You are thirteen months old today, and yesterday you learned how to sign banana and how to say no. They are both pretty adorable. Your sign for banana is to bang your hands together and hoot until I cram a banana into your mouth. Your version of no is "na" with a coy little grin and vigorous shaking of the head. No is definitely your favorite word and you dedicate hours of your day getting Mama to tell you no so that you can practice your giggling defiance and keep right on doing whatever it is that you know I want you to stop. We'll need to work on this, I suppose, so that you don't giggle and steal my keys when you are 16 and I tell you that you may not borrow the car, but for now I love seeing that you are edging away from being my malleable baby and toward being my mischievous little boy.
You've been giving the walking thing a try this month, mostly a step here and a step there. Then on Saturday we went to a playdate with ten children and you were desperate to join in the boisterous round football/soccer/hide and seek/duck duck goose that went on for a couple of hours. As soon as we got home, you blew your three step record out of the water with seven consecutive steps. That record still stands, but you are trying hard and practicing often and I know you will be running around after the football before we know it.
You were sick this month and wouldn't eat much and it took you a week and a half to recover fully. Once you did, I was awed by how much you eat. It took a week of not eating for me to realize the amount of food you can pack away. I am already making thrice weekly trips to the grocery store and I cringe to imagine your teenage years. You don't like sweet potatoes or strawberries, but are willing to give everything else the benefit of the doubt. You've even come around on cake and enjoyed your first shot at ice cream, but not your second. Bananas are ruling the roost these days, though, and you sometimes go through four a day. I've always suspected you were a little monkey.
You are starting to learn that if you take the book out of your mouth and give it to Mama, Mama will read you a story. It isn't usually worth the trouble, but you do let me read Doggies by Sandra Boynton, and it is a statement about my love for you that I have barked my way through that book in front of crowds of people and then started over and done it again.
We just gave up on your morning nap because it wasn't worth the battle to get you to take it. When you don't want to sleep, you stand up in your crib and throw your blankie over the side and then scream and scream (and scream). When I come to check with your damage is, you point to your blankie and give me a look of total betrayal, as in how could I possibly expect you to sleep without your dearly beloved blankie. I'm totally on to you, kid, not that it does a bit of good. You just flat do not like to sleep, but I am still hopeful that you will one day come to understand the error of your ways.
The first thing people notice about you is your hair. Still wild, still white, long enough now to get into your eyes but I can't bare to cut it. The next thing is your eyes, clear blue and shining. Once you rope people in, you flash your best flirty smile and turn total strangers into piles of goo. We sometimes go to the grocery store when Mia is in school and it takes us ages to get out because all the little old ladies who like to shop then want their chance to coo at you and win that smile.
I admit that is a frequent goal of mine, too.