Here are some words that encapsulate Zoe’s 11th month.
HUGS. She loves to give hugs, especially during mealtimes. Sometimes she will give up to 15-20 hugs in one meal 🙂 She reaches forward with her hands to show you that she wants a hug and if you comply with her wish, she gets SO excited and squeezes you really hard. Also, if you say “give mama a hug” or “give dada a hug” she will usually reach forward and give you one. It’s SO SWEET.
WALKING. She wants to walk everywhere. She constantly puts her hands up to grab yours for support. Walking her wherever she wants to go creates the biggest smile on her face. Lowering her down or refusing to walk where she wants to go causes tantrums.
GOOFY. She does things to be silly. She likes to roll around on the bed giggling, will tackle us, makes noises and then laughs at herself, puts books on her head to get a laugh, etc. Then she claps for herself. I fear we may have a class clown on our hands…
She can also do tricks (“clap” and “so big”) on command, and also squeezes my nose when I ask “where’s mama’s nose?” She will sometimes mimic me if I show her how to blow a kiss, but she won’t do it on command yet.
CHATTY. I had nothing to do with her genetics, so I don’t feel like it’s tacky to say that Zoe is verbally gifted for her age. She now says the following words with consistency and clarity: dog, duck, dada, cat, fish, and “dis” (this) and “dat” (that,) the latter two accompanied by pointing to the object she wants. She consistently recognizes and will sometime say the following words: kiss, hug, keys. Where is “mama” on this list? Don’t ask. It’s becoming a sore subject. She sometimes says the word as babble, and she seems to recognize that I am her mama, but she doesn’t CALL me “mama.” I’m so excited to hear it…eventually…
OBSESSED. She is obsessed with reading and with “dog.” (This is what David and I call our dog 70% of the time now, thanks to Zoe. Sorry, Java.) She has memorized which flaps to lift in all of our board books; luckily, our library has a great board book selection and Zoe loves picking out new books. I sanitize them with antibacterial wipes (I AM a first time mom, after all) and let her go to town. Within a week, she has those memorized too! Zoe is also obsessed with anything outside and with nature in general.
DETERMINED. Zoe has strong preferences. If you get in the way of what she wants, she’ll throw a frightening tantrum. Most of the books suggest that babies need consistent rules/guidelines and a system of reinforcement, or they will become frustrated and confused about the inconsistency of the world, so David and I sat down a few weekends ago and came up with rules for Zoe.
Her rules are:
(1) No biting.
(2) No putting the dog toys in her mouth.
(3) Safety first (we stop her if she is doing something dangerous.)
It felt ridiculous to come up with rules for an 11 month old, but it has really helped to have a plan about what to react to and how to react (we say “no” and try to redirect her attention. If she tries again, we move her to a different part of the room.)
I have noticed that she looks for a reaction now when she tries to “break a rule,” whereas before she didn’t look at us any differently when performing the same actions, so I think the consistency is helping her learn something about her boundaries.
Or maybe not. I wasn’t trying to pack for the beach or anything there, Zoe…
Overall, her 11th month has been fun. I finally felt recovered from the shock of her sudden 10 month mobility and tantrum-throwing, consoling myself that she hasn’t learned how to run away from me or say the word “no” yet so I still have the upper hand.
My overall highlights: Everything I already wrote. Also, after flirting with 8:30 and 9 pm bedtimes throughout month 10, Zoe got back to a 7:30 pm bedtime, meaning that David and I had some night time to ourselves. She also started taking a predictable afternoon nap: 2:20-4:00ish. YAY! I loved her new words and tricks, and we had a great time as a family vacationing at the beach…
…and working the finish line/water stop at a 5K run (two of Zoe’s favorite things to do are clap and play with water bottles, so she was ALL over this…although she may have been devastated when we had to actually hand the water bottles over to other people. The horror!!)
I can’t believe that this strong, beautiful, brave girl will be one year old tomorrow.