Elena continues to find new ways to express herself. Verbally, she’s learning and practicing new sounds on a regular basis. Today I heard her making some “mmmm” sounds, so maybe she’s on her way to her first meaningful “mama.”
Physically, she also has ways of letting us know what she wants. She claps when she’s happy, and scoots over to Jenny and lifts up her arms when she wants to be picked up. We’ve tried to teach her the baby signs for “more” and “all done,” and we think that she might have asked for more once or twice, but for the most part she still isn’t picking up on that. Instead, when we aren’t feeding her enough she bangs her hand on the tray of her high chair.
Amidst all the other expressive developments, Elena’s tongue remains a focal point. I’m amazed by everything it does effortlessly. For one thing, she can keep it in her mouth when she needs to be serious. When she’s concentrating on something, her tongue flips to a vertical orientation–for all my trying, I can’t figure out how to do that, but it’s just effortless for her. I’m more successful at imitating the “tongue cup,” where she pulls up the tip and sides. I think that she developed this to help her eat faster, but now she does the same thing when she’s just playing around.
Jenny has noticed one other tongue expression. When Elena is very happy, she’ll open her mouth as wide as she can and stick her tongue out, then pull it back in repeatedly. I think it’s interesting that most of Elena’s tongue tricks happen when she’s happy. I guess when she’s upset, none of us care to notice what is going on specifically with her tongue.