Emma turned 11 months and one week today, and she is every bit as adorable as I imagined her to be, and then some. She started walking recently, and today took a series of three to four steps, falling each time, then getting up and going for more. She loves to eat rocks. She poops sand, which makes me think that either she is also sneaking in a good helping of sand along with the rocks when I do not notice, or that she might be digesting the rocks, which would make sense, given that she is my daughter and digestion is my forte in life.
She started playing the piano one key at a time, instead of hitting the keyboard with both hands. However, when I pick her up and put her in front of the piano, the most attractive thing is the book with the songs, and she keeps on turning the pages, oblivious to the fact that I am trying to play whatever is on that page. She started being very interested in books this past month, and turns pages one after the other, lingering over the pages that show pictures of cats. We have a cat, and I think she sees the connection, but probably cannot compute why our cat is white and the one in the picture is black.
She loves going to the swimming pool, and also loves helping me make dinner. By that I mean she takes all the bite size pieces that I have cut up for cooking and puts them in her mouth, or on the floor, then proceeds to do the exact same thing with the scraps of peel and seeds that I put in the "discard" basket. She started eating with a spoon, if I load it up for her first, but usually puts it in her mouth backwards, and often grabs it with the left hand. She drinks from a glass very well but only if I hold the glass for her. So far, no interest in holding the glass herself. She likes to wash her hands in a big bowl of water that I prepare especially for that.
There is a lot more awareness of the world around her, and a lot more interest in details, like ants, or birds, or grass. She also knows what she wants and expresses it very fiercely, with "nanana" sounds and shaking her head or her hand to show me that she means it. She thinks that she rules the world, and in our house she sort of does...
Mama's girl, what can I say?
I have two interests right now concerning raising her: one is an interest in the Montessori ideas, in particular that of involving the child into practical life aspects, as she actually does show a keen interest in everything cooking and cleaning related, and the second one is an interest in bilingual language development. I am starting to speak in Romanian to her in the mornings. Apparently kids need about exposure to a second language at least 30% of the time in order to pick it up, and the mornings account for that. She is a bit bombarded with different languages, since I speak Romanian in the mornings and English in the evenings, while in the afternoons her nanny speaks Italian, and she is soon to be replaced by another nanny that speaks German. The nanny languages though probably will not be interpreted as being as important as the ones that her own family speaks, and in particular I think she will at least understand Romanian if I make an effort.
It is an effort though, because I don't speak Romanian that often anymore, except on the phone with my parents and whenever I go to Vancouver. It is a fair idea to ask why bother. I think it helps to learn a second language effortlessly as a baby, as it will ensure that forever the brain has awareness of what a language actually is. I would also give her a sense of connection with my past, if that should ever become important to her. Understanding the language of a country, even if one does not speak it, opens doors towards that particular culture. I probably should work on using a relatively broader vocabulary in Romanian than I currently do, as I have let the language "linger" to a functional level for many years, and it became so sparse that I probably rarely venture outside of the basic vocabulary in my daily conversations.