The Other Side: Notes on the Eleventh Month

This is the second to last first-year post I will be writing about Wee Cee. When I named this series “The Other Side”, I was referencing the fact that she was no long in utero. Now the title seems totally outmoded. Of course she’s no longer in my belly. She belongs out in the world and has basically found her place here. I almost don’t know what I’ll do with myself once her first year is over and I won’t be writing these Other Side posts anymore. Don’t be fooled: it’s not about writing the posts; it’s about raising a child who is way more toddler than defenseless baby. That’s scary. I’ve been thinking more and more about her impending childhood and teenagehood recently and it makes me feel overwhelmed because if I’ve learned anything during her first year of life, it’s that it goes fast and the older she gets the more complicated things will be. Stressing over whether she has gotten enough to eat will be replaced with stressing over fractions, not-so-nice kids at school, first dates, and driving a car.

So let’s focus on her babyhood while we still can, shall we?

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The one where she has giant squid eyes

Her days are now made up of struggles to get words out. She sticks her little tongue out and flutters it around in an effort to say what she needs. She gets frustrated at first, but I try to take her seriously and hide my amusement at her funny talking faces. We think she said “bottle” this morning. When all else fails, we ask her what a cow says and she answers with a tone of “mmmmmm”. It doesn’t matter that she makes the same sound when we ask her about the sounds of cats, horses, and sheep. She’s got the cow down so we’re good.

She can stand unassisted. She hasn’t made that first unassisted step yet, but she can hold off for awhile as far as I’m concerned because she’s difficult enough to keep up with as it is. Sometimes I feel like she gets frustrated that our apartment is small and she doesn’t have a lot of space to roam, but when I think about it, it’s really probably me who is frustrated. She doesn’t know anything else so as far as she is concerned, the place is fine. It’s just that a lot of places are off-limits to her. She is obsessed with rooting around in the fridge and the dishwasher, and we recently had to just make them unavailable to her because she was tossing everything on the floor really loud and it got to be too annoying to constantly clean up. Incidentally, pulling her away from the dishwasher when she’s already spotted that it’s open is a surefire way to make her Angry with a capital A. Stiff torso, rigid body, blood-curdling screams. Eeee-gah.

*UPDATE: Not three hours after I wrote this, she took three consecutive steps towards me. They weren’t repeated for the rest of the day. BUT STILL. :D

Standin' queen!

Standin’ queen!

Her motor skills are blossoming. She loves clapping, and she tries to snap her fingers with pretty impressive precision. She likes to make the motions to wash her hands. The one thing she hasn’t gotten entirely is blowing a kiss. Instead of holding her hand up to her mouth, she holds it up to her forehead so it looks like she’s doffing a make-believe hat. She also understands the purpose of her comb and likes to run it across her head after her bath.

The couch makes a good impromptu teething ring.

The couch makes a good impromptu teething ring.

She is not a fan of TV. Seriously, I could not pay her with a million Cheerios to watch TV for 5 minutes. I realize that this is a relative problem that many people would love to have because their kid cries if they don’t get to watch TV, but I need to get stuff done around the apartment without having to worry that C is going to dump all her toys in the toilet in the meantime or scream at me to let her out of her play pen. I worry that I make myself too available to her because when I try to get her to play alone or amuse herself for a little while, she has a hard time settling herself down and detaching herself from me. I don’t want her to think that the world revolves around her and that she can always have my attention whenever she wants it, but she’s being pretty resistant to playing by herself for any substantial period of time. I keep telling myself that she will grow out of it. After all, she is still a baby. Also, her fussiness seems to be magnified to me a lot more when she’s going through a cluster of milestones all at once, so that is probably also making my anxiety a bit more intense.

We are gearing up her her first birthday at the end of the month. Her actual birthday is on Easter Sunday, so we will likely do big fun birthday activities on the Saturday before and then have a special family party on her actual birthday. She is a big fan of ham so she will be in hog heaven with her Easter ham! To help us celebrate her bloggy b-day, remember to send in your baby picture to thewaitingblog(at)gmail(dot)com by March 27 so you can be entered to win a prize pack filled with delicious North Carolina goodies!

Opening up an early birthday present from Kendra and Chris

Opening up an early birthday present from Kendra and Chris

Now, to take a nap. That little gal has got me tired. ;D

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The world is neat.

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72 comments

  1. Are you coming home for CC’s birthday??? Yes????

    1. I don’t think so :( B is on his spring break this week so we won’t be able to get enough time to travel around her birthday. But this summer we will probably come!

  2. Whoa! When did she become a real person? Last month she was still a baby. Now she looks like a little girl.

    1. I am just as flabbergasted as you. At some point she became a human. So crazy!

  3. Teresa Pate · · Reply

    Tell C. that Grammy and Aunt P. are coming for an early B’day visit. Lots of goodies and love on the way! She IS a little person. WHERE did the time go? Your are a wonderful daughter and mommy. Love, Mom

    1. That time, it is a tricky thing. This has been the fastest year of my life. Love you :D

  4. How fun this must be for you – if a bit exhausting, it sounds. :)

    It may be a nuisance at times, but all that attention you’re giving her is the best thing you can do for her intellectual development. And probably everything else too. Also, reading to her – as much as you can – is a wonderful gift, as it’s the only factor proven to improve literacy and verbal skills.

    1. It is a bit exhausting, but she is well worth it. We have been reading to her a lot. She is going to be a bookworm just like us, fingers crossed!

  5. The tippy toe standing is too much! So cute.

    1. That image will have me smiling for a while today. I was going to write about the difference between decisions when they are little and decisions when they are big. I think it’s time.

      1. Yay! I can’t wait to read it!

    2. I get a kick out of that too. ;D

  6. i had 5 babies at one time and those first years were incredible for sure. but the ones that followed were/are wonderful in totally different ways too, love your blog – it’ll be a very cool record for your family.

    1. Thanks, Lori! I am hoping that she will appreciate my bloggy chronicling of her young life someday. I will probably print off all the entries about her and stick them in the back of her baby book.

  7. This just reaffirmed someday I’m going to be one of those moms that desperately doesn’t want their spawn to become actual functioning human beings.

    1. It is SO hard to let them go off and be on their own. I wouldn’t classify myself as a helicopter parent, but I for sure understand the mentality. Thanks for stopping by, Katie!

  8. She is ridiculously adorable! :) but you knew that already :)

    1. She is pretty dang cute. Gotta admit that I don’t mind hearing that from other people, though ;D

  9. She’s a beauty!

  10. The photo of C eating the sofa is priceless!

    She really is a beauty, Emily!

    1. Our poor sofa. It was just minding its own business and then we popped out a baby to destroy it.. Thanks, Chris!

  11. She looks great!
    That’s quite the person you’ve made.

    Would some kind of animated sparkly mobile over the playpen distract her? Or one of those rolling cat toys that changes direction when it hits something?

    1. A lot of her toys are basically cat toys so you may be onto something there.

  12. Her eyes. Insane! In the best way ;).

    1. They are so clear! To be sure, she does get the crazy eyes occasionally.

  13. The love for TV will kick in! I seem to remember it happened just after they started standing. The kids would stand up, using the coffee table for balance, and bounce up and down while watching. They wouldn’t just sit and watch.
    C is super-cute; her baby pics are much cuter than mine (I couldn’t hold my alcohol back then so I was always covered with barf).

    1. I would love to see a baby picture of you. I bet you were a cutie when you weren’t covered in puke.

  14. Please tell her she is not allowed to get any bigger! She is going to explode the cuteness scale. But since I am a good sport, happy early birthday to the sweetest girl in town!

    1. I have told her and she totally doesn’t listen! Insufferable child. ;D

  15. I feel like, compared to other babies, C is more evolved and more refined. She eats ham for crying out loud. That’s classy. You might have the next Suri Cruise on your hands.
    Even though I don’t have a child of my own, I’ve been observing the speed of how fast kids grow and it’s super fast. I feel like C was born yesterday. So cray cray.

    Can we rig the competition so that I win? I really want NC goodies!

    1. It is incredibly insane how fast they grow, but when you’re going through it sometimes the days just lurch on. It’s a weird thing! Suri Cruise – poor kid. Ten bucks says she emancipates from her parents by the time she’s 12. I know I would.

      You’re odds of winning are good if you and your mom both enter! You can share the spoils ;D

  16. She’s beautiful, Emily.

  17. Had so much fun playing with her and going on walks. I also think C handled Ikea quite well, very impressive! I have lots of photos to email you shortly. Can’t wait for her to come back and go swimming in her little suit over the summer!

    1. I can’t wait to see the pics! Your house is a really great place for photo shoots! I think Ikea slightly traumatized her near the end but a kid’s gotta learn to let her mama get her Swedish furniture on. xoxo

  18. She is just the cutest… awww…. *teary eyes*

    I loved that update about 3 steps… she was just waiting for you to write it and then surprise you ;)

    Also what an interesting kid not to like TV! I totally see that it’s a bit inconvenient, but I think it’s awesome ;)

    1. ps. Not sure if I said it already but those flowers in the background are relatively new eh? they’re really really nice.

      1. They are new! I like them a lot too! ;D

        1. Oh, I’m glad ;) Sometimes I notice things after seeing them a million times, but this time I was right. And anyway even if it’s been a while, I think it’s better to say something, maybe someone else will smile ;)

    2. She is always keeping me on my toes! I was thinking of not including the walking thing since she was technically more than 11 months old when she hit it, but how can I wait on a thing like that? It’s a big deal! ;D

      1. You will look back to days of just lying down as bliss ;)

  19. What a lovely mommy that lovely big girl has! In a few months dishwashers and fridges will be so old news.

    1. PS Like the new blog background!

    2. I certainly hope so! Hopefully her current interest in them will transition into a desire to help out around the house eventually.

      1. Well, let’s not get all ambitious or anything. :) The dishwasher is FUN, not something she wants to be involved in when there is work involved. Having said that, the more “chores” you can do together, the more kids are likely to help out. They like to feel useful and doing something “big” with mom is a definite self-esteem boost.

  20. Ashley Austrew · · Reply

    That face she’s making while she chews on the couch. OMG. Killed me. I have a picture of Sonia making almost that exact face while chewing on a stuffed animal. That is one cute kiddo you got there!

    1. Why do they insist on biting cushy things? We buy them all these toys that are expressly intended for chewing, and then they take it out on their stuffed animals and couches. Weird babies.

  21. Hooray for steps!!! Oh, she makes me miss my Doodle being so little.

    1. It goes by way too fast!

  22. She’s just adorable! :D It really is one of the wonders of life to watch little children grow. One of the best bits will be when C’s caught between making sounds and speaking English; she’ll literally be talking toddler language. My nearly two year old sister’s doing that now–she will have an entire conversation with you in Toddler, except only she understands what’s being said. ^_^

    1. That is so cute! I don’t think I was aware that your sister was so young. Being around little kids is such a joy. When they’re not being super needy and whiny, they are so incredible. I cannot wait until C starts talking more. That middle phase that you’re talking about will be such a hoot!

  23. Everyone’s already said it, but it doesn’t make it less true – she is one gorgeous girl! I’ve loved watching my nephew grow up – it’s amazing to watch him go through all the steps and I still love watching him learn things. It’s the coolest to watch his little wheels turning while he figures something out all on his own.

    Happy almost birthday, kiddo!

    1. What’s awesome is that you can literally see those wheels and gears turning in their heads since their expressions are so transparent. They get in these super-focused moods where they concentrate so hard on the tiniest things. It’s uber cool and really adorable!

  24. I love her little outfits. She’s not only beautiful but I can tell, she’s a smarty pants. Snapping, Cee? Really? Thatta girl – gettin’ those fine motor skills down early. I just love her!!! I’m gonna try and send the pictures right now. It’s way techno for me but I’ll try.

    1. She is growing out of her little polka dot sailor dress so I get her to wear it all the time. I really need to replace her current cutie-patootie outfits with other ridiculous getups. I never thought I would be the kind of parent who would have no qualms with dressing their kid in humiliating outfits, but I totally am. Who the heck am I?

      I will check my email soon for your pics! Yay!

  25. Oh, Emily, little C is adorable! What an exciting time and yay on the first three steps!! Wow.!!! Pretty soon she’ll be off running and moving so fast it will be hard to keep up with her. How great you get to document it all here. Hey, I happened upon a baby photo myself, and think it’s the only digital photo I have of myself. I will be sending it you!

    1. Hurrah! I can’t wait to see it! Baby pictures make me so happy! ;D

  26. So fast. So freaking fast. Wee C and Arthur should hang in real life and discuss the induction of anxiety in their mothers with quick milestone hitting and their inability to play by themselves. We’d, of course, have to be in the room but with them distracting each other we would also have a drink. Of wine. I miss wine. I look forward to seeing Wee C’s party online. Also I’ve been reading your blog since Wee C was born (found you through a post congratulating you) so I’m glad you were able to keep up with things since I enjoy reading. :) Much love to you and yours.

    1. We should totally get them together! C is a big fan of Skype so we should orchestrate that ;D

      It’s been a lot harder lately to keep up with the blog since C is getting a lot bigger and doesn’t just lie there like she used to, but recording her activities here has become a part of my own life that I will likely never give up on. The rewards are just too great! Thank you for reading!

  27. The chronicle of her development is heartwarming and exciting. And it’s cool to recognize toys in the background of your photos that are somewhere in the bottom of our toybox, now – reminds me how quickly time passes. Let’s cherish each moment!

    1. Cheers to that! The small moments are the ones that end up meaning the most in the grand scheme of things. We can orchestrate so many outings and activities for them, but often it’s the tummy kisses snatched in a moment of play that are the most emblematic of our life.

      1. Absolutely – less is more!! :D Or as my little ones reminded me at Christmas, the box and packing peanuts are the biggest attraction.

    1. Thanks! She is a lot of fun!

  28. I LOVE that she took three steps! Any more since writing this? Also, keep an eye on your mail…. x

    1. She’s had one or two more steps, but nothing consistent just yet.

      I will indeed keep my eyes peeled :D

  29. Still waiting for that skype :)
    And I am in an online google plus book club that you might be interested in.

  30. Happy 11th month! Thanks for letting us join you on the wild ride.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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