a secret language

47 weeks

You’re rounding the corner on 11 months, and it seems every day brings a new discovery for you–or a discovery on our part of something you’re now capable of doing.

Yesterday afternoon, after I’d picked you up from daycare and we were sitting on the living room floor playing, you pointed at the stereo, which we’ve come to understand means you’d like us to turn on music. (The first time you did this, I was absolutely blown away: Not only do you know what music is, but you know to ask for it to “turn on” and you know where it comes from?!) I put on some Zucchero Fornaciari, and you started bopping in place to the rhythm, clapping your hands and smiling goofily before going about your business.

After Daddy came home, he asked you, “Where’s the stereo?” and you pointed right to it. I was amazed! Somehow, you’ve picked up the word “stereo” and know that it refers to that delightful box on the shelf with the music and the flashing lights. Then I asked, “Where’s the fan?” and you pointed at the ceiling. You identify a handful of things by pointing: light, fish (which you associate with the fish mobiles in your room; you’ll point at any one of the three under-the-sea-themed hanging decorations), cat/kitties or either of the cats by name. You even know Luis is your doll; when we ask where he is, you crawl over to pick him up.

But when I say “where’s Mamma?” you kind of look absentmindedly around the room or stare back at me blankly. “Where’s Dada?” gets the same reaction. Daddy and I are not just a little puzzled that you clearly know your doll is named Luis but you show no indication of knowing that I am Mamma and that he is Dada.

We’ve been trying to rationalize it: Maybe you know us by other names (like our first initials, which is how we often call each other) or maybe you think it’s weird that we’re referring to ourselves in the third person and therefore refuse to acknowledge us. So we’ll continue to wait, patiently, while you giddily embrace “Luis” but not us. Humph.

I’m also fairly certain that you’re trying to say “cat,” which may wind up being your first (discernible) word. You’ll point to one of the kitties (who, by the way, have perhaps accepted the fact that you’re not leaving any time soon but certainly haven’t warmed up to you much beyond that), and I’ll say, “Cat. Do you see the cat?” And you’ll say, “Kah. Kah kah.” I think you’re also attempting to say “round,” although it comes out sounding nothing like that. One time, you pointed at the fan and I said, “It goes round and round and round and round” while pointing at the fan and moving my arm in a circle. You imitated me! You actually pointed, moved your arm in a (kind-of) circle and said “wah wah wah wah” in the same cadence as “round and round and round and round.”

Oh, what fun this is! (Although I can see how we’re going to have to start being careful about what we do and say.)

I spent a recent evening pumping session (yup, still pumping, although I have it down to three times a day during weekdays) reading the motor skills development book that Nonna lent to us when you were first born. I read the 10- and 11-month chapters and was pleased to have confirmation that you’re right on schedule. Some of your major motor milestones didn’t even register with me, like how I can hold out my hand for whatever you might have in yours and you’ll pass it to me. I always praise you for sharing when you do this, but it didn’t occur to me that it’s a pretty significant motor development. Then I’ll hold the object out for you to take, and you’ll grab it back.

You’re side sitting, ring sitting, long sitting and kneeling nicely. You’re cruising along whatever you can find to pull yourself up on, and especially all over your crib, even navigating the corners (although they’re the easier concave corners as opposed to the more difficult convex ones on the coffee table). You’ll transition, standing, from one source of support to another (couch to coffee table, say). You will push an object, moving forward, for a short period of time. I feel letting go must be right around the corner. I don’t want to rush you, of course, but man, are you getting heavy.

This Month in Guppy Growth

  • You are obsessed with your index finger. You use it to point to everything. If I hold mine out, you’ll touch the end of it with yours, ET-style. You use it to jab at your food and mash your blueberries. And recently, you’ve discovered two holes in your nose that are perfectly finger shaped and you like to rest your index finger there.
  • Recent food adventures include teething biscuits (delightfully time consuming for you to polish off), tomatoes, French fries and popsicles.
  • You love clapping along to the song we made up for you, and as soon as you hear it you know to start clapping: There is a boy who is a joy, and Ethan is his name-O. E-T-H-A-N …
  • Magnets are your most recent favorite toys. You discovered them at Nonna and Opa’s, where you have access to the fridge, and then Nonna bought you an alphabet set to keep at home. Daddy rigged up a magnetic “board” by drilling holes into a 16-inch pizza pan and tying it to the gate in the living room. It’s not as tall as the fridge is, but you still have to stand up to interact with the magnets.
  • We’re starting to move you out of your 12-month clothes! But still no teeth.




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