Zoe started to walk a few days after her 13th month.
It was an exciting time for her, shambling from her mom to her dad. Every step a thrill, a delight, an excitement, an achievement.
At first, it was just a straight line from mom to dad. And when her grandparents were around, she would shamble from mom to dad to kong-kong. And once in a while, to Ah Ma. It was the early days of walking.
Then as she got confident, she got cheeky. She would walk towards one of us, and then turn around and went back the way she came, laughing at the joke she played on us.
Now she wanders all over the flat.
That’s at home.
Outside, she was still not confident.
The best we managed was for her to walk while holding my hands. At first following a cat at the foot of the block of flats.
And then, when a dog passed by, she trailed the dog for a block and a half before losing sight of the dog. Only then would she stop.
At home, she was happiest and most secure romping on her mattress. In fact she would roll around and hurl herself all about the mattress.
Sometimes with a scary “thump!” as her forehead landed on the mattress first.
She don’t seem affected and just continue falling and rolling all over.
Like a WWE wrestler practising her falls.
Or a little stunt baby.
She’s curious about food, and often wants what we are eating. So she had peppery soup, and also hae bee hyam (spicy shrimp paste).
She gave a “thumbs up” to both of them.
She is rather ambivalent about cheeses. Some she likes, some she doesn’t. Not sure what her criteria or taste are.
She liked the mash potatoes I made (with mozzarella, red cheddar, and “Emmental” – the President toast slices which is not real Emmental – and butter.)
And when she doesn’t want something, she has taken to shaking her head rather adamantly. Even violently.
Which she also does to simulate Lion Dancers. The head shake is to simulate the Lion’s head tilting quizzically as they cautiously approach the oranges or the other symbolic offerings in the Lion Dance.
Sometimes she would also move her mouth opening and closing to simulate the Lion’s mouth opening and closing.
But she also does that (without the head shake) to simulate doggy drinking water.
She likes to yell “Star!” by which she may mean the star-shaped cereal puffs by Gerber. Or she might mean the yoghurt melts. Or any snack food actually.
She can say “Minion”. Or rather, “Menyon”, but we know what she means.
She can sign for milk, but she can be inconsistent. She signs for milk. We bring her milk. And she shakes her head violently, refusing the milk.
We’re not sure if she uses the signs to mean what we think it means. Or if she might just have a conditioned response to our words, rather than actual meaning or communication. That is, when we asked her if she wants “more”, she signs for “more”, which we take to mean she wants more of whatever she is eating. But maybe she’s just signing “more”, because we said “more”, and she thinks we want her to sign “more”.
Or maybe she’s just being contrary. And ornery.
The biggest problem with communication is the assumption that it has taken place.
We wondered if it were time to potty train Zoe.
PL found a website that does a short 9 questions test to identify your babies, “Potty training personality”.
We separately answered the questions and arrived at the same result – Z’s a bear cub with a bit of puppy. She’s playful and at this point is probably not ready to be potty trained. Maybe when she’s about 3.