At 9 months, Kaleia's days are filled with three things. Her sleeping is angelic most of the time, so there's not much to talk about there, and her eating is best conveyed with a photo or video. Her locomotion on the other hand is something else. Kaleia will crawl from the moment you put her down until the moment you tell her it's time to do one of her other two activities. Purposefully exploring every floorbound object and exercising her newly learned skill of transitioning into a sit, her favorite is the toy basket. Bare carpet to toy minefield in 30 seconds flat!
Recently, in our church's toy minefield, Kaleia is exploring the doorstop when a slightly older girl crawls over and slaps her on the head. The incident epitomizes a big part of Kaleia's chill personality, because rather than crying, as many babies would--it was a pretty good slap, and out of the blue too--Kaleia just kinda looks at her, as curious about the slapper as she is the door stop. Her eyes don't stay dry for long though. As soon as the offender's mom comes over and gives her a little thwap of her own, Kaleia loses it.
As exciting as the floor and all its treasures can be, Kaleia, aware that there are many goodies lurking just out of reach, has just learned to stand. Grunting and straining, she pulls herself up at Magnolia's kitchen. Proudly she stands, surveys, and swipes everything to the floor grinning from ear to ear. Luckily, her sister is napping.
If she weren't, Mama and Papa's mediation skills would get a little more excercise. Increased mobility has meant many more sibling battles. So far both girls are appeased quickly with our "trade" system: if Magnolia wants what Kaleia has, she can bring Kaleia a different toy to exchange. I don't think this is gonna work much longer.
It's not all toy battles and animosity though. The girls' sister bond is growing all the time. Even at this young age I watch the girls look at each other with great love. It seems like Kaleia already looks up to her sister, and Magnolia, for a two-year-old, is incredibly in tune with her sister's emotions and needs.
Maggie gives Kaleia the giggles pretty much everyday. The back seat of the car, with Mags facing forward and Leia facing back, is a prime location for toddler comedy. "Peek(-a-boo)" is a guaranteed giggle. Or better yet is the faux reprimand, when, after informing us that "Keia looking you at," Maggie narrows her eyes, shakes her head and says "No Keia. No Keia." Usually the initial complaint is sincere. Maggie is genuinely upset that her sister is looking at her (oh man, future roadtrips are looking scary) but at Kaleia's first giggle, Mags is thoroughly cured of her grumpies.
Speaking of the grumpies, Kaleia's tears, while relatively rare, have made more appearances this month as she struggled to push out her top front teeth, had a really bad diaper rash and dealt with her first cold.
We haven't gotten her to swimming lessons or any other special activities to fight the second child syndrome yet, but we've definitely increased one-on-one time with our Kaleia-leia. Mama is still her favorite and her go-to when tired, sick or in unfamiliar settings. But she's reacquainted with her Papa and even recently initiated a kiss with him in spite of the beard she normally avoids. Having just learned to sit up and stand up she seems to be on the verge of even more developments. Her personality is emerging and we can't wait to get to know her better.