Henry continues to astound me on many levels, but most recently his developing intelligence has me wowed. For instance, last night as I mixed up the batter for a chocolate sheet cake ( I may have a baking addiction), Henry sat at my feet rolling around a jar of baby food he'd pulled from a drawer. He kept repeating something that sounded like ow. He repeated it enough for me to realize he wasn't just babbling on, so I looked down and saw him pointing to the little animal illustration on the bright green lid. It was an owl. I couldn't believe it! I've worked with him on animals sounds a lot lately and he can proudly say "oof, oof!" when asked what the dog says or a muffled "mmmmm" when asked what the cow says, but I don't recall really working with him on what owls are or what they say. There are a couple owls in his favorite books so I'm guessing that's where he picked up on it from.
Then this morning he found the same jar of baby food and repeated the word again. Followed by a quiet "ooh, ooh" to which I applauded and said "Yes yes!! Who, who! That's what the owl says, baby! YAY!!"
He's been walking like a pro for quite a while now. He took his first steps in early January and never looked back. Whenever we leave the house to run errands or go to a restaurant for a sit down meal, Henry's does everything in his power get out of our arms/high-chair and walk around, scoping the place out, staring at everyone and everything.
I feel like his personality has really been revealing itself lately. He's always been such a happy boy. Almost anyone can get a smile out of him. But he's been showing quite a stubborn and independent side of his personality as of late. He will not let us feed him bites of finger food any more. He's so against it that if we do happen to manage to slip a cheerio past his lips, he grabs it out of his mouth, places it on his tray and then picks it up and feeds himself the same piece again. He so badly wants to be able to feed himself with his spoon, too. He gets so mad when I help guide the spoon to his mouth and, heaven forbid I try to take the spoon from him to feed him myself. He throws quite the fit when this happens and refuses to eat. Even if meal times are harder than they used to be, I'm happy to see him wanting to learn and to be so independent. This is when I see a big boy more than I see a baby in him.
He's always wanting to play games with us that make him laugh hysterically. His most recent favorite is playing peek-a-boo behind our living room door. We'll take turns hiding behind the door and peeking at each other through the crack where the door meets the hinge. When he's hiding, I'll ask "where's Henry?" over and over like he's lost, then I'll peek through the crack at him and he'll giggle so hard and then take off as fast as he can from behind the door to the other end of our living room.
He loves playing "rough" with his daddy. Chris will sit on the couch with Henry straddling his ankles. He'll gently bounce him and then toss him in the air up to his outstretched arms. This is his favorite thing to do lately.
He's high-fiving, and waving, and blowing kisses, too. His bag of tricks is growing.
As big as he is and as far as he's come, in many ways he's still his mama's baby. He still wants to be rocked to sleep in my arms every night. Some people see this as a bad thing.. something he should have outgrown by now. I, instead, savor these nights. I keep telling myself that, one day, he'll outgrow this and I know I will miss these quiet moments, these sweet snuggles. I'm not trying to rush anything along with him. I'm trying so hard to savor each moment because, if this past year has taught me anything at all, time goes by way too fast when you have a little one around.