I hate telling people that Adriana is eleven months old. Whenever I do they always remind me that she is nearly a year old (because, what? I might not have noticed?), and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.
I say that, and I do sort of miss Adriana being a tiny (tiny! ha!) baby, but I'm also finding that I love and will miss every stage she goes through. Right now, she is playing with us more and can communicate with us, to a certain extent, and is just a lot of fun. Which is what I say every month. I should probably just write, "My baby is growing up! So I am sad! But she is more fun to play with now and learning lots of things! Because that's what babies do!" And then I could copy and paste that every month and save us all some time.
That would be nice, but it's not what you'd expect from the woman with the 10,000-word birth story, now is it? So:
There are some days when I wonder if this is what eleven months is like, how on earth am I going to deal with a two-year-old? That's usually when Adriana is fussing to be picked up, and then fussing to get down as soon as she's up, and then arching her back and screaming when I put her back down. But then she takes a nap (we still get two a day out of her; ssshhhhhhh) and after an hour or so we are all much happier.
Right now Adriana seems to be between bouts of teething, and it's heavenly. We still aren't sleeping through the night, but I can handle waking up only once or twice. We've talked about the possibility of moving her to her own bed, or even her own room, but she does seem to sleep for longer spells when she's snuggled up with us, and I am content to have her warm, cuddly body beside me this winter. She still not a big eater, but now that there are a few things she'll eat regularly and she seems more willing to try the new things we offer, I feel okay about it. I know she's getting what she needs nutritionally from me, and that at this age "real food" just lets her experiment with different tastes and textures.
I am constantly forgetting how high she can reach. Things set near the edge of the kitchen table are easily within her reach, and I have been surprised at how far back things need to be. We have a couple of little poofs we bought in Spain that she climbs on top of to reach things on shelves that used to be safe from her little fingers; I'm in trouble when she figures out that the kitchen chairs can serve the same purpose. She is closer and closer to walking. Over Thanksgiving weekend she pushed herself to a stand for the first time without pulling up on anything. When I set her down on the floor, she stands for a second on her own, before slowly lowering herself the rest of the way to the ground. She "cruises" easily around the furniture, and when I am in the kitchen she often pulls up on my leg, and I walk around slowly as I do dishes or put away groceries so that she can "follow" me. I get a kick out of letting her hold one of my fingers while we walk, as if we are holding hands and going for a stroll. She giggles and shrieks with excitement as she takes her pigeon-toed bow-legged steps on her fat little feet. On Saturday she took her first unaided steps. Of course, she promptly fell over and has only done it twice more since.
She loves music, and will stand in front of the stereo bouncing in time with the music. Sometimes when a song ends, she applauds. She waves bye-bye when we say to, if she feels like it. She gives hugs to her stuffed monkey, her grandparents' dogs, other children her age, and would even hug the cat if the cat would tolerate it.
She is very much a mimic. I comb her hair after giving her a bath and then hand her the comb so she can try to comb it herself. If I give her the bottle of baby lotion to play with as I am rubbing the lotion into her skin, she tries to dab on more lotion from the closed bottle. Unless she is too busy trying to fit the bottle into her mouth---she is, after all, a baby. She watches the way we feed ourselves and tries to mimic with her own little spoon.
There was a song we used to sing at camp when I was little:
Late last night while we were all in bed
Old Lady Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over she winked her eye and said
"It's gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight."
Fire fire fire!
Water water water!
Jump, lady, jump!
Adriana likes to shriek and will copy us when we do so, so I sing the song to her and she copies me when I shriek at the end. Now when I just start singing the song she begins her shrieking. It's kind of cute. And also probably a trick I am going to regret encouraging. I should have just stuck with singing "ba ba ba" instead of "na na na" for the chorus of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" so that she could "sing along" with me on that one. Well, live and learn.