun game with this skill. Pull up to stand, let go, plop down onto my lap, pull up to stand, let go, plop down... She tries to pull herself up from sitting on the floor, but has not been successful yet. And Staley is so close to finger feeding. If I place her food piece between her thumb and finger, she can put it in her mouth consistently. But when picking up her food pieces off her high chair tray, they often get lost in her hand and never make it into her mouth. When picking them up on her own, she has only been successful once so far. Unless you count success by how many pieces end up on the floor or in her high chair...because in that case, she's a superstar!
On the verge is an exciting place to be. However, it's also a little bittersweet. Each step towards talking and crawling and eating and walking is a step away from babyhood. It's all just going by so quickly. I love my baby girl so very much, and I'd like her to stay my baby girl for just awhile longer.