About four weeks ago, at thirteen-and-a-half months old, Henry had his belated one-year check-up. Once again my boy is off the charts for height. He measured at 33 inches tall; the average for his age is 30 inches. No wonder he towers over all the other one-year olds (and even older kids) at our playgroup. My boy, a giant among toddlers.
When he's around, all doors must be closed
. This does not please his claustrophobic mama when she's in the closet, picking out his clothes for the day.
His obsession with trucks continues. If I ever have a problem motivating him to keep climbing the stairs, all I have to say is, "Let's go find Truck Book!" (yes, it has a name) and he's back on task. He likes to point to each picture and yell, "ES!" until I say what kind of truck it is. Sometimes, if I'm not paying attention, the "ES!" will rise in pitch until his voice cracks.
The only thing that could compete for his interest in trucks are flags. If there's a flag around -- even an image
of a flag -- he'll spot it. I really had no idea there were so many of them out there.
He cracks us up on a continual basis. The other day we had the TV cabinet open and he kept looking over at it, knowing he wasn't supposed to touch it, but so, so
curious. Finally, while maintaining eye contact with us, he took several sideways steps toward it, acting all nonchalant. We burst out laughing and he seemed tickled that we found his actions so funny.
Another new trick of his is to stomp with his left leg only. While standing up he'll lift his left leg and stomp it down, repeating several times in a row. It brings to mind the horse trick of stomping once for yes and twice for no. (Not that I'm comparing my son to a horse or anything.)
The upside-down baby routine has begun, too. He bends over, puts his hands flat on the floor, and looks between his legs. The little girl I used to nanny for did the Downward Facing Dog pose at this age, also, and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. Sorry, G., but I think this might be even cuter.
His innocence just breaks my heart. A few days ago, when I was trying to get something done and his whining was making my headache that much worse, I cracked and yelled at my sweet little guy to "stop it!" He paused, looking stunned, and then burst out laughing. I'm sure someday I won't be thankful for this, but I was so glad he found my outburst funny, and so incredibly sorry for having yelled in the first place.
His nighttime wakings are as frequent as ever. Maybe more so, if that's possible. The other night he woke up sounding terrified, crying as if from a scary dream. I wish I knew what makes him wake up like that, and I wish I could take the sadness away.
He hasn't learned to vocalize any new words, but he certainly understands just about everything we say. I have to be careful not to tell him what we're going to do too far in advance, because he'll hear "take a walk" and want to do it now
. He makes his desires known as well. When I lay down near him to do some stretching, he takes my head in his hands and tries to push me back up. When he wants to nurse he lifts up my shirt; when he's all done he pulls it back down.
He does make one new noise, though it's not a word per se
. Ask him, "Henry, what does a cow say?" and he'll jut out his chin, purse his lips, and say, "Mmm."
Sometimes he's shy with strangers, giving them a blank look or putting his head down on my shoulder when they try to talk to him. Other times, though, I'll be writing out a check at Target and hear the cashier laugh, looking over at Henry in time to see him making flirty eyes (head tilted back, eyelashes batting) at her.
An expression we see more often, though, is the furrowed brow. His scowl conveys suspicion, concern and disapproval all at the same time.
He's figuring out the phone thing, I think, or at least he knows what it is he's supposed to do with it. The other day I answered the ringing phone and Henry immediately picked up the flat part of the laptop's power supply cord and held it to his ear.
I recently stumbled across a blog by another mama
, who said that spending the day with her daughter "is like having a best friend with me 24 hours a day." While I'm guessing most best friends let you go to the bathroom by yourself, I'm feeling more and more like this statement applies to my life as well. Henry is becoming such a fun little guy to hang out with.