Avery at 16 Months

1Avery Rio remains a peculiar little girl. She’s got a favorite space in the house now: her own bedroom. In the past we closed the door to the twins’ room because we didn’t trust them to be out of our sight. More recently we’ve opened it up to add to the space of their play area. Avery disappears into the room and we hear the songs and sound effects coming out of the toys left in the bedroom. Sometimes we hear Gravy shouting and banging against the mirror doors of the closet. Most of all, though, she stretches between the slats of her crib and reaches for her beloved burp cloths. Lynnette calls it a “rescue” but then they all end up on the floor of the living room, so…

2She’s been pickier about eating for a week-and-a-half or so. She was always the vacuum cleaner, but she’s slowed her pace and narrowed her preferences. Still, she’s eating enough for her belly to protrude from the rest of her body. Her footsteps still look so awkward and it always appears as if she’s about to trip over her own feet but she never does. When she runs around the living room after she’s just eaten, she reminds me of the Juggernaut. She would totally blow Cole up if she built up speed and ran into him.

After so very long, her hair’s starting to come in. Lynnette started doing Avery’s hair up in a whale spout/buya for a while now. It’s basically Gravy Boat’s default look. It isn’t until Avery’s fresh out of the shower and her hair’s down that I notice how much longer her hair is, how much thicker.

Gravy’s still a little slow with her speech. She says two words consistently: “da-da” and “aut”. The latter word is something she picked up from Lynnette shouting “Out, out, out!” at her. Lynnette says this when she chases the twins out of the bedroom and when she’s about to remove them from their high chairs after meals. “Aut, Aut, Aut!” Avery says when she’s finished her meal and is over her time in the tub. Sometimes I worry. Cole seems so much more responsive; he interacts with his older sister and parents in a way that seems nuanced and intentional. Avery’s not quite there yet. She responds to her name and if we ask her about her nose or where the member of her family are, she can point to us – or at the very least look in their direction. Avery’s stay in the hospital feels like it happened so long ago, but I am uneasy to think that maybe the effects are lingering. She’s not as articulate or deliberate as Cole, but she still owns him. The twins are even in terms of stealing toys from each other, but there is a significant difference. When Cole steals from Avery, she cries. I scold Cole. He knows shame. He gets teary-eyed. But Avery? When she steals a toy from Cole, Cole cries. But Avery feels no remorse in fact, she opens her mouth wide, tilts her head back, and mocks Cole with a siren-like cry of her own. It lasts exactly as long as Cole’s crying does. It’s the most Avery thing she’s come up with yet.

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