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Precious: Monthly Portrait 11

My dear daughter, at 11 months old you are quite obviously transitioning into toddlerhood. You haven’t impressed us with too many new words this month, instead you’re all about new motor skills. You’re officially a crawler now, which means we’re all getting more exercise chasing you into the next room before you discover something we haven’t childproofed yet. Lucy is also getting more exercise. Our lazy old cocker spaniel has been keeping her distance from you for the past 9 months and now she has to keep jumping up to move away, narrowly escaping your grasp. I don’t think any of us is sure what you’ll do once you do catch up with her. From your back, you flip over so quickly and start crawling that it was almost impossible to get your photo this month! You were pulling up to a stand before you learned to crawl so now it’s a very smooth process: crawl across the room to the cabinet/door/table/chair/dogfoodbag/etc. and pull yourself into standing position. That also means you’re spending a lot of time standing up in your crib. I’m not sure what you hope to accomplish by this. Usually we let you get tired (or bored) for a while then go back and lay you back down and remind you it’s time for sleeping. That’s working so far. You’re cruising a bit also, moving with more and more fluidity from the coffee table to the play table to the person who is spotting you.

Even more amusing than all the mobility are your new dance moves. It started with clapping. At first you would clap the back of your left hand with your right but within a week you mastered the palm-to-palm clap. You also love to move your head side-to-side to the music—any music. Daddy introduced you to beat boxing recently in an attempt to show off your dance moves. Not only did it work, you love it! You’re even doing your own version of a beatbox. A couple days ago you were having your own dance party in your car seat, going “tah tah tah” and swinging your head around like Ray Charles, occasionally throwing in a few claps or a “yeah!” You’re adorable and such a good time! Thank you for entertaining us everyday, making us smile and laugh.

Your hugs and kisses are arguably the greatest reward to being your mom. You’ve added a back pat to your hug, which is the sweetest thing. You were upset over some teething pain the other night and as I hugged and rocked you, you started patting my back as if to say, “You’re doing a good job, Mom. You’ll get through this.” I should note that you now have 5 teeth through. That one on the top (left of center) was a doozy—the first tooth that’s caused you obvious pain. The 6th has been stubbornly working it’s way to the surface but it’s still not through.

I’m breaking the white onesie protocol this month and photographing you in your bathing suit because we’ve been going in Grandma and Grandpa’s pool as much as possible. Despite the hard time I’m getting from Daddy and Grandma, I’m determined to teach you to float on your back this summer. After months of trying to teach you to hold your breath to no avail, I realized I could more easily teach you to blow bubbles. You’re getting it! I’m not trying to push swimming on you because I love it; it’s for your safety. But I do hope you’ll be my pool buddy for many years to come. Happy 11 Months, Ali-gator!   

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