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So we come to the last of the monthly updates. Next month will be the 1 year update, and after that I think quarterly will be sufficient to keep you apprised in the latest Thaneisms.

I'm ignoring you! (But look at those curls!)

I'm ignoring you! (But look at those curls!)

Thane has been much, much slower to walk than I expected. It’s funny when you discover what is and is not controlled by personality with babies. The walking is totally a personality thing. Grey was desperate to walk! He SO wanted to be a big boy. Thane is much happier being Thane, and being who he is. Walking is a bit riskier than crawling, crawling is perfectly adequate for what he wants. So he crawls instead of walks — when he remembers to. He will take even 5 or 6 steps when he forgets that he isn’t walking. Of course, climbing is a whole different story. He shows no fear climbing over obstacles, with inevitable head-bonking as a consequence.

11 months is a harder stage. Thane has started interfering with Grey’s toys. It is inevitable for a small child to desire the toy a larger child is playing with (and, in fairness, vice versa). Thane is indomitable when he decides he wants something, and no amount of distraction, removal, substitution, etc. will prevent him from pursuing his goal. These goals have a tendency to be: opening the cupboard under the kitchen sink (verboten) and playing with Grey’s toys (problematic).

This is also the nadir for feeding the child. Thane has begun asserting his desire to control the spoon. Ah! Fateful day! This would be more welcome if he didn’t use the spoon to comb his curly locks, and if any bowl or dish placed in front of him did not become a projectile weapon. I remember this stage with dread. This is the “plan on mopping the kitchen twice a day” stage. And Thane eats a wide range of foods, but he’s PICKY about which one he wants. You can think he’s hungry, give him a piece of bread (for example) only to have it thrown repeatedly. You might think, “Ah, not hungry.” But no! He wants cheese! Or pears! No no no! Not yucky raspberries. PEARS WOMAN.

While I’m elucidating the downsides, Thane is also Extremely Squirmy. He writhes in your arms. He has the strength of a leviathan in the body of an otter attempting to recreate a Pollock in yogurt on the kitchen walls. He does this unlovely thing, especially in the evenings and especially with me, where he’ll cry to be picked up and when picked up he’ll squirm unhappily (pulling hair and poking faces the while) and when you put him down he’ll weep bitter tears at your betrayal of him. I still can’t figure out what he does want when he does this, other than bedtime.

Thus for the downs. Now the ups.

I have never met a baby who liked books better than Thane does. Reading to him will pull him out of a full-boil tantrum. He will happily engage himself for like 20 minutes flipping through the rapidly proliferating bookpiles. He turns the books rightside up and pages the correct way through the books — page by page. He’ll sometimes turn back to recheck a page, before moving on to the next book. I have an entire bin of books for him in the living room. He LOVES them. Books are his joy and his delight. They are also one of his first three words. I don’t get a clear, comprehensible “mama”, but “book” is coming out loud and proud. He actually did a chin up, supporting his entire weight in his arms, in an attempt to crawl to the top of a shelf where his book were stored.

Thane has developed these heartbreaking golden curls. He never, ever looks NEAT, but I don’t think I can bear to part with those golden locks for some significant time yet.

Squirm aside, Thane is much more of a snuggler. When he is tired, he’ll curl up on my chest, suck his thumb and lay his head against me. I cannot describe for you how wondrous it is to have your child happily ensconced on your chest — even if it’s just for 30 seconds before he’s ready to go again.

I think I better make peace with my chin

I think I better make peace with my chin

When he is unhappy, it’s a near 100% solution to put Thane in the stroller and go on an adventure. His patience for being carted around in a stroller or baby backpack is stunning. He likes, I think, variety and change.

We have this Weebalot castle (we’ve had a ton of fun bringing out Grey’s old toys from this age) in Thane’s room. He ADORES it. To my surprise, he’s figured out how to play with it to make the Weebles fall down the curving slide. He’ll send them down over and over again. Grey always liked to make the music play, but Thane likes the slide best. I also got out the Busy Ball Popper ATTENTION PEOPLE WONDERING WHAT TO GET A BABY FOR ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY. This is the bestest toy EVER. Both boys are having a (ahem) ball chasing down the balls and playing the songs and figuring out what else they can stick down the popper. I only wish that you could buy spare balls, half of ours inevitably having gone walkabout in the last three years.

Fall down!

The blocks fall down!

Thane is LOVING peek-a-boo. I take a blanket and place it over his head. I ponder, “Where’s Thane? Where did Thane go?” Thane pulls the blanket off his head. “There’s Thane! Hi Thane!” Thane will then lean his head down trying to pull it under the blanket. It’s terribly funny. He can, of course, keep this up for longer than the adult attention span, always delighted to be found at last!

My youngest’s sense of humor is developing. He and I were chatting this morning at breakfast. “Dada” he said. I pointed to myself, “I’m mama! Can you say ‘mama’?” He got, I swear, this mischievous look in his eye and a snaggle-toothed grin and deliberately said, “Dada”. Kid’s got timing — I ‘ll give him that!

Thane is a fantastic sleeper. He’s always gone to bed easily. And by easily I mean you read him three books, kiss his curly little head, put him in his crib, say a quick prayer, cover him over with his blanket and leave the room. Done. Not a whimper. He will only wake up if he’s constipated (we still are struggling to manage the perfect dose of apple juice to be regular but not over-regular) or if he’s hungry. He usually sleeps through the night now.

Thane and I are still clinging to one last feeding. Every night I wonder if it’s the last, but so far it continues. He wakes up or I wake him up right before I go to bed, and nine-tenths asleep he nurses and I hold him. I’m not sure how much milk he’s actually getting. Some, I know. Perhaps a little immune boost, but mostly a chance for me to hold and savor my baby as he quickly departs babyhood for the land of boyhood.

Abuela says we need to buy size four diapers — that he’s getting too big for size three. She’s right of course. But oh!

When Thane was a baby, I got a hundred fantastic pictures of him, and few of the blur-his-brother. Now, I cannot take a good picture of Thane. He moves fast. His nose is always snotty. He always has some food set aside for later behind his ear. He’s snaggle-toothed and drooling. He doesn’t smile on command. And anytime he sees me take out the camera, he comes at a baby-run to investigate and oversee the proceedings. So you’ll have to make do.

Walking to take custody of the camera - a blur as usual

Walking to take custody of the camera - a blur as usual

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