Life sometimes spins by so fast that I forget to stop and catch my breath. My son is 11 months old today, a number that I can hardly comprehend.

I know it’s tradition to start to wonder where my baby has gone, but I don’t wonder. He has, one day, one second at a time, slipped away… as the toddler he is becoming emerges.

He is full of curiosity and determination. He gets frustrated when the stacking cups don’t stack right and throws them in frustration… just to crawl over and pick them back up and try again. He loves tuna and pickles and Cheerios and goldfish. He has no love for strawberries or chicken. He can stoop down from the standing position, but won’t clap. He yells MAAMAAMAAMAA when he’s angry at me, but hardly any other time. His gibberish is still gibberish. He holds the bottle with one hand while he’s doing something else, tilting it in the air like a champ. He tucks his chin down and tries to bury his head when the dog comes in to lick him, but if I’m rubbing Lucky’s belly and Benjamin is close by, he’ll crawl over and pet him gently. He loves to brush his teeth and tries to help me brush mine. He runs a crazy fever when he teethes. He laughs when other people laugh. He loves the outdoors. He’s been crawling up (and down!) the stairs for a few weeks now with assistance and I’m starting to wonder if I should even bother installing the baby gates (but I will, just to corral him if nothing else). He loves music. He’s learned that if he presses the button on his tractor it sings to him. He moves his arms, bounces, and wiggles his torso when he dances. Sometimes he chases the dog (the dog always wins, for now). He only wants to snuggle at bedtime or if he’s teething, but the moments he does are precious. He self-weaned himself from the pacifier. He drinks from a sippy cup almost as often as he drinks from a bottle. He loves spaghetti. He tries to eat with a fork. He is exhausting to be around, but we love him.

I want to remember these things. I want to hold them in my heart and cherish them because even though I won’t wish him back to a baby, I appreciate the experiences of the last 11 months. And as he heads off to toddler land, I look forward to the next years knowing that each step is an adventure of it’s very own.