As Elena approaches her twelfth month, she acts more and more like a thinking, planning little person. She can’t talk yet, but does she have a meaningful internal dialogue? There must be something because her actions sure seem to have motivation.
Yesterday I was sitting on the couch with my computer and she was playing on the floor. She deliberately picked up her ball and threw it towards me. That definitely got me to play with her, but how did she know that would achieve the desired effect? The other day, she found her toy car, held it up to me and started making vroom-vroom sounds, I think. But maybe I’m just attributing that meaning to the sound that she did make. Regardless, she does like to watch me drive the car all around the room, then up, down, and around her legs, arms, and head.
What about when she crawls into the kitchen, then waits for me to come in before she makes her final dash to the trash can? What motivates that? It’s probably the same thing that made her crawl up the ramp to the podium at church, then stop and look back at me just before she scooted off towards the choir pews.
In the evenings just before bed she laughs and laughs at just about anything we do, but other times I can make the silliest face imaginable and not even get a smile. And if I leave her in her high chair for too long before bringing her food out, she’ll cry like a newborn that has never eaten in her life. Is the crying just as purposeful as the laughter, or does she really revert back to a less developed state of mind when she’s hungry?
I’d like to think that I’ll understand these things when she can talk, so we can communicate. But I know that it’s likely to be just the opposite–she’ll be even more of a mystery.
Just for good measure, here are a few last holiday pictures.