Looking at the babies of my friends, it's definitely clear that all of them develop at their own rates - some crawl early, some babble words, and one annoying child at the baby music class we go to was not only walking at 7 months, but could follow instructions to go and get herself an egg-shaped shaker and bring it back. Show-off over-achiever. Every time I see her, I'm surprised she hasn't yet got a job as an investment banker or corporate lawyer.
So, according to the great wisdom that is the Internet, at nine months old, the baby should be doing the following:
Gains weight at a slower rate - about 15 grams per day
Because I have nothing better to do than weigh the baby on a daily basis. For fuck's sake.
Bowel and bladder become more regular
If by "more regular" you mean violent explosions requiring a complete change of clothes, yes, they're as regular as clockwork; i.e. whenever I've just put her in a special outfit and we're just about to leave the house.
Puts hands forward when the head is pointed to the ground to protect self from falling
Don't try this while Social Services are watching.
Is able to crawl
Nope. But she can shuffle on her tummy like a sea slug. Usually towards my shoes. Before you suggest this is some type of inbuilt girly nascent shoe fetish, I would like to point out that said shoes are manky old Nike trainers, and the only reason she's shuffling towards them is to suck the laces. So if that is her fetish, well, at least it's not a cliché.
Throws or shakes objects
Oh yes. In fact, her favourite thing to throw is food. Not any old piece of bread or bit of banana though. Basically the distance she'll throw it is directly proportionally to the length of time I've spent preparing it. Hence: rice cake straight out of the packet - not thrown. Lovingly-prepared organic no-sugar carrot and banana muffins - 3 metres. Potential future career as a shot-putter.
Understands the meaning of 'no'
Not sure on this one. She recognises it. Because it's what Mummy says whenever the little viper savages my nipples with one of her four teeth. I hesitate to say she understands the meaning of it, because whenever I say it, she looks at me and laughs. So she either doesn't understand, or is a sadist. It's hard to know. Though she also laughs when she hits me over the head with the Sky remote, so perhaps I should be leaning towards the latter.
I had a really lovely moment last week where I thought she was trying to kiss me. I held her close in a cuddle... and she took the opportunity to clamp down on my neck.
She does, however, understand the meaning of the word "cat". I can ask her where the cat is, and her little neck snaps round to try and spot Monty Cat. She loves Monty Cat. She wants nothing more than to bury her face in the cat's fur (and probably give him a good bite whilst she's there). Monty Cat is not convinced about her. He likes (very much) the fact that she throws food, but would generally prefer to keep out of her sticky little grasp.
All in all, she's doing OK. I think we'll keep her for now.