Arlo’s birthday is this Saturday, so this is the last developmental update before he becomes a ONE YEAR OLD. Bear with me whilst I run through all the boring bits about how many teeth he has and what noises he’s making now, I like to have a record of these inconsequential things.

So, he had ten teeth at the last count. After months of encouragement, he has mastered clapping, and is starting to copy the signs we’ve been practising since he was six months old (mainly ‘milk’ and ‘mama’).

Language has been the big thing this past month. In typical stubborn style, his first word (that he has said with meaning) was, ‘No’.  He responds to his name. His understanding of certain words and phrases has really taken off in the past few weeks, I don’t think it will be long before he has a few more words to add to his vocabulary. I love that you can see the intense concentration on his face when he is thinking about saying a word (he’s been trying to say ball and dog…we think).

We’ve been going to a lot more baby groups and activities now that I’m not returning to work just yet. Always preferring to wander off on his own, I don’t think Arlo will ever be happy to sit in a circle and join in with whatever activity is going on, but rather than moan the whole way through, he has started to show some enjoyment in going to these things so maybe it’s not all in vain. Some of the group leaders have suggested we start going to toddler groups now, as Arlo is ‘leading his own exploration’. But he’s always ‘lead his own exploration’, and as he’s not yet walking, toddlers bowl him over and his active participation in the activities for toddlers is limited. (We went to a 0-3 group last week that was definitely aimed at toddlers rather than pre-walking babies).

He is increasingly fast, inquisitive (destructive) and hungry for more stimulation and entertainment, hence the increase in baby groups. I am starting to get the feeling that keeping a toddler happy could be a daunting a daunting prospect.

What else? The bouncy ball is still his best friend in the world. He’s started pursing his lips and saying ‘Oooooh’, in gossipy old lady style – cracks me up every time.

He’s still a big fan of raspberries and giving kisses. He went through a very bitey stage (I seemed to be the only target, lucky me), but I haven’t been bitten in the past week so thankfully I think this stage might be coming to a close.

We are looking forward to celebrating his first birthday at the weekend and saying lots of ‘I can’t believe it’s been a year already’.

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