One of the many areas of development that ECI measures Ellie on is "Self Help". She always scores very high in that category. She enjoys "brushing her two teeth". Actually, the toothbrush serves more as a teether for that gigantic molar that is trying to burst through her upper gum. She also loves taking off shoes, socks, and hats. As for the comb, she does not intend to use it on her hair. . . she is going to eat it.
Oh yes, my Bear can stand in the middle of a room while playing with two objects. We are working on decreasing the wide-based stance, but I do not care. She can stand!
Ellie is making great strides in the gross motor department. So much so that she has met all of her goals a few months earlier than anticipated and we are therefore going to discontinue our expensive, outside-of-ECI, private therapy. Due to conferences and upcoming Holidays, our ECI therapist Jan has been visiting our house a bit more frequently which I believe has vastly helped. I have discovered that Jan's exercises very nearly match those of PT Cindy's regime.
Ellie Bear can now CRUISE. That's right! She can take steps sideways while holding onto her crib and the stone fireplace hearth (dangerous, I know). For the longest time I needed to motivate her with fun, noisy, obnoxious toys just out of her reach in order for her to take one step. Then, my sweet 3yo niece came to visit "Her Baby" and Ellie just took off developmentally. In watching Haleigh, it was as though a light clicked "on". Ellie now crawls down the step into the living room. Pulls herself to stand at the edge of the hearth, and then cruises without any toys to motivate her down the entire length of the living room. She will also cruise around her crib. She tries to navigate the coffee table. Jan believes that this is very good because a fair amount of thought must go into hand placement between the crib rails. This week Ellie also took two steps forward using a push-pull toy courtesy of Angelika.
The Bear has also learned the concept of throwing. Sort of. Sophie delivers her nasty, red rubber bone to Ellie. Ellie picks it up to "taste" it and when we say "throw!" she drops it for Sophie.
So Ellie and I return from Walgreens last weekend to discover that Andrew rearranged our living room to include a rather large baby jail. He even reinforced it with 2x4s and zip-ties. I wonder where the barb-wire is?
Babies always start with the removal of things. They are excellent at dumping toys out. Removing toys from a bag or a box or a book shelf. Putting things into a bin comes later. Ellie has been in the pulling stuff out and putting it into her mouth phase for months now. Dunja, Awa, and I have been working for a while on getting her to put the toys into the bag, the box, the container. On Friday, during ECI, we got Ellie to place some puzzle pieces into an old yogurt container. She had to sit on the step into the living room, bend down, pick up the piece, and place it into the box. Most of the time she would put the piece in her mouth. Some of the time the piece would hover over the container only for her to change her mind and mouth it. Yet, for a few times, she did drop the piece into the container. Does this mean I can get Bear-Bear to pick up her toys at the end of the day? Not yet. . .
"mmmmm" Rock on baby Bear! Finally said the "m" sound this week. Twice. Earlier this week in a fit of frenzy, Ellie yelled "mon mon mon mon". This is the first time she used the "mm" sound. Was she saying "mama"? Most likely not. I believe was just expressing her desire to leave baby jail. Then we were back to the usual jabbering of "lalala dadada, a bababa, a wah a wah". Andrew and I kept getting into her facing saying "mah" all week. I even upped usage the letter flashcards that Jan recommended utilizing during meal times (ie "W" with water, "B" banana, "M" mmm). So then. Last night. As I am getting ready to put her to bed. With Andrew there as a witness. "MAMAMAMA". Of course, it wasn't me specifically but she did say it! She said the "mamama" sound!
Sensory Processing with Bath-time:
More on that later.