Month Eleven.

Just one month shy of her first birthday and Lucille is on the precipice of Toddlerhood. There is no denying that the baby we brought home eleven months ago is rocketing her way into this next phase of life with spunk, charm, intelligence, and the brightest of smiles.

Our little star finally cut her first two teeth, the lower central incisors; she is now not just removing toys from bins or baskets, but replacing them as well, and she has caught on to using a straw. She can sign “more,” and holds her toy phone up to her ear and says, “hello.” She continues to listen well to our redirection and stern-voiced NOs. The gal appears to get it.

In terms of being mobile, she has become an upright walking human in a matter of days. The transition was light-speed. On August 30th, she took her firsts steps, just a few days later she took steps that were unprompted. As of today, Lucille can walk long stretches (think the length of the hallway, or from one room to another), before collapsing on her tooshie. We are slack-jawed, wonderstruck parents.

There is little to document by way of food other than to proclaim my daughter a foodie. She eats everything and anything, not to mention the occasional fistful of dog food. We have begun a slow transition from formula to milk by replacing just a few ounces of her Enfamil with the moo juice. She seems unaffected so we’ll continue in this fashion, diluting the formula with milk a little more each week. The goal is to be at 100% milk by her first birthday. She often enjoys her bottles now, on her own, big kid style, relaxing with some pillows and stuffed animals. To date, she weighs 22.5 lbs.

On a recent lazy Saturday, Lucy and I visited a very cool venue called the Toy Lending Library, an indoor play space, run by a cooperative of volunteers in the basement of a local church. Kids can check-out toys, much like they would in a traditional library. We had a blast, but the time spent there that afternoon was particularly memorable. There was a learning moment for me as a parent while Lucy was traversing and attempting to navigate a ramp and some stairs in the baby section. She’d never encountered a ramp of any sort and my initial instinct was to step in and turn her body so that she could understand how to crawl down it. Instead, I opted not to interfere and allowed her the opportunity to figure it out on her own. I was channeling Pamela Druckerman’s account of French parenting in Bringing Up Bébé, if you will. Sure enough, she was able to deduce that she could scoot down the ramp backwards while on her belly. I continued the hands-off posture when she attempted the stairs.

While it may sound a smidge overdramatic, it was really breathtaking to witness her figure out each challenge; how she’d thump her hand to test the ramp, look back at me, and thump again; how she’d dip her toe, cautiously to the next step, but retract if it didn’t feel right, all the while her little hands gripping the railing. I could see her eyes scan the situation, make some kind of connection and calculation, and turn that answer into action. She learned something new, from start to finish, right in front of me and I was awash in fireworks of adoration and amazement.

My daughter is my teacher, and that day she taught me to trust in her. To be there should she fall, but to allow her the chance to solve a problem, to fail, and try again. Who would have thought a two foot ramp, and a set of three stairs would be ripe with such enlightenment – for the both of us.

Happy eleven months, my sweet Lucille.

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