The PITA Girl is 4 months old today. She celebrated this momentous occasion by screaming at me as I carried her and sang INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart”. Of course she’s sleeping comfortably in Lynnette’s arms at the moment. Since I have this free time, I’m going to run down a few of Avery’s Milestone Moments.
Social/Emotional: Smiles spontaneously, especially at people. Hands down one of best aspects of Avery’s personality. She’s a joy to be around when she’s in her best mood and her best mood usually shows up after a feeding or after a nap. It’s pretty obvious to figure out why she’d be in such great spirits after eating. I love when Lynnette props Avery up on her knee to burp her. If she’s facing me it might take a little while for her to realize that I’m looking at her, but once she does, she cracks a huge smile and cocks her head back. This is usually accompanied by a cackle which already resembles Lynnette’s laughter. As for when Avery wakes up from her naps, it’s as if she’s so happy to see her family again that she gets caught up in the feels and can’t help but let us know how much she’s missed us while unconscious. She’s so cute.
Language/Communication: Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired. This is another example of a role reversal between the twins. When they were fresh out of Lynnette, Cole was the intense crier; he’d go full-dolphin on us if he was really pissed off. I haven’t heard Flipper in a while and the disappearance of Cole’s dolphin cry (shout out to Live) coincided with the emergence of Avery’s banshee wail. She has this one cry that’s different from all the rest. If Avery is Bruce-Banner-becomes-the-Hulk angry and no one obliges her quick enough, she begins this type of crying. It escalates quickly into a full-throttle screamfest. It’s loud, repetitive, and pained, like she’s been physically harmed. The best way I can explain it is that it sounds like she’s trying super-hard to cry. Like she’s decided to put all of her tiny body into this effort to stir frustration and pity in her parents. And anyone in a quarter-mile radius.
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving): Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it. Lynnette’s been giving Avery a small wooden rattle to play with and she loves it. It’s small enough for her to hold with one hand and light enough for her to swing around with ease. I suppose the only downside to this is Lynnette’s constant reminders about my failings as a parent. You may recall that my love of the Mets and negligence allowed Madison to give herself a black eye that I lied about for years. Well, Lynnette certainly recalls because every single time Avery waves the rattle around Lynnette makes remarks like “watch your eye” or “don’t give yourself a black eye, now” or “we don’t want another giraffe incident”. Since the Milestone Moments pamphlet says nothing about infants understanding English at 4 months, I’m going to assume that Lynnette’s really talking to me while pretending to talk to Avery. I’m not stupid. And yet allowing Madison to crack herself in the face with a PS3 controller is so dumb and the second biggest mistake I’ve made as a father. Number one is telling Lynnette the truth.
Movement/Physical Development: Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys. Avery appears to be developing her motor skills at a faster rate than Cole. She’s already figured out how to get her right thumb in her mouth. This process is hilarious. She raises her hand to her head, then turns her head to the right. She fans her fingers open like she’s going to trace it in order to draw a picture of a turkey, then shoves the hold hand into her cheek and lips. The mouth opens, the head and hands move around clumsily until the thumb finds the mouth or the mouth finds the thumb. Then, the lips close, the thumb-sucking commences, and Avery tilts her head back slightly and closes her eyes. I would guess that this is exactly what I look like when I’m shoving a piece of good sushi and/or Molokai hot bread and/or an ice-cold Coke into my mouth.
Avery loves tummy time, popping herself up, and working on her pre-crawling. I tried to take video of her speaking to me when I got home today, but she didn’t just finish eating or get up from a nap. Instead, I got some footage of Avery faceplanting on the couch. Enjoy.