I don’t know how or when it happened, but we are rounding the corner heading for the straightaway towards one year. What is it about having a “one year old” that makes you feel like your baby really is no longer a baby? I feel like I have a limited number of days left where I can throw the word “baby” around loosely. Something about one year just makes me feel like Julia is no longer a baby, but already into the crazy world of toddlerhood. Instead of thinking about all that lies ahead in the next month – I am really enjoying Julia in these moments. This eleven month age is SO much fun. Albeit, slightly exhausting, but lots of fun. I’m consistently amazed by how much she changes from month to month and sometimes even from day to day.
I write a lot about milestones and developments, just because it’s such a big part of the first year of growth and so fascinating when you are experiencing it the first time around. Each stage has something wonderful to offer…some moms love the newborn stage, where sleep is interrupted frequently but you have a snuggly, sweet baby lying on your chest. Some love the four-month stage, when the cooing, smiling and interacting is reciprocated from your little one. Some love that happy stage around six months when they can sit, stay in one area and occupy themselves. At the time I thought that was my favorite stage – but time and time again I’m proven wrong. This age between nine and eleven months has been my absolute favorite. In talking with parents of older children, they often will admit that this age was one of their favorites, too. What is it about a walking, babbling, hug-giving baby that is just so darn irresistible?
I really don’t like missing out on days with Julia (while am at work or we are gone for a wedding weekend) because so much changes in such a little amount of time. She is just so busy and so entraining right now. From climbing stairs, to sharing her toys with you, to rolling around on the floor, learning to walk and then taking off running, petting our puppy, and carefully picking what she does and does not want to eat in her high chair just constantly has me smiling all day. She spends most of the morning and afternoons walking around the house in a giant circle looking at things she missed the first loop around. She’ll shake toys that make noise and dance. She’ll walk around the house with her arms up in the air just waiting for someone to ask her “How big is Julia?!” to which she will stretch her arms straight up in the air. She shakes her head for no, she blows kisses, and waves goodbye. She’s also really naughty and will constantly crawl towards the stairs just because it gets a rise out of everyone and she’ll sit in front of Theo’s water bowl, waiting for that perfect moment to dump out his water. She will play and stay busy for an extended period of time and then come lay her head down in my lap as if she’s stopping by just to say, “I love you mom.” To go along with that she has also started wrapping her arms around our neck and holding on quite tightly. There is no feeling in the world quite like this – I never want to let these hugs end. Even better, she also has started kissing. Giant, open-mouthed slobbery kisses. Again, another wonderful feeling. She sings to herself at night when she goes down to sleep and she wakes with the happiest smile ever just to do it all over again.
Your 11-month-old may have been different. After all, each baby develops differently and no baby is the same. That said, do any of you find yourself loving a specific age and stage? Or does it really just keep getting better?