For those of you who read these monthly posts and enjoy following along with Theo’s first year, thank you. I can’t believe he’s been in this world for almost twelve months. These posts have been so precious to write, to reflect each month on how much he changes and how quickly.
Ten months feels like the sweet 16 of the teenage years, filled with one sweet celebration after another. We went to Maui for a few weeks in early December, and almost as soon as we stepped off the plane, Theo started babbling “dada dada” and he hasn’t stopped since. It’s definitely his first real word and his favorite word, along with “the the” for kitty and the occasional “Hi.” He’s been extraordinarily chatty lately, although most of it is unintelligible.
While he can’t say much, it’s amazing how much Theo already understands. He demonstrates his understanding by answering questions or following directions, like ‘Where’s Mama’s belly button?’ or ‘Point to the fan’ or ‘Walk me to the bath.’ Just recently, he has started sharing his food. If I ask, “Can mama have a piece?” he will pick up his food and offer it to me. Occasionally, he also gives hugs and kisses when I ask for them. Melts my heart every time.
Not surprisingly, he gets more and more fun every single day, and sometimes he seems to change overnight. Last week, he spontaneously started playing hide-and-seek. We were playing on the floor and he walked behind my back. I said, “Where’s Theo?” and he threw himself against my back, hugging me and giggling. I think my heart exploded. That’s now a regular game. And Elie plays a different version, where he puts Theo on his shoulders and says, “Where’s Theo?” Theo grins widely and leans to the side and down to look at Elie. He plays along quite well.
Speaking of playing, Theo’s a great kicker! He has a little ball that he can kick all around the room. Maybe that’s normal for his age, but it seems like amazing foot-eye coordination for someone who is just starting to walk. The only problem is that now he wants to kick everything, including the cats. That’s a distinction we’re working on.
While we were in Maui, Theo decided it was time to crawl, which he thinks is no big deal at all. He was just playing with his toys one morning, and he got up on his knees and started crawling. Two weeks after he started crawling, he took his first independent steps. He was standing at his toy box and I was standing close to him, watching him. I turned my head to say something to Elie, and when I turned back to Theo, he was walking towards me. He’s still not fully-confident in his ability to walk, so he likes to hold on to a finger or a piece of furniture, but I know we will soon be running after him.
Theo remains a great little traveler, curious and interested in the world around him. He wants to make friends with every person we meet, and he gives this adorable salute-wave when saying bye. Maui is the perfect vacation spot for one this age. We spent hours at the pool and the beach, and Theo loved it. He didn’t seem to mind being covered from head to toe in sand and he loved running (highly supervised!) into the waves. He did great on the plane both ways, albeit he is busy, busy, busy now. On the way home, I put blankets on the floor and he actually napped at my feet for a few hours. I think we got lucky.
Theo is a happy, giggly little boy who still hates going to sleep, because he doesn’t want to miss the party. Just so I don’t forget, he usually sleeps from around 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., waking three to five times during the night to nurse. Next month, we’re going to work on weaning at night, but I’m just now ready to commit to that. He now takes two naps a day, usually 90 minutes each, but sometimes shorter.
Our hearts are full, and we are grateful, grateful, grateful for our little miracle.
This post was written when Theo was 10 1/2 months old.