11 Months

A rare quiet moment.

Eoin is rapidly approaching his first birthday, but he still has a few weeks to go. This month, we have noticed he has been developing quite a strong personality. Well, this is rather a diplomatic way of putting it: proffered food has been firmly pushed away, and toys have been thrown. Not literally out of the pram, I admit (he hasn’t been in a pram for months), but he’s definitely been showing some temper. We’ve been practising our firm voices and trying to get him used to the word “no”, but it looks as though he might be following his mother’s example and getting the terrible twos over before he’s a year old. This may have its positive side (my mum tells me I was a particularly sunny and co-operative toddler), but I do hope it’s a short stage.

He has also developed some new interests: wheels and lights. He became obsessed with my mum’s dining room lamp: any time the door to the room from the kitchen was opened, he would charge straight across the kitchen floor in his walker, shouting “Aboo! Aboo!” (his way of expressing extreme excitement), desperately hoping we were going to turn the light on for him. As for the wheels, well, we really ought to have forgotten about all those silly old books and toys, and just bought him a massive box of wheels for Christmas. All the cars, fire engines and planes which people gave him for Christmas in the hope that they might encourage him to start moving have been turned promptly upside-down and their undercarriages have been thoroughly explored with his special poking thumb. Our neighbour gave him a toy tractor with headlights which flash when you press the exhaust: for Eoin, this was pretty much Nirvana. Wheels and lights? Oh, yes!

Although no real words have emerged, he’s been trying desperately to be verbal: his father has been called “Da-da-da”, and I’ve come in for a “Ma-ma-ma”, teamed with an enormous smile. He’s even tried to say “light”, when being shown a particularly fine example of a standard lamp: it was either going to be that or “wheel”, wasn’t it?*

Happy 11 months, little man: remember, in four weeks’ time, you may be getting a wheel-shaped cake with a lot of lights on it. Just keep working on those words!

*I don’t blame him: it was a very impressive lamp. It even had an integral table for your cup of tea and slice of cake.

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