Cruisin' along and saying goodbye (is this a blues song or what?)
The main Smunch update is that she's been "cruising" the last coupla weeks, which is apparently the official term for coffee table-assisted walking.
She's also definitely begun dancing, which is the term I am generously using for waving her hands around when I turn on the music. I notice, though, that once it's on she doesn't seem to relate to it most of the time - she primarily responds in that first minute of its being on.
RP, who is almost 11 months old, has also become more proficient at waving goodbye. She started waving a while ago, but would practice her newfound skill quite indiscriminately, with no evident connection to whether there was anyone to wave to, and frequently with both hands at the same time. Now she often waves bye-bye, which is, of course, very smunchy. (I was surprised when the nurse at the tipat halav/well-baby clinic asked if R waves yet - I didn't realize it was a quasi-official action, like rolling over. Sure, it's a physical capability as well as a form of communication [though for RP it was the former before it became the latter], but my impression is that parents teach their kids to wave mainly because, well, it looks cute.)
When I pick her up from day care, she usually smiles and/or crawls over to me, but yesterday she not only smiled at me but waved hello to me, and then raised her arms for me to pick her up. And today she waved hello at a neighbor kid when he came by to play with her. I haven't explicitly taught her to wave hello as I have to wave goodbye (mainly on the way out of day care), but I do wave hello to her regularly in the house, kind of as a way of making contact if, say, she's playing on one side of the living room while I'm on the computer on the other side.
Oh, and here's a really big one (but I'm a bit restrained about it because I'm still awaiting confirmation): On Shabbat she accompanied a waved goodbye with what sounded very much like a spoken "bye-bye"! I admit she did do this twice in a row, so it's quite possible she really did utter her first word. (!) But being ever reluctant to announce a new development without being absolutely sure of it, I am withholding final judgment until I hear her do it again. (What can I do, I like to make sure I have my facts straight - not the worst trait in the world for a journalist.)
In general, over the last few months she has become a bit more choosy about who she will be friends with. She used to bestow a great big grin on anybody who crossed her path, but now she prefers to take a more considered approach, and often likes to have some warm-up time with the new person in my or W's presence. After a few minutes, though, she's usually fine (especially if she's not particularly tired or hungry). The flip side is that she has really started to recognize the people she does know, and now lights up when her babysitter walks in the door, which is nice to see. With the neighbor kid, she already showed signs of recognition the second time (in two days) that he stopped by.
It seems nuts that she's almost a year old! That's so, like, huge!