You are 11 months old today. It seems unreal to me, as if the days have suddenly been picked up and carried away on the wind. It’s that time of year when change is hanging in the air; when 5.45am feels so much earlier than it did a few months ago, when the temperature drops, and you know that the fiery autumn colours are close to igniting. And it seems to me as if you’re mirroring the seasonal change, this sudden acceleration of the months – you are crawling now, pulling yourself to standing, have your first pair of shoes and your first two teeth have poked through.
For a long time you have been desperately trying to be mobile, but focussing more on getting onto your feet than trying to crawl. Over the last two weeks you started moving from one side of the room to the other by rolling onto your front, spinning around, shifting forwards, sitting up, and then dropping back onto your hands and knees to begin again. A few weeks ago I left you playing on your front in the sitting room for a minute and walked back into the room to find you standing up, holding onto the couch (looking incredibly pleased with yourself). And then the first real crawling movements – you stretched out hesitantly and crawled for a few seconds before collapsing. At the weekend the crawling began, and what happiness it brought. You were elated to finally be able to shoot off across the floor, although your mission still remains the same – get to something on which you can pull yourself up. We bought you a wooden stacking toy but instead of putting the rings on top of each other, your favourite thing is to slide them across the floor (when they accidently crack off each other, your father looks at me as if to say, ‘He’s going to be a curler’.)
Each morning when I go to your cot you are standing up, hanging onto the bars with a huge grin on your face. You stand up in your playpen, gazing out the patio window towards the sheep. You turn towards the window if I ask where the sheep or the birds are. And, oh, how you love the horses – you point excitedly when you see them and make a clicking noise with your tongue. Whenever you hear the tractor you automatically wave in the direction of the sound. Perhaps your first words will be farmyard related…
And so the days blow by, and I just breathe in your babyness while it still clings to you, before you shake it off and crawl towards toddlerhood.