My three words are eleven, eleven, eleven, but really, I need to add one more word this week, another eleven, because my very own ‘Lil Buddy turned eleven months old on Nov. 11.
The first year of life is nothing short of amazing, and the transformations we, as parents, get to witness are amazing. But even within this time period, there are times where your little one’s growth and development seems more linear and predictable and other times when it seems like that development is explosive, almost exponential. I feel like we’re in the latter right now, as we approach ‘Lil Buddy’s first birthday.
The way he interacts with people and the environment at this stage is amazing. He misses nothing and is constantly looking, mimicking and experimenting. He is deeply social and reacts to the slightest facial expression or gesture from me or my husband. He is engaged with the physical world around him and is fascinated with the tiny details we don’t even see.
Some recent highlights, just within the last week or so include:
- Discovering his own shadow: This was a cute one! It was amazing to see him figure out how to make the shadow move, and he loves our clumsy shadow puppets.
- Mimicking our every gesture: If I stretch my arms above my head, he follows suit. If I wave hello or goodbye, he does the same. He’s also picking up new signs quicker than ever. He learned the sign for “more” in a few days of real practice.
- Looking at books: For the longest time, he saw books as toys to be banged around, stacked and thrown, but he wouldn’t settle down to page through them with me. He’s finally learned how to hold a book and turn the pages (although he might still stop mid book to bang it around or go do something else), and he’s taken to pointing at pictures he likes. He points to the kitten in the “I am a Kitten” book, and when I read parenting magazines, he will point to every baby in the magazine. (The one other baby mag item he pointed to? A stroller! Classic boy, already picking out a new set of wheels for himself. LOL)
- Gentle pets: ‘Lil Buddy loves our pets, and we’ve been working hard to make sure they continue to love him, rescuing them from grabby hands and teaching him how to pet nicely. It’s taken a long time, but suddenly he seems to grasp how to gently pet in a way the pets like. He’s also learned to give treats to the dog, including sometimes his own food. He’s not perfect, but for an eleven month old, I think he’s a pretty awesome pet owner.
- Language: His babbles have taken on a whole new dimension as he brings tone, inflection and lots of facial expressions to every “conversation.” And we think we may have a first word! When he spends time with our cat or looks at pictures of a cat, he likes to softly say “keekee” for “kitty.” So cute!
I can hardly wait to see what comes next. And I am sure there will be many new milestones soon, as his increasing observance, sociability and physicality will open doors to new developments.
Thanks for letting me brag a little, dear readers! What is your favorite ages or phases for babies and kids? What’s your favorite memory at this age? If you have an eleven month-old, what are their cutest or most exciting recent accomplishments?