Katie's first milestone in her ninth month, only a few days into it, was to learn how to sit herself up from lying flat. We would probably have greeted this new accomplishment on the part of our little girl with more joy if we had been organised enough to get round to letting her cot base down at an earlier stage. Of course, we hadn't; weeks of saying that we really should do it, and there we were with a cot base still high enough that sitting up too close to the edge would put Katie at risk of toppling head first over the side.
Fortunately I managed to get her to sleep that evening without mishap, and Barry then decided that, under the circumstances, he had better not wait any longer to let her cot base down to the next level. The small matter of Katie being asleep in said cot at the time was one he brushed aside as unimportant; he was convinced that we could do it without waking her. This, of course, proved not to be true. However, she took it quite impressively in her stride to be woken up by the mattress under her swaying and dipping in odd directions and to find Mummy and Daddy hard at work dismantling her cot around her. We tried to keep the atmosphere of all this appropriate to night-time, the way the books tell you you should do if you're doing anything with your child in the middle of the night (I think they were actually talking about feeds and nappy changes rather than carpentry on the child's bed, but, what the hell, I figured it was still applicable); accordingly, we were working by torchlight and Barry's unflattering opinions on the intelligence level of furniture designers who placed screws the way that these screws had been placed were delivered in a whisper. Katie lay there watching us in sleepy wonderment, with the occasional huge smile at the thought that Mummy! and Daddy! were both here, which meant that, however incomprehensible the proceedings were, they had to be basically good.
Interestingly, she sits herself up without needing to use her hands. She can simply swing her upper body around and up to the vertical, something my mother says she's never seen a baby do before. I credit it to the build-up of her abs from all the leg lifts she did in her early months. (She would actually do leg lifts in her sleep, raising both legs and then letting them drop on the mattress with repetitive thuds. From the room below, it could sound quite extraordinarily like someone walking around upstairs.)
As exciting as all this was, it was still beaten into second place for Most Exciting Milestone Of The Month a couple of weeks later when Katie learned to crawl. Between the rolling, the wriggling, and the sitting herself up and lying down at a different angle (it's surprising how much ground you can cover incrementally by doing this), she was already fairly mobile, but, half way through her ninth month, she finally got the hang of the traditional hands-and-knees forward motion. Which of course means that life just got a whole lot more awkward, and we're now spending a lot of time putting books back on the lower shelves in the living room and dining room, and putting rubbish back into the bin when she tips it over, and washing her hands because she's got into who-knows-what, but, in spite of all of this, I'm particularly thrilled with this milestone. There is something about the ability to move purposefully from one thing to another that seems particularly significant as a developmental leap.
After that, it seems quite anti-climatic to record that this was also the month when her third tooth poked its way through the gums, but I add it in the interests of completeness. Top right of centre.
A more significant event, at the very end of the month, was her introduction to her heritage of geekdom. Our baby girl has now attended her first convention. There is a remote chance that I may actually find time to write a proper post about how the weekend went; in the meantime, I shall record that Katie's main experience of the weekend consisted of sitting in a sling looking out at the world while Mummy chased after Jamie, and that she was a huge hit with everyone. Since I hadn't got around to posting anything on the on-line group for, um, a few years, many people were quite surprised to see that I had added to my number of offspring since they'd seen me last. Emms, of course, was up to date with the current child count, but hadn't seen us for over a year and was quite surprised by how big Katie was by now. "I thought she'd be smaller!" she told me, in one of our few brief snatches of conversation before I had to leap up to chase Jamie yet again. "She was," I assured her. "You missed that bit."