Your thirteenth month started out with a face full of frosting and ended with a night screaming under the stars. In between you travelled to Minnesota to see some friends and somewhere along the way you decided to wave goodbye to crawling, a chump’s way of getting around. Instead of taking a few steps, falling down, and then crawling to the next vertical structure, you push up to a squat, lean back to shift your center of gravity over your feet, and stand. I remember when you figured it out: you were in the pool in Northfield, and you saw Eleanor do it, and with the buoyancy of the water on your side, you solved the puzzle. It’s been a parade of walking ever since.
You don’t quite walk normally yet — it’s more of a waddle. Nor are you very fast, which is just alright with me. You amble along, stopping from time to time to take in your surroundings. I suppose it’s still a bit of an effort, given that your legs are still pretty short (and chubby). I imagine that chub is on its way out, with all the new calories you’re burning. Maybe this also means you’ll stop getting called a “she” on the street. (Or maybe that has more to do with your handsome, flowing locks that we just can’t bear to snip.)
You and I have developed a few new habits in the last month. My favorite one is the post-bathtime routine. First, I position the towel on the toilet seat, then hoist you up and sit you down on top. In the few seconds before I wrap you up, you always look down and get to work inspecting your goods. Hey, who can blame you? Second, after I do make a little baby burrito out of you, I stand up and you immediately lunge your body toward the mirror. You love looking at that cutie on the other side, knocking your head against his, and occasionally giving each other kisses. Again, who can blame you?
The other routine is my doing — biking. I’ve been dead-set since you were born to get you on the bike, but safety concerns and chilly weather have made me wait until your 1st birthday to get it going. In the meanwhile, I bought us a new city cruiser bike and a kiddie seat for you. In the last few weeks we’ve taken a bunch of trips together, and it’s as lovely as I hoped it’d be. Except for a little fidgeting with your helmet, which you’re still getting used to, you are your regular, calm, observant self. My only gripe is that I have no way to interact with you, with me up top and you down in back. But I imagine that’ll it change once you start chatting.
Not that you don’t like to chat already — it’s just that you’re still on your own language, composed mostly of “yeah”, “no”, “ga”, “ba”, and, I swear to god, clicks. I’ve never seen a baby click like you can, a skill that you seemed to pick up out of nowhere. Your word vocabulary, meanwhile, hasn’t grown much, though we do have evidence that you’re learning. During our recent camping trip, you and mom were in one part of the lake and I in another. You caught sight of me, screamed a really loud “DADA!” and started waving. It was an awesome little teaser for the days to come, which I both can’t wait for and hope to stave off as much as possible, so I can enjoy the adorable thirteen-month-old you for a little longer. But that’s why god invented summer, and that’s why you and me and Mom will always try to squeeze every last drop out of it.