Eldore turned thirteen months on the 19th of December.
I will try to remember what he was like then, and not what he is like now, after Christmas and New Years, when he’s really thirteen-and-a-half months old. At this age, change comes constantly and rapidly, and if you’re a couple of weeks late on an update (as I am now) you almost have a different child on your hands than you would have if you had written said update when you were supposed to.
Eldore is a man of enormous personality. He certainly knows how to work a room. His smile is infectious, his gappy teeth perfectly arranged for goofy grins. He is better at making you laugh than laughing at you himself. He is very ticklish, but even so does not really belly laugh like some other kids. He’s more given to chuckling or cackling, I guess.
He does not really talk, but is still very clued in to what is going on around him, and has his own way of communicating. I gauge the answer to any questions I pose to him based on how still he goes after I ask. For example, if he is being fussy and difficult and I ask if he wants a drink, he suddenly freezes and looks off to my left with a sort of faraway look–whether he’s thinking about a drink or maybe trying to figure out what I said, or maybe just waiting for me to cough up what I’ve offered, I’m not really sure–that’s a pretty good indicator that the answer is yes.
Occasionally I’ll ask something and he’ll make it very clear that he agrees by drumming his heels on the floor. That’s a more enthusiastic and obvious response, but it’s not as frequent as the frozen, listening pose.
When he does talk, he (like Clive used to) says something that is clearly a sentence based on its rhythm and intonation, but is comprised entirely of syllables that sound like jeh. Usually it’s easy to tell what he’s talking about (though not what he’s said about it) and he says it so enthusiastically that you can’t help but respond as if he’s said something completely comprehensible and profound. “Jeh-JEH-jeh-jeh-jeh-JEH-jeh-JEH!” “Why Dodo, you’re absolutely right! I couldn’t have said it better!” Hopefully we have not permanently damaged his ability to articulate a coherent thought with our somewhat misapplied and premature admiration.
He likes when we sing, and will initiate rounds of Row, Row, Row Your Boat by repeated wow…wow…wow…wow. He does not like it when I play the accordion, but I can’t tell if this is because he does not like the sound or because he wants to play it himself, which of course I will not let him. So when I play, he sits by my feet and cries. I have chosen to love him despite this obvious character flaw.
He has finally figured out that we’re not going to feed him while praying over the meal, no matter that we are all seated at the table, no matter that the food is there, no matter how loudly he hollers. Thank goodness. Now we just have to get used to praying without yelling over the top of an impatient baby.
He likes to eat, but doesn’t like to takes bites out of things. This is kind of ridiculous since I had to take away several balls because he was biting chunks out of them. He prefers things torn or cut into tiny pieces. If you hand him the thing whole–like a peanut butter sandwich, perhaps–he will look at it like it’s the most appalling thing he’s ever seen. But take the same sandwich and tear it into pieces, and suddenly it’s perfectly palatable again. I am not sure, does this mean he is a detail person or not?
He’s extremely cuddly and affectionate. He’s also an excellent Toy Snatcher–poor Elvie gets the brunt of his attacks, as she hasn’t learned to move away quickly enough when he starts stalking whatever she’s playing with. He cries like you’ve broken his heart (and maybe you have) when you tell him no. He is the only child to learn that one can lift the lid to the toilet to play in the water, even though Mama has closed said lid and told one not to (and it broke one’s heart.) He’s a master Drawer Opener and has learned how to open the Ham House doors from the inside. He will work and work and work at something until he gets what he’s after or loses interest (and he doesn’t lose interest very easily.) He’s a good listener, though, and will stop when Mama tells him to, but he may “forget” a few minutes later and be back at it again.
Now here’s hoping I will get his next update out on time, and can share all the things I’ve not been able to talk about this update, on principle. Fourteen Months is not that far away!