Eleven Months

I can hardly believe my fingers as I type the words
eleven months old,
you,
my little baby,
so grown,
so much a boy,
and growing by the minute

utterances more varied and shaped,
steps taken and counting,
facial expressions
laughter and increasing curiousness
all telling me
that you are exactly as old as you are...

you have walked eight steps unassisted,
and regularly climb up onto the armchair with ease,
slide off the big-bed bottom-first when done with napping,
and wrangle through all the chairs under the table
(until you get stuck and call for rescuing)

you have celebrated your first noël,
dazzled at our real, stumpy tree,
and swayed to carols -

you have decided you like to eat very much
especially lamb tagine and ratatouille with orzo,
porridge with stewed apple and quince,
eggy-bread, and fresh banana
(which is surprising because your mama
couldn't stand the latter as a babe)

you love to copy us,
especially when we're laughing -
you stride up beside papa and me
and beging to chuckle
and sometimes you do this funny
old man pretend cough-laugh too,

you love to clap your hands,
bang blocks together
cuddle your soft elephant,
nestle under the coffee table,
and as of yesterday -
put your hands on your head and giggle!

It's not always easy,
you squirm a lot when getting your nappy changed,
and really put on a fuss getting changed after a bath,
find computer cables to suck and papers to tear,
and balls of wool to unravel,
and sometimes I loose my patience
when the nights are hard,
and the feet are tired -

but still in the deepest recesses of my heart
are etched the words that never get old,
from me, your mama,

I love you, I do, I do.