I haven’t been posting very much because the kid and I have been spending lots of good time outside, taking advantage of the nice summer weather. We’ve been hitting up the playgrounds and parks, toddling through the sprinklers and pushing his little wooden walker toy up and down the sidewalk on our street. He doesn’t seem to mind being indoors, but he gets really, really excited when I open the hall closet because he knows that means I’m getting out either the Becco or the stroller so we can go for a walk. He shoots down the hallway with a big grin on his face and tries to climb into the stroller by himself. Once we’re outside, he stretches his toes out and sighs happily. He’s started to wave and grin at everyone we walk by, so we get a lot of chuckles from strangers on the street and a lot of “that’s the happiest baby I’ve ever seen” type comments.
His physical development has advanced in some leaps and bounds over the last two weeks. He’s always been on the very average side of development, but it’s starting to accelerate a little. He’s been cruising around on furniture for about a month, but last week he finally started standing by himself. He’s pretty pleased with this new skill and has now added movement to it, bouncing and swaying to music while he balances on his own. He’s started to take one or two tentative steps on his own, but doesn’t get much farther than that yet. He still crawls around the house, but once we’re outside, he only wants to walk, so I’ve been killing my poor old lady back by hunching over and holding his hands to help him walk. Happily for my back, he’s graduated to only needing one hand to steady him while he practices, so it’s not quite so painful for me. The main drawback to all of this is that if Milo wants to go through the sprinklers at the playground, so too goes mama. Good thing I’m not looking to impress any of the other adults at the playground, I guess (no Little Children action here, thank you very much).
He loves music, as any child that sprung from the genes of Matt and I should. When you sing to him, he stares intently and issues forth a funny kind of tuneless “mmmmmmm” when music comes on. I think he’s trying to sing. The only way I can get him to sit still and not scream during diaper changes these days is to go through a whole musical medley. His favorites these days include several verses of “Comin’ Round the Mountain”, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, “New River Train”, “Little Black Train”, and “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. What can I say, I sing the same songs to him that my grandma sang to me when I was little. It’s fine at home, although it does get a little weird when we’re out in public and I’m belting out these 1950s honky tonk songs or old folk songs from the 1930s.
Milo’s language acquisition is also plodding along slowly. He still doesn’t say actual words other than daddaaaaaaa and the occasional mama and duh-duh (which I think indicates dog, but, you know, could mean pretty much anything), but the child babbles incessantly. God help us when he actually starts making words out of all the nonsense because Houston, I think we have a chatterbox on our hands. He definitely recognizes a few words, like book and ball, and if you say those words, he’ll bring the items to you. He’s got a few ASL signs going, which have proven helpful in these pre-verbal days. He’ll do “all done”, and recognizes “eat”, “book”, “ball”, “monkey”, “more”, “bath” and “drink”.
His real standout area is personality. The kid loves people. Milo never met a stranger he didn’t like, and will smile and hold his arms out to anyone who makes eye contact and smiles at him. He flirts shamelessly with every woman he encounters, and grins at men. When we go out to eat, he beguiles the wait staff and looks around for female customers nearby to smile at. It’s a little ridiculous, frankly, but it always cracks me up. He and I were heading home on the subway on Friday night, two hours past his bedtime. A man and woman sat next to us, and as I sat there reading my book, Milo facing me in the Becco carrier, I could feel the man looking at us. I knew Milo was smiling at him, and the man started to talk to him. As soon as the woman spoke, Milo craned his neck around to look at her and started to work his magic on her too. Soon I realized that all of the people near us in the car were looking at us and smiling. Milo was leaning back, flashing grins at everyone and waving. “Is he always this smiley?” asked the woman. “Yes,” I replied, “although actually this is him being a little cranky because it’s way past his bedtime.” “Amazing,” she said. “How does it feel to know that your baby brightens up the room everywhere he goes?”
You know what? It feels pretty good, actually. He might be a super average baby on a lot of levels, but to us, he’s a total superstar.