The fast track
I haven't said much about Moriya lately, but she has been changing the most - she is really coming into her own now, showing more and more of her personality. She is still pretty chill and smiley and good-natured, but now that she is increasingly on the move - cruising, climbing and standing on her own for longer and longer (walking, here we come!) - she also knows more and more what she wants, not just what she needs.
For instance, the other day I was with R&M in the park and we were blowing bubbles. It was time to pick up K from gan so I tried putting Moriya into the stroller. She arched her back like a crazed cat and started howling. I offered her sustenance, but no go. I finally spotted the bubbles and thought maybe she'd be amused again by the bubbles and settle down, but before I could even open the container she calmed down at the sight of it and happily started playing with it. She had been mad at me for taking away her bubbles container! Who knew? I don't usually think of tantrums as a step in the right direction, but she is clearly on the fast track from the need-focused infancy stage to the more want-focused incipient toddler stage.
Her communication skills are also on the rise. Her waving has become more purposeful, and she knows to wave when she hears "bye-bye." Her signs all pretty much look like her wave, but it's clear from the context that she intends it in different ways, like when she does it for "all done" when she's done eating (as I had suspected she was doing a while back). She has also started to sometimes raise her hands to get out of her high chair, as I've been teaching her to. But even when she doesn't do the signs, she gives this happy smile of recognition when I express what she wants - like if she's in her high chair and wants to get out, and I do the sign and say "all done" and "up." She stops fussing immediately and gives a big smile, and you can see that she understands what I'm saying and is glad I understand what she's saying, and then I take her out and wash her dirty little hands and face and send her off to bang some toys on the coffee table.
She also lights up at the sight of her sisters and loves playing with them. Rimonit plays particularly nicely with her (most of the time) and seems to take pride in how much Moriya likes her. She's also a useful extra set of eyes who lets me know if Moriya's putting things in her mouth that she shouldn't. The other day I was holding Moriya and standing next to Rimonit, so M was above R and she very mischievously plucked Rimonit's hat off her head with a great big grin - repeatedly. Fortunately, Rimonit was in the mood to perceive it as play rather than as theft, and was able to laugh at it. R is at the stage where she understands that she was once a baby too and likes hearing about it, and she knows - and often repeats back to me - that she also kept taking off her hat when she was a baby and that she didn't like having things on her head.