Mademoiselle has started singing.
The other morning, when she woke up at 6 a.m. and we grudgingly decided that we had to, too, my husband changed her diaper, set her back down in her crib, and she started crooning. It wasn't crying. It wasn't the sometimes plaintive "areughs" that we'd heard from her until now. It was a song, kind of like a cowboy ballad, an almost-melodious lament: The Ballad of the Lonely Baby.
I think she could land a recording contract, if she could only learn to play guitar.
Also new in her repertoire is improved grasping. She concentrates on hanging objects and, with studious effort, directs her hands to them, grabs, and pulls them toward her face. She can spend hours -- OK, minutes -- at a time working on this. The mobile above her car seat has her transfixed for most of a short car trip: the car turns, the mobile sways, and she bats at it with singular purpose.
I hesitate to call her toys "toys," since so much hard work clearly goes into manipulating them.
She's also trying hard to figure out flipping over to her belly. She arches her back, twists to her side, and tries to hoist herself over by pressing down on one foot. The pajama foot slips on the sheet and she slides back to prone position. She shows none of the frustration I'm sure I'd feel if I were her. I'm considering buying her little baby cleats so she can cheat a bit.
Of course, being a baby is all about frustration, and I must say, she's handling it with aplomb. I'm sure it gets a bit better every day as she slowly masters her movements, learns to communicate with us, and familiarizes herself with her new world. Sometimes, when she's crying and I can't do much to help, I hold her and tell her I understand.
"Yes, I know," I say gently, "It's hard being a baby. It's really hard."
But she's doing a very good job.