At 11 months, Emil does a few things really really well. He flushes toilets like a pro. The best tongue-clicker on this side of the Mississippi. Climbs stairs at an incredible speed (plus the dishwasher, up onto a chair in our living room, into the water table 3 feet off the ground… you name it, he can climb it). Emil is also an expert head-bonker. He bashes his noggin against something at least 30 times per day. Oh, he’s really really good at stealing food from his brothers (even though we feed him plenty). And now… he walks too (though I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s very good at it. Yet).
But my favorite new skill is the clapping. Emil claps his hands together like an enthusiastic middle-school cheerleader about every little thing. Time to nurse? CLAP CLAP CLAP! You’re getting me out of my crib? CLAP CLAP! Is that the dog? CLAPCLAPCLAP!!! He claps when Milo so much as glances his way. Claps after nursing. Claps when he’s getting his diaper changed and even when he’s starting to get tired and cranky. He’s a clapper. The face he makes while clapping:
So yeah, I’m kind of brushing over the whole walking thing not because it isn’t amazing and doesn’t warrant some sort of excitement. I just have mixed feelings about it. I am at once thrilled and sad. Thrilled of course because I am his mama and I am going to cheer him on at every milestone, every step of the way. Sad because he is my baby and you know that whole thing about babies not keeping? Yeah. My baby is not keeping.
But I think he is onto me feeling torn about this milestone because he does most of his walking when I’m not in the room (Andrew shouts to me, “Emil just took 5 steps!” and Milo claims he walked clear across the room while clapping when I was elbow-deep in dishwater) or when he thinks I’m not looking. I’ve taken to sneaking around my own house, peeking noiselessly around corners when I suspect he is just casually walking around. And he IS!!! At least he has the courtesy to spare my feelings.
Emil, next month you will be one year old. You are a joy in all of our lives. Oliver adores you and kisses and hugs you hourly. Milo carries you around and encourages you to walk and talk. He reads stories to you even though you pretend you’re not listening. Your papa and I adore you too, and cannot imagine our lives without you! Happy 11 months, buddy!
*Milo and Oliver have nicknamed Emil “Wudgie” for some reason. They call him this and laugh hysterically. When I asked them what “wudgie” means, they claim “fast.” Somehow that doesn’t fit, but the nickname is starting to stick.