There isn't much going on with Delphine lately. She's been busy having colds lately, and that seems to have put a damper on her development. She's still cruising, not walking, and babbling, not talking. She is still very mild-mannered and observant and generally a pleasure to be around, except when she's miserable about being sick.
We have been reading to her a lot. I read a book called Babies Need Books by Dorothy Butler which I can't recommend enough. Butler is passionate about books, and she makes a very strong argument as to why and how babies should be exposed to books at a very young age.
I had given up on the book thing when Delphine was about eight months old because she didn't seem interested in reading, more in pulling the books apart and eating them. The Butler book convinced me to try again, with more patience, and it seems to have worked. One of the things Butler says is that babies always go through a stage of demolishing books when they're first exposed to them, whether that be at six months or three years. You just have to forge through it until they learn that the content of the books is more interesting than the flavour of them.
So I tried again, picking a few of the books Butler recommends, and it's really working. Reading is now the main activity we do together (since Delphine doesn't really play with anything yet) and Del seems to enjoy it. She looks at the pages and turns them, sometimes even at the appropriate time, if it's a book she knows well, like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. She does all the activities in Pat The Bunny except sniffing the flowers, and I can't say I blame her about that.
One of the things which made reading easier is that I stopped being such a stickler about how we read together. I used to think that she had to be in my lap, but now I'll read to her while she's sitting apart from me and playing with something else. It helps that I can read upside down, so I can point the book at her and read the text from above.
I'm really enjoying all the great books out there. The Butler book helped me get a feel for what makes a good baby book, and each week we go to the library and I'm able to find half-a-dozen books which fit the bill. I really like Mr Grumpy's Outing by John Burningham, and Peepo! by Janet and Allen Ahlberg, the Mog books, Brown Bear... there are a million of them. I just got Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, a Dr Suess book (although not by Dr Suess) which is hilarious. Except the text says "monkey" and the pictures are chimps. Sigh. I'll have to clear that up with her when she gets older.