According to my copy of The Wonder Weeks,* Avery is smack in the middle of a developmental leap right now, which means she's fussier and clingier than normal (check, check), resisting naps (check), and isn't sleeping as well (CHECK). This developmental leap is the one when she learns how things go together in "programs", like stacking blocks, or putting toys away in a bin. Sure enough, a few days ago I was building block towers for her to knock over (a favorite activity around here), and I saw her trying to put one block on top of the other! Then we were playing with her stacking rings - you know the ones that go on a peg like these - and she actually put the rings on the peg! It was awesome. It's so amazing watching her learn things, and so much fun now that she's really learning. I mean, I know she's been learning all along, but before she was learning how to cram toys into her mouth and now she's learning interesting stuff like stacking blocks. She's starting to really understand words too. I'm thinking she probably understands a lot more than we give her credit for. When she is nursing sometimes she will reach out for my face and I'll take her hand and put it on my nose and say "Mommy's nose!" then my mouth, eye, ear, chin, cheek, forehead, naming each part for her. Now I can say, "Where's Mommy's mouth?" and, you guys, she will point to my mouth! The first time she did that I was so proud of her I nearly cried! Parenthood is a trip, y'all.
* I definitely recommend this book if you have an infant! It's a rare parenting book that doesn't tell you some "magical" or "instant" way to get your kid to do something. This book doesn't preach anything. It just tells you how your baby is developing and when they are going through major developmental leaps. There are 8 of them in the first year and I've found all of them to be pretty accurate. It's great because you can stop wondering why your baby suddenly cries whenever you set her down when last week she was fine. There's nothing wrong, she's just going through a major developmental spurt. You can stop trying to FIX these problems and relax knowing if you just weather the storm, your cheerful baby will be back in a few weeks. Plus it's interesting to get an idea of how your baby is learning all this stuff in the first year. How crazy is it that they are born lumps that can't focus their eyes or control their limbs and just a year later they are walking and saying a few words?! Insane!