Earlier this week, I was browsing through some photos of Little One on the laptop and marvelling at how much he has changed. I'm not even sure when these changes occur as I see him every day and to me he has always looked the same. As parents, I think we always picture our children as they are in their present form and carry that image with us, and it's only when we look back at old photos that we notice a difference.
To me, Little One has always seemed quite baby-like. I can't put my finger on what it is as he has always been a tall baby and has always had lots of hair. I think maybe it's because he crawled around for a long time and didn't take to walking properly until he was nearly 16 months. Maybe it's because he is our first born and therefore will always seem little to us.
Over the past couple of weeks however, he has seemed more grown up, more like a toddler and less like a baby. He has now mastered the walking and has clearly been putting all his energy into his talking, and it's been amazing to watch his speech progress. Again, like walking, it's wasn't something that just happened like that, it's been quite a long process, but now, it feels like we are starting to be able to understand each other and we have found this new found form of communicating really enjoyable.
Initially, we had the usual dada, baba and mama, but in the past few weeks, he has mastered quite a few animal sounds and loves finding pictures of animals so he can make the sounds. There's nothing we love more than to ask him what sounds the different animals make and it's made reading stories together so much more fun. He is such a little creature of habit and will always point out the same things in pictures- mostly sheep (baa baa), tractors, cows (mmmm), mice, trains (choo-choo) and chickens. I love how pleased he is with himself when he says a word and we say "well done" or "good boy". He is like a little budgie and will try and repeat everything we say and will always give himself a little round of applause at his achievements. One of my favourites is the way he puts his hand over his mouth and proclaims "Oh no!".
Of course, as adults, saying words is very much an ordinary part of our everyday lives- we must say thousands upon thousands of words each day, but to a toddler, each new word is a huge milestone and massive achievement. They are developing their own interests and learning how to communicate more and more each day, meaning they get less frustrated.
I'm sure in time Little One will be chattering away fluently and his words will just become part of our everyday lives, just like him walking seems so normal now, like he's always been able to do it. But for now, we will continue to beam with delight and pride at each new word little word he says. And in time, this stage will seamlessly flow to the next, of joining words together, making sentences and telling little stories. I can't wait to see where his discovery of talking will take him to next.
My little boy looking more and more grown up each day.