- Our Kung Fu Panda continues to cruise around on the furniture, a skill he acquired at about 8-1/2 months. Lately, we've witnessed several instances where he's stood for a second or two with no support, usually while distracted by holding a toy. Like Wile E. Coyote running off a cliff, he doesn't fall until he notices gravity.
- In addition to cruising on furniture, he can "walk" by holding onto my hands. I walk with him and say, "Left, right, left, right," while he pops his little feet ahead of him. He always looks so proud and happy.
- At Water Babies class, he's begun paddling/splashing his arms and occasionally kicks his legs (though usually not on command). He's also been putting his face in the water but hasn't figured out yet how to blow bubbles.
- When music plays, he likes to get his groove on. Depending on his mood, he'll either wiggle his butt, rock his whole body from side to side (sitting or standing), or hold one or two hands in the air like he just don't care. He did that to this video featuring Wayne Brady, Mike Tyson and Bobby Brown, and I couldn't stop laughing.
- While he's still nursing (and I intend to keep breast-feeding him until he's at least a year old), he's been sampling a variety of solids. Lately, he's developed a fondness for getting involved in the feeding. He'll either grab the spoon and suck on it, or he'll happily munch on finger foods like Cheerios or banana slices. Gone are the days of relatively clean faces and hands while eating!
- He tried a sippy cup for the first time a week ago and was delighted when we tipped it up for him so that he got some diluted apple juice. However, he was just as happy sucking on the handles or mouthing the bottom of the cup and banging it against his tray.
- Slowly but surely, I'm converting his habit of painfully grabbing my hair to a habit of "patting" my hair instead. For several weeks now, when he grabs my hair, I tell him, "Pat the hair." I loosen his grasp and then run his outstretched fingers over my hair instead. This makes him giggle. For almost a week now, he's only grabbed my hair when he's really tired but instead "pats" my hair, face, or clothing. This is one habit I'm happy to see changing!
- We missed the way he used to hold one arm up above his head when he was just learning to control his arms. "He has a question," we'd tell each other." Lately, he's resumed this habit, with purpose. After a particularly yummy spoonful, he'll raise his spoon above his head, as if in triumph. And of course, to get our attention so that we'll give him more.
ETA: A couple more things I thought of while I was out:
- He claps his hands now! First he only did it for his daddy, but now he does it for me and any time he's in a clapping mood.
- We've been trying to teach him a few signs to make our life together easier until he can talk. Lately, he's begun using "more" to mean that he wants to eat, probably because when he's eating, if we ask him if he wants "more" and he makes an excited noise, he gets food! He also sometimes signals "milk" by putting his hand up with the fingers touching, but without making the squeezing motion (like milking a cow). And he says "mamamama" when he wants milk, presumably trying to say "milk." Either that or he simply associates "mama" with "milk." So far he has only picked up on signs for eating!
Take time to appreciate your baby's small steps forward.