Jacob is slowly but surely adding words to his vocabulary. First it was "Dada", then it was "Uh-oh", then "Ba", which means "ball". The other day in the produce section of the grocery store Jacob kept saying, "Ba...ba...ba", which I think was his take on all of the round fruits and vegetables we seemed to pass by. Of course, he seems to think all food has some ball-like qualities, apparently, because he throws food...a lot.
Then the other day he added, "Bye-bye" to the mix. We were leaving day care and waving good-bye to one of the caretakers, and all of a sudden he did it! It was so cute! I think he may call his milk cup a "ba-ba", even though he hasn't used a bottle regularly in ages. Last night I thought he finally said "Mama", but I think it was just "Ba...ba..." said rapidly as we were getting ready for his bath and he spotted his little bath toy, a soccer-themed basketball hoop-ish thing with three squirters in the shape of soccer balls. They have faces and squirt water out of their mouths. He's actually taken to chewing on them and then blowing really hard out of his mouth, which creates lots of funny fart noises in the process. I'd probably have laughed more the first time I saw it if it didn't strike me as so odd. He chews on things quite a bit, including his poor, mutilated sippy cups and his rubber placemat, which I swear he's going to tear apart someday. He's like a teething little puppy...to the point that sometimes he crawls around with a toy hanging out of his mouth. Of course, it's appropriate because he LOVES dogs. The first dog he had contact with was Craig's parents dog. At first she didn't seem to phase him, but each time we've been there Jacob has become more and more interested. Unfortunately, Carmel's a little shell-shocked from her run-ins with Jacob's older cousins over the past seven years so she will barely sit still long enough for Jacob to pet her. Once in a while we can corral her and let Jacob get in a pet or two, but inevitably she runs off in fear of a baby swipe! Jacob still likes to watch her from the couch and crawl after her wherever she goes. He did get a lot of doggie exposure last week at my company picnic. Lots of people brought their dogs, and they were all pretty small so I figured they were closer to his size. It's still a little nervewracking to let your baby near a dog with their sharp teeth and claws, but he was desperate to check them out so I figured we'd see how it went. And the dogs were great...too great! They let him pet them, but then licked him like crazy. Ewww. But isn't that one of the great things of childhood? Someone at the parade on Saturday brought their dog over to him, too. But anything...pictures, TV, out the front door...he just loves it when he sees a dog!
The fact that Jacob is starting to grasp language a bit probably makes me even more frustrated when he doesn't understand things...namely the word "No". Once upon a time when he heard it, he'd stop, turn around, and at least temporarily stop what he was doing. And for a short while it seemed to stop him entirely. But now he just ignores it completely, or at most, smiles and laughs. Thanks, buddy. Ugh. It's like, I know he's starting to grasp things like that, so it's tough to tell if he's just ignoring us, or the specific concept we're working on just hasn't clicked with him yet, despite lots of repetition. And it really doesn't help that he's not a mimicker. I've mentioned this before. At one point it was just frustrating because we couldn't get him to mimic little things like sticking out his tongue, blowing raspberries, or opening his mouth at mealtime. Now it's hard because there are hardcore, life-long things we'd like to teach him and he's just not into it. From talking to feeding himself with utensils to elements of playtime (like stacking blocks or putting a puzzle together), we could demonstrate something a million times and he just doesn't pick it up. Ask me how many times I've said "Mama" to him, to no avail. I'll admit I get a little jealous when other babies his age seem to have that stuff down pat, or read in the frequent baby emails I get that he should be doing certain things by now. I know he'll get there eventually...because as they remind you in all of those emails, every baby is unique. Perhaps someday having an independent thinker of a child will be a good thing, but for now (and for years to come, I imagine) it will border on frustrating. Of course, as Craig says, he's happy Jacob appears to be strong-minded, because neither of us are particularly outspoken and he hopes that Jacob's current disposition is a sign that he will be independent and confident as he grows up. We shall see!
Now we're off to another busy weekend. It's our second of four weekends in a row visiting Buffalo for various activities. This week (as long as the weather holds up--ugh) is a visit to the Canal Fest Craft Show in the Tonawandas (an annual favorite, even if I never buy anything) and my family reunion (one of three) at Camp Pioneer on the shores of Lake Erie. Assuming the weather cooperates, Jacob will get his first experience playing in sand! Should be interesting! And it's always fun to show him off anyway! Have a great weekend!