According to various sources, I have one month left before my baby is officially a toddler. I can’t quite process that, since I am barely over the novelty of having a baby in the first place. Some folks seem to count it from the time the baby starts walking, actually literally toddling around, but unfortunately that isn’t going to help in my case. A few days before he officially hit eleven months, I got a note at daycare pickup letting me know my son took two independent steps. Since then he has taken one here and there, but surely it is only a matter of time before he takes off toddling. He cruises one-handed easily now, and when it is me he’s holding onto I can tell his touch is getting lighter and lighter as he gets better at it and strong enough to do it on his own. He loves to move in general, and has started climbing up on top of things such as the coffee table or the stairs.

He’s a funny little guy, easy going most of the time but with these moments of strong-headedness which make me fear for the terrible twos. Woe betide she who tells my son it is time to come inside, or won’t let him tear important papers in half. Don’t even get me started on the drama that ensues with nearly every diaper change. The tantrums are intense but thankfully short-lived at the moment, and once they pass he is back to being my cheerful, curious, cuddly little man. He is still a mama’s boy, preferring me above all others, but has been warming up to his dad this month (much to our relief). I love how much he loves me, but sometimes it is exhausting to be the only one who will do.

Bath time is more like swim time; he lunge-crawls from one end of the tub to the other, then stops to stand up until I tell him to sit please, at which point he goes back to doing laps. He is completely unfazed by water in his face, and I’m glad we had our baby swim lessons at this point. He is a fish, like I was at his age. I can’t wait to see what he does in the pool this summer.

My son eats everything and then a few more things and also can he please have what is on your plate because it’s better than what is on his, even if they are exactly the same. He is still fascinated by cups, and likes to drink from mine. When I get water from the fridge dispenser, I have two creatures who beg: first, the dog, who wants ice cubes because they are the best treat ever, and second, the baby, who needs to drink some from my glass immediately. Our son makes glorious messes out of pasta with sauce or mashed potatoes, and he loves dipping things in other things. I picked up a snack pack which comes with biscuits/cookies on one side and yogurt dip on the other and he is pretty sure they are the best thing EVER.

This month it has been amazing to watch him learn and explore. He loves to open things and close them, put things in and out, take them apart. He has figured out that door handles open doors and will reach up for them when he wants to go through. (Thankfully he cannot reach them yet.) He has also noticed that the toilet handle makes a very satisfying rushing water noise when pulled. He takes the top off of the squeezey baby food packets.

He is endlessly amused by animals and continues to say his version of “dog” pretty consistently, along with “mama” and up (“bub”). He woke up one Sunday and decided to communicate with us more effectively, first by signing “all done”, then by insisting on being put in his high chair and looking expectant until we brought him a snack. He points and babbles in adorably word-like sounds and tells us all about his world. He’s amazing, basically. (Not biased at all.)

This month we took him to get his first haircut, and my tiny baby suddenly looked like a big toddler. It was harder than I expected it to be. I love him and I love the little person he is becoming, but sometimes I wish this year had gone just a little more slowly. Next month I will officially have a toddler, somehow. Amazing indeed.