The Little Miss1 turned 11 months old today. It’s rather remarkable to think just how quickly that time zipped by! I realize that I haven’t written an update on her in quite some time now so I figured the 11-month mark is as good a place as any to rectify that oversight.
First, let me get the doting father bit out of the way: she is a delightfully beautiful little girl.
I suppose I can be excused for saying this because I am a doting father, but you know what, others say it to, and I’m going to assume that when they say it, they mean it, even if they don’t mean it. At present she’s got wispy straight blonde hair that is just beginning to curl around behind her ears. When she is hot or her hair is wet, it gets a little frizzy which makes her look even more adorable. And she’s got eyes the color of Neptune.
She has a vocabulary of about 8 words or so, including: momma, dada, that, bye-bye, hi, light, uh-oh, as well as her brother’s name. These are the words she says. She knows quite a few more words than this, and if you say, for instance, “television,” she will point to the item in question. She has a terrific laugh, a warbly giggle that melts into a liquid laugh if she thinks something is funny enough. Interestingly, the thing she things is most funny in all the world is her brother. He can make her laugh harder and longer than anything else.
Unlike the Little Man (who never crawled), the Little Miss crawls everywhere. And she moves fast. She can pull herself up into a standing position and she can cruise about if she is holding on to something (a couch, a table, etc.). She can stand by herself for several seconds when she doesn’t focus too much on it and she has taken an unaided step or two. She would appear to be right on track for walking at about the same age that the Little Man walked, which was between 11 and 12 months. Or, any day now. She can climb the stairs by herself, but has difficulty going down, so it really becomes a one-way trip for her if she does not expect any help.
The Little Miss is a much more wilful baby than the Little Man was. If Kelly isn’t around, she gets unhappy quickly. If she doesn’t want to be in her high chair any longer, she gets snarky. She will stand beside Kelly, clinging to her legs as Kelly washes out dishes in the kitchen. She prefers being around her mommy, but she is also very fond of some of the people at her daycare. She naps very much like Kelly and very unlike the Little Man. She doesn’t require long naps. A 20 minute power-nap a couple of times a day does the trick for her, as it does for her mom. The Little Man, on the other hand, naps for 2 hours at day at school and sometimes longer on the weekends.
She plays with toys. We’ve tried not to discourage or encourage any particular type of toy for her. She’ll play with the Little Man’s cars and planes, as well as with some of her own puzzle toys. She has a little stuffed puppy that she sometimes plays with. She will stand holding onto one of the Little Man’s car towers (taller than the Little Miss) and play with that for long periods of time, sending cars racing down the slides. Of course, she can really only do this when the Little Man is not particularly interested because he’s not too fond of her touching his stuff.
On mornings that we all go into work/school together, it’s my job to get the kids dressed. In the past, I’ve gotten good at getting the Little Miss out of her pajamas, changing her diaper, and getting her into her clothes while she sleeps. More recently, however, I’ll get her diaper off and be halfway through putting a new one on her and she’ll open her eyes, look around the room blearily, then look up at me, smile, lift a hand and say in a soft falsetto, “Hi dada!” When that happens, even the grumpiest of early morning moods melts away. I find that if I am sitting through a difficult meeting or having a bad day, I’ll think of the Little Miss laying there, smiling and waving at me, and saying, “Hi dada!” and it makes it all better.
- There may be accusations among my science fiction friends that I call her this in deliberate tribute to the character from Isaac Asimov’s moving story, “The Bicentennial Man.” Well, all I can say is that I wish I’d made that connection sooner and could claim that this was so. In fact, it is merely a parallel name for her older brother, who I’ve always referred to here as the Little Man. ↩