Miko is turning one on the 9th. She started walking at 10 months (with assistance, of course), and now she can walk on her own but I’d much rather she walk with a harness of sorts because she has a tendency to rush and hurry and hence, to fall flat on her face.
I’ve long planned to put together a record of Miko’s development, but I’ve been lazy and whenever I look at her photographs with the initial intent of sorting them and putting captions on them, I end up daydreaming about she used to look like when she was born, or at five months, or six…
Miko’s first word was ‘mama.’ She was almost six months old. It was around 2 pm, and Kim and I were jolted awake when we heard her say ‘Mama’ from her crib. I carried her excitedly (she was awake and it was her time to drink more milk) while Kim, like some giant moth kept hovering over the two of us, kept begging Miko to also say ‘Papa.’ Now Miko says ‘mama’ all the time; she knows me as ‘mommy’ and Kim as ‘daddy’, but when she wants to call my attention: ‘Mama!’
Her second word was ‘Tiger.’ She has two picture books and in them are two tiger cubs. She was seven months old, she was ‘reading’ in her crib and my sister Majalla and I were in the living room and we had wheeled Miko’s crib bnext to the sofa. Miko pointed at the picture of the tiger cub and said ‘tiger.’ Imagine the shock her aunt and I felt! Ate Majal asked Miko to repeat what she said “Miko, we didn’t hear, sorry. What did you say?” Miko looked at her whitheringly — as if to say, gad, woman, clean your ears!- and repeated: “tyyyyyyygerrrrrr.”
Miko has a fairly wide vocabulary now, and it’s expanding everyday. To help her learn words, apart from talking to her like she’s an adult, we surround her with books (she’s chewed and eaten the spines of several), and for the most part, she seems to like looking through them. She spends at least an hour every day ‘reading’, on her own, or with one of us. She likes it best when she’s being read to, and her current favorites are “Mama, do you love me?” (It’s an Inuit storybook where there are polarbears and musk ox and lemmings in mukluks and Ptarmigan eggs), “Mama,Mama” (Animal babies and their moms: a baby koala tells his mom, ‘Mama, mama, carry me; life me up so I can see’; while a baby chimpanzee asks Mother Chimpanzee , “Mama, mama, make me clean, every day the same routine”), and ‘Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (“Let the wild rumpus start!”).
We know she knows what the words refer to because she either points at the object in her books when we tell her the word for it; or she gets it herself when the object is within reach. So far, Miko knows fish, snake, penguin, Nanuk (Inuit for ‘polar bear’), ball, dog, kitten, rabbit, tiger, book, phone, tv, shoes, nappy, wall, bed, banana, Winnie (The Pooh; Miko has a Pooh bear and Nanuk, a snow bear), bottle, pillow. She knows where her eyes, nose and ears are; she points to her tummy and the kitchen when she wants to eat; at her room when she wants to sleep; the window when she wants to go outside. If you tell her it’s time for her bath, she will lift her arms and let you carry her to the bathroom and her tub. She knows soap, shampoo, water, food and cracker.