Matilda at Nine Months

Matilda Rooftops, nine months

I'm going to say this at every milestone but, seriously: how is it possible that my baby is nine months old already? That she's practically a toddler? That she's a proper little girl instead of a ball of squishy, squally purple?

Nine months. Here we are.

She's all energy, this girl. She's all about movement. And noise (the banging hard objects together variety; very rarely the crying kind).

One day, at seven months, she took off. She went from frustrated attempts at crawling to zooming around at top speed overnight (I thought at first that this was normal baby speed; I've been around enough other mobile babies now to know that she is fast). The same day, she started dropping confidently into a seated position and walking (shakily) whilst only holding one hand.

Since then, she has become a climber. Anything under a foot tall is scaled; she would rather take the direct obstacle course to where she wants to be than crawl around toys/furniture/people. After weeks of hurling herself head first off things, she has (finally!) begun slightly more careful descents.

In the past couple of weeks, she has mastered standing without holding onto anything. I can't get over how steady she is. She has taken a couple of unaided steps, but only when there's something right there to grab hold of afterwards (ideally a parent); I wouldn't call it walking.

When I tell people she's mobile, they tend to suck their teeth and tell me what hard work she must be now. I completely disagree. Yes, we've had to move all the lamps out of reach and install three baby gates, but life is much easier now; she's so happy being able to move to whichever toy or whichever book or whichever room (she has a choice of three) she wants, rather than having to make do with whatever and wherever she's been given. I follow her around but I'm following a contented baby, rather than sitting beside a frustrated one.

The cats are less thrilled. Polly spends a lot of time in the (gated) dining room. Gizmo hangs out in whichever room Matilda and I are in but is always ready to leap to safety if she comes at him too enthusiastically. She's starting to grasp that he doesn't want to be whacked, though... She refers to him as "Guh"; his name is the only thing we're certain she's trying to say.

What else?

She loves the end credits on TV shows. All end credits. All TV shows. We think it's the music. She enjoys the Twirlywoos and In The Night Garden; I'm kind of glad Baby Jake and Justin's House aren't on any more as she insisted on being bounced through all the songs and it was absolutely knackering! This week, she has started doing twinkly hands whenever she hears music.

She has learnt to play peekaboo on her own. She blows raspberries on people's necks, copies clapping and hand gestures, attempts Eskimo kisses and, in the last few days, has started waving when she hears people say "bye" or when Polly enters the room.

Best of all is that she's suddenly into hugging; she comes over just for a cuddle now which is lovely. She also babbles away most of the day and has the best laugh (though she mostly reserves it for when her tummy's being eaten, I'm giving her horsey rides or one of her parents is crawling around the house with her, playing hide and seek).

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