Hayden has been quite the source of entertainment the last few weeks. Between learning new things, and developing quite the personality, he’s been a joy to watch and be around. The other day, I followed him for a couple of hours and did some observing and some playing with him, and documented just a few of the fun new ways he’s enriching our lives by just being him. Of course we think he’s amazing and smart and talented, but really when you think about it, all 1-year-olds are amazing and give us the opportunity to see life through a fresh new lens. Read on to see why I think being 1 is just about one of the most fun and interesting ages to be!
Standing is Just One of His Tricks!
Hayden has become quite the proficient stander these days, and pulls himself up on anything and everything to get a better view. While he’s not anywhere near walking yet, he loves the extra freedom and independence that standing gives him. This is just one of the many things that makes him, and in turn, us, smile. Read on to see why having a 1-year-old is so fun.
The King of the Parade
Hayden thinks waving is simply the best thing one could do all day. He waves at the cars that drive by, people out on their walks, he waves to the balloons at the store, or the fruit in the produce aisle. Hayden believes everything and everyone deserves a cheerful greeting, which is why we have dubbed him little king of the parade. I’ve never met a more enthusiastic or proficient waver in all my life!
How Do Things Work?
This age and stage of development makes Hayden quite the curious little fellow. He’s interested in us telling him the names of everything, and he tries to touch, feel and explore anything within his grasp. Little grabby hands prefer the things he’s not supposed to touch above all else, but he does love anything with buttons he can push or triggers he can manipulate. His play table is one of his favorite places to be lately.
Spinning & Talking
Since only a video would properly display two cute little tricks he loves to do, a picture will have to do. He loves to scoot in circles on his behind, spinning himself around and around on our hardwood floors. He spins till he makes himself dizzy, and is giggling the entire time. He also loves to grab Mommy’s phone, hold it up to his ear and say, “eeello.” Babies are just the best.
Hey, I Know You!
I think the experts call it cognitive recognition, but I’ll just call it, knowing how the world works. Hayden now understands that it’s himself in the mirror and enjoys making faces, and also slapping himself silly. While this may seem like an inconsequential milestone, it’s an important one because it shows that baby is starting to understand the way the world works, and his role in it. It’s really quite amazing if you think about it.
How to Play
Because we’ve shown him, and he’s had the wonderful advantage of having older siblings to observe, Hayden is understanding more and more not just how to play, but how he can create play on his own. He loves to push cars around, but now adds in the little “vroom vroom” noise along with it. He also understands that his hammering makes the balls go through the hole, and to recreate the game, he has to put them back into place himself. While he still needs mommy and daddy for A LOT of things, he is figuring out he can be his own best playmate.
New Ways to Communicate
We still have a ways to go until there’s much verbal communication happening, we’re definitely on our way with the baby sign language. So far he’s only got more” and “all done” in his repertoire, but he enjoys communicating his need for more food, or no more food, all on his own, and instead of having to grunt and point to make himself understood. It’s the building blocks of eventual verbal communication and we couldn’t be more excited or proud of our little guy.
While it’s clear Hayden loves music, by the way he smiles and claps as soon as he hears a cheerful tune, I have to wonder if his dancing isn’t just for our benefit. We all love to see him dance and do all we can to encourage it, so much so that we all end up dancing ourselves. He seems to love watching us and our reaction more than anything. Either way I’ll take it, because a 1-year-old dancing is just about the cutest sight around.
No upright steps have been taken yet, but we’re seeing plenty of this crawl-stand move these days. At first he used this move when he was trying to avoid crawling on surfaces he didn’t like — for example, the grass or a sisal rug. But now he loves to get around this way, perhaps because it’s a bit faster mode of transportation than the traditional crawl? Either way, we love it and think it’s ridiculously cute, and funny. Actually, we think just about anything he does is cute and funny, so I may be a biased judge.
1 is Fun!
We may be biased, but it’s hard to deny that 1-year-olds are anything but adorable and amazing. We feel so fortunate to have a happy, easygoing baby who makes friends wherever he goes. But even if your baby is shy (like my first born), or a little more reserved and even grumpy (like my middle child), this age and stage of life is a wonder to watch. Being able to see the world through the lens of a 1-year-old, learning so many things every single day, is a tremendous gift that I can’t wait to take part in each day. After all, it’s what makes the sleepless nights and multiple poopy diaper changes all worth it in the end.