Of late, the changes in Teddy seem to come on a daily basis. He’s broken out so many new skills, and it’s like they’ve all come at once. We’ll start with the big one: walking. First steps came over three weeks ago: he was holding onto the couch and then he turned towards Sarah and took three little steps before falling over. Before Christmas, we were able to coax him into walking back and forth between the two of us (as long as we were no more then two feet apart). In Georgetown, on the last day before we came back home, he really started perfecting it; fifteen to twenty steps at a go. Then yesterday, he performed a few turns and started catching himself with his hands when he fell forward (much preferable to the ‘I’ve just been cut down by a lumberjack,’ face-first plummet).
He’s had his first words too, as Sarah reported here and here. ‘Uh-oh’ is the most reliable one, followed by “Dad Dad Dad” – although you really can’t get him to say that one back to you (and it’s not totally clear that he associates the word with me). We’ve also had ‘cheese’ on and off, which he actually does associate with his favorite food in the whole world. And he says ‘Kee!’ almost every time he sees the cats – and shortly thereafter he’ll try to tackle or slap one of them.
Beyond the big things though, there’s a hundred little things. The figuring-things-out style developments. He’s got a few shape sorters and he’s only recently realized that the purpose isn’t just to bash them, but that you can actually fit the right shape in the right hole. (Overall success rate is very slim, and once he gets the triangle in the triangle hole he’ll immediately try to stuff the circle, the square, the remote control, and whatever else he can find handy in there. But still!) And he understands how to push buttons and pull levers. Cause and effect and starting to become clear to him. If he has a toy that plays a song he likes, he knows that if he pushes the right button over and over, that song will play again and again until daddy’s head explodes.
And he’s still not making strange, which is great. Especially on trips like what we’ve just came back from where he sees fifty different people in the space of four days. I mean, he’s still a bit confounded when he finds himself in a room that’s jam-packed with people, but he doesn’t lose it and he’s never shy.
He’s a great little kid. I have no right to complain about him ever, but I still do. When his sleep is junky, or when he’s slappy (we’re still trying to teach him ‘gentle’), or when he becomes an octopus and grabs a half dozen things that he shouldn’t back to back to back… I get frustrated. I need to be more patient, and it’s one of my resolutions for next year. All the times he’s adorable: when he laughs his head off every time I come home from work, when he’s talking to himself in his crib, when he tries to put his soother in my mouth – I’ve got to bottle up that stuff and then uncork it every time he’s being a menace, which isn’t that often.
I can’t believe he’s going to be one in just a few weeks. Having a kid has been a lot like starting my first big boy job: I can account for every day of those first six months, and then the rest has gone by in a blink.