I know, as a mom, that children each grow up and reach new milestones on their own timetable. I am not a mom that gets concerned when my child does not transition to the next phase at the traditional time. I have recently become aware, however, that I had accepted some basic boy-girl stereotypes without even realizing it. Having two girls and then a boy made me not really know what to expect with my little guy. What I did assume was that he would advance physically and then verbally....I was SO wrong. My girls crawled at 9 months and walked at 12. Danya was very verbal and Shea was a little less verbal. Cooper started crawling at 9 months, but it has taken him til almost 14 months to start walking more than one or two feeble steps. (As I write this, he is teetering from couch to coffee table, around toy pile on the floor, and then over to me in my chair. He still walks like baby frankenstein with his arms stretched out in front and legs a little too stiff. SO ADORABLE!) His verbal skills far exceed his physical skills at this point, though. And this still surprises me. He has many words and mimics so many more. He says "Hi" in a very excited voice when he sees someone for the first time in a while. He asks for his "Dodle", knows all his family members by name (Shea, Dada - danya, Daddy, Mama, Bopi - poppi, Nonni, Nana, Papa, even Brandy- my parents' dog), says bye bye whenever someone puts on their coat and even nigh nigh with a wave when it's time to go to bed. He knows dog, cat, dance, jump, stomp, go-go, all done, more, eat, clap, stinky, sock, shoe, bath, ca-ca (coffee ;), up, down, help, stuck, no-no-no, fire, hot, no touch, gicky and of course the universally useful THAT! My favorite words he uses were not intentionally taught to him, but rather caught by him. Whenever he asks for food or his bottle, and sometimes even a toy, and you give it to him, clear as day he will say "thank you". So sweet and unexpected. When he's not saying one of his many words, he is rarely silent. He makes sound effects, sings, fusses, or just makes beautiful noise.
So, today, as Cooper and I are home sick from church, I am enjoying my little boy in all his unexpected wonder. He's so very different from my girls, and different than I expected a boy to be. I look forward to all he is going to teach me as he grows into the man God has designed him to be.