We’ve officially entered that “phase” (please say it’s a phase) where Zoe puts everything, I mean EVERYTHING in her mouth. Instantly. If it’s within reach, it goes in the mouth. Even if it’s not quite in reach, you can bet she’ll be reaching for it and soon, it will go in the mouth.
She’s been chewing on things for a while, but prior to “this” you could honestly tell that her chewing had a purpose: Help Get Teeth Out. Now, though she still has 15 more teeth to go, you can see in her eyes that she’s experimenting. Sometimes she’ll put things in there slowly, while watching us, and though she often actually stops when we say STOP, more often she doesn’t. It’s like watching an addict.
While there’s nothing remarkable about having a child who’s obsessively (and quickly) putting things in her mouth, it’s honestly scary to be responsible for her safety as she tastes the world. This weekend we went to Toys R Us, and to keep her occupied (she was reaching for everything in sight) I handed her a wooden ball & cup toy. In case you don’t know what that is, it has a ball on a string. At first, she was most interested in banging the cup on everything – and wooden toys are great, right? Next, I looked down, followed the string, and saw that she had the entire ball in her mouth. Great parenting.
Later in the day, she had found and was chewing on a quarter. A QUARTER. How did we overlook a quarter? Really great parenting. In case you’re curious, over 2800 people die each year from choking, many of them children. Oh, and it’s perfectly normal for kids to put EVERYTHING in their mouths up to age 2. Anyone have an extra bubble we can borrow to put Zoe in for the next 12 months? Clearly, we need the help…
Another developmental milestone that’s super fun: POINTING. Apparently it’s a huge step in the direction of language development. Zoe can already say Mama, Dada, Hot, Sock, Shoe, Up (that one’s on speed dial), Ball, Milk, Flower, “Go, Go, Go” and Book (in fact, the first word out of her mouth following every nap over the past 2 days has been Book) – and those are just off the top of my head. In addition, she can tell you what the monkey, duck, horse, elephant, cat, dog, cow, sheep, chicken (sort of), and lion all say, when you ask her. Her horse sound is better than mine and accompanied by the correct ASL sign for Horse. She actually knows several signs (thank you, Baby Signing Time). She has the most passionate “All Done” I’ve ever seen.
My point is, her language development is working out just fine, without the pointing. Who knew the two were associated at all? Anyway, there’s the update. Zoe’s mouth is busy, very busy, as she gets closer and closer to the 12-month mark. We’ll keep diligently sweeping her mouth for strange objects (and screening every object within a one-mile radius of her mouth for safety). Wish us luck!