100% creature. In early, perhaps extra-sensorily perceiving his would-be Halloween costume, Max started to crawl. But it wasn't a normal crawl. I blame it on our hard tile or wood floors but he had a full-on chimpanzee going. One leg out, one knee forward, he flung himself like a monkey or a wookie or perhaps a one-oared, yet forward-going boat.
A mouth. He's been blowing raspberries for some time now. Most mornings, I wake up to the sound of an outboard motor vrrmming in my ear. Again, it's like boating. But wetter. He likes to stick his hands into your mouth as if counting teeth. He likes to taste everything first--be it food (preferably dog kibble) or magnet or phone. He particularly like my cell phone and it took a knife and some severe pressure to disengage the battery-cover from the back of my Blackberry.
An eater. He likes quinoa and beans and apples, rice, cheese, oatmeal, frosted Mini-wheats, life cereal and yogurt. And yet his not as vegetarian as all that. He likes turkey and chicken and steak. He seems to like potatoes roasted in duck fat. He likes sausage and bacon best of all, just like his sister. And like his sister, he has a sweet tooth. Zoe gave him his first Skittle the other day. Now, if she opens a package, he'll hear it from whereever he is and crawl (now, with all appendages on the ground) cheetah-like to her. He'll clamber up to her on the ottoman and make his "Max noise" which is half whimper, half cry, 100% he knows what he wants.
Opinionated. Max has an opinion on everything. When I should pick him up, put him down, give him some milk, feed him some food, let him play with the water line to the refrigerator, when to sit on my lap and pull the blue mouse-dot in the middle of my computer off. I have found the blue dot in the laundry, in his diaper, in his mouth (of course) and down my shirt. I am lucky to still have a blue dot (although, unlike Max, I don't like the blue mouse dot).
A charmer. He'll turn his head to the right when he see yous. He'll point at you and say "deeth" to say hello. He'll high five and wave and smile this new smile his cousin Cam taught him which is so toothsome and dimple-full (he has an under-eye, upper cheek dimple that is uniquely attractive) and eyesquishing that I'm afraid his smile might make his cheeks pop right off his face. He likes patty cake and when I bounce him and toss him and lean him backwards (over and over again. And then again. Whimper says, "again." See "opinionated").
A laugher. Mostly Zoe makes him laugh but all tickles do, peek-a-boo does, but, back to Z, when Zoe hops, skips, pretends to fall down, hides under a blanket, eats, makes slurping noises. He very much likes it when you put something in your mouth for him to grab. Oh the hilarity there. He mostly laughs whenever you laugh. We laugh a lot just to make him laugh. Which makes us laugh.
A stair climber. It's all he wants to do. He can go up and down now with great ease since it was either learn to turn around and go backwards down or keep crashing on the two steps from the kitchen to the family room. He can even go up and down the steps to the next floor but that is still doomsday what with the two-foot-span railing and all. We're fixing. Soon. Really.
Still not a sleeper. He loves the milk. He's mostly done with the breast. But he still wakes up. Not as much. Maybe half as much. And I shouldn't complain. He's sleeping now.
A good rider-in-the-car. In his one year he has been to Salt Lake and back 4 times, to Torrey twice, to Lake Powell, to Tucson, on a 7 hour camping-spot-seeking-and-failing-adventure, to Phoenix, to Bluff, Utah, and to various and sundry more successful camping-spot-seeking adventures. He can just play and sit and watch and listen for hours. I think he gets at least some of his sleeping done in the car too.
A many-named baby. Zoe calls him bubba. I've mentioned the numb-nuts and succubust here but he's also known as Mr. Squishy, lovebutt, Zuzza, B, Maxa, Maxy, tuddlehead, futzba, bear, magoogally, and buckaroo. I think he'll answer to them all, although I think he likes Bubba and Buckaroo, which his grandpa calls him, best of all.
A smarty-pants. All parents think their kids are the smartest and I am no different. Max has special talents. He can open and close doors and find balls days lost under the couch. He can hand me vegetables when I'm cooking. He knows everyone's name and can make my phone do things I didn't know it could do. He can turn pages of books at just the right time. He's the kind of baby that turns things upside down to see how they work. And then takes them apart. But mostly, he's smart in the opinionated way. He knows how to get what he wants. Maybe that's smarts or maybe that's just because we like him so much and think he's a pretty swell kid. And why not have the blue mouse dot if he really wants it?
A cleaner: As noted on the blog, by my sister Val and by my friend Matt Gephardt, Max likes to vacuum. He'll push the wand back and forth all day. He also mops, but with yogurt, so I don't exactly call it "cleaning." If you give him a rag though, back and forth all day. Z did too. She was more a folder than a scrubber. And yet my house? Not so clean.