Elise is 11 months old. That means in one month, I will be the mother of a one-year-old. Not an “infant” – a toddler. I’ve been so careful not to let the time just fly by unnoticed but despite my best efforts the end of the first year is drawing near. Ok, ok…enough dramatics. Here is a short summary of life with an eleven month old.
At our last visit, Elise was crawling and pulling herself up to standing but showing little interest in walking. I though for sure she would be a late walker but we were recently on a hike with Shelley and Connor and Shelley was very excited to share her news that Connor took his first couple of steps. Connor has been standing up since he was about 6 months old so I wasn’t surprised. I went on to say I didn’t think Elise would be walking anytime soon. Naturally, to prove me wrong, she took her fist two steps that afternoon. And I thought Elle and Connor were just talking about the chickens:
She hasn’t done it since but I am pleased to say I got to witness those fist two steps (and no, they weren’t just “falling with style”). In any case, she is cruising along furniture like speed demon and can also walk along behind a walker.
She still enjoys eating anything and everything. Lately she has taken to eating sauteed mushrooms. Anyone who knows me knows how much I absolutely detest mushrooms so I find it odd to add them to my weekly grocery list. She still eats from the baby safe feeder and likes it so much that she instantly drops her soother at the first sight of it. Lately she seems to be exploring the fact that she can manipulate the food in her mouth with her tongue and sometimes she spits food out just to see what will happen. I am trying not to laugh at this as I don’t want her to think it’s funny. At meal times she plays a couple of games with whoever is feeding her. Our favourite is the brow-furrowing game which is often followed by kiss fishing. Now repeat after me – and one and two and:
Furrow and Fish
Elise’s other favourite activities and games include looking at the brightly coloured bird cutouts I’ve put on the wall of her playroom, knocking down towers that Grampa and the Hairy Big Person build, showing people how much she loves them by raising her hands in the air, putting things IN (hooray!), helping Mama with the laundry,going for walks in the stroller or backpack, playing with shoes, and splashing in her paddling pool.
She also likes a game I call Mama’s turn, Elise’s turn where we pass toys back and forth. I am hoping this will lead to good sharing skills.
Our sign language is coming along remarkably well, if I do say so myself. We have reached an important milestone which is that she knows she can tell me things with her hands and she watches for the signs when I am teaching her about things. She now consistently does MORE in appropriate situations (even some that don’t involve food!), EAT, MILK, COLD, and HELP ME (although she seems to be referring to herself more than meaning she needs help but at least she can do the sign and it’s only a matter of time before she gets the correct use of it). She has also very recently started to do the sign for FINISHED, THANK YOU and PLEASE but it will be a while yet before she does these on command I think. My favourite sign that she does right now is BUG. I bought some cutouts of cartoon bugs in jars for counting for her playroom wall and she points to them and does the sign for BUG. It also looks like she’s trying to do the sign for BIRD. I’m going to have to get a book soon because I’m out of the signs I memorized and she seems to be looking for me to teach her signs for things so I want to stay on top of it. Anyway, not bad for two months work. I am really hoping signing lives up to its promise of reducing frustration and temper tantrums in the coming year or two. As for spoken words, she now has two: Mama and Papa.
I don’t think I mentioned last time that we are completely finished with breast feeding. I would have liked to carry on for the year but I just couldn’t stand the biting any longer. I thought I would be really sad about it but we weaned her pretty gradually and she took to formula so easily that it wasn’t the traumatic event I thought it would be. I am mostly relieved, to tell the truth. As much as I loved it, she was ready to give it up and so was I.
Which brings me to her next achievement: molars. She has one already so we’re not-so-patiently waiting for the second one. She is quite brave through the whole thing – not screaming at 2:00 like some babies do. Just whining and not wanting to be alone. Who could blame her for that? My friend Erica read somewhere that if Big People experienced teething, we would be on T3s. In any case, Hooray for infant Tylenol!
Her favourite time of day is right after bathtime. We call it Nudie Nude time.
She is developing quite a sense of humour too and often throws cheeky looks at people when she does something she thinks is funny. She has a smile that takes her whole face to produce and sometimes it seems her face can’t quite contain the whole thing. She is like my very own muppet!
She makes me laugh so many times every day – I will miss that a great deal when I go back to work.