Today you are ten months old. I can’t believe how fast the time is going. Weren’t you just born a few minutes ago? Of course, to you, it’s taken forever to get to this point. You’ve had a whole lot to learn already, and I know there’s lots to go. You’re having a great time figuring it all out, though, and I really couldn’t ask for more.
This month, we did a lot of stuff. You stayed at a friend’s house while I went and got my teeth drilled, and even though I was concerned about how badly you’d miss me, you barely even noticed I’d gone until I’d already come back. You attended a birthday party where there were buckets of drinks on ice, balloons, pickles, beer bottles, and toddlers to fascinate you. You flirted with a waitress at the sushi restaurant and she thought you were so good looking that she brought you a special treat – three bright red maraschino cherries, which you inhaled with vigor. We went to the county fair together, and you saw a bunch of real live animals and did a lot of people watching.
We also had a couple bumps along the road this month. You cut two teeth, and they’re sticking far enough out of your gums that your smiles are definitely a little whiter than they used to be. I thought that I would miss the toothless grins, but I really don’t. Those teeth look good in your mouth, and your grins will probably always make me grin right back at you with my whole body. And one of the great things about those teeth having taken their time to come through was that even though the first one seemed to surprise you when it made its appearance as you woke up one morning, it didn’t actually seem to bother you much.
You enjoyed your very first trip to the emergency room. You kept breathing and you weren’t bleeding, so overall, it wasn’t as bad an experience as it probably could have been. And when I say enjoyed, I really almost mean that. The nurses were nice to you, including all the ones that just met you in passing without even treating you themselves. You were the center of attention, and aside from that one thermometer they stuck up your butt, they didn’t have to poke or prod you much at all. And as far as your allergies were concerned, it wasn’t really a matter of “if” with you, we knew, it was only a matter of “when.” So in a couple weeks, you’ll have some tests done, and we’ll see what else we need to keep you from putting in your mouth. Besides the lint, trash and crickets you find on the floor, of course.
Every day, you are closer to walking now. You are also working on your climbing skills as well as mastering the fine art of leaning. You have taken a ton of steps all on your own, just not all in a row. Usually you can manage two or three steps at a time before you flop forward to move the way you know you can move quickly and efficiently. The crawl. You are an expert at the crawling. Except when you’re wearing your new alligator jammies, which are still a little big and tend to swallow up your left leg as you go.
You love to sing and dance. When we play music, your voice gets loud and tests out the different pitches it can make. You hold onto the edge of the coffee table and bounce along with the beat. Sure, it’s been a lot of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, and we honestly aren’t trying to groom you into a future sullen goth kid, but you are fascinated by the big gray box that makes those rhythmic sounds and emits those singing voices, it’s fascinating for me to watch you. You also enjoy singing in church. You are always very quiet when there is talking going on, but as soon as the music starts and we all start singing around you, your chorus of little “ahs” is there in my ear and it’s all I can do to stop myself from cracking up in the middle of the refrain. And maybe there have been a couple of times that I couldn’t help cutting my own singing voice off with a bit of stifled laughter because it’s just so much fun to hear your baby voice exploring music so happily and freely. It’s something I’m so glad to be sharing with you. Not to mention that it is so completely adorable.
You like to toss your toys around the room and chase them. You also like to drop them over the edge. It doesn’t matter which edge. Sometimes you drop them into the pack-n-play from outside, sometimes out from in, sometimes over the arm of the couch, sometimes over or through the bars of your crib, as long as someone eventually comes and retrieves them for you, you’re good. And even more amused if we are right there with you watching the object drop and saying “uh-oh.” And sure, maybe it’s one of those things that will get to be so annoying to us one of these days when we’re picking up your rattle ball at the grocery store for the ten-thousandth time, but you know what? I don’t really care because right now, it’s still fun for both of us. And also, we have one of those snap tether things that can strap your rattle ball to your car seat, stroller, or anything else that has a little loop to attach it.
We had guests over yesterday, and before they arrived, you were in heaven because the way to the kitchen was no longer blocked. You crawled all around just beyond thrilled to explore that new place. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just keep it open to you (now that it’s mostly clean) so that you’ll get bored with it and return to having fun in the living room, where your toys are. You also enjoyed the clear route to the entrance hallway, where the door stoppers are springy and amazing to touch and behold.
I have truly come to love bedtime. You are sleeping so much better during the night now. I’m not sure I can take any credit for that, but it seems like whatever we’re all doing is working. Our bedtime routine is solid, and most nights, you fall asleep easily. After nursing and rocking you most of the way there, I will gently lift you off my breast as I stand to walk with you a little. And when I look at you sleeping in my arms, I see both my small baby and the maturing child that is emerging. It fills my heart. And your tongue comes forward and your lips suck in your sleep and my whole body turns to goo and your dad has to get out the Shop-Vac to clean me all out of the carpet.
I didn’t know it was even possible, but you have grown to love playing peek-a-boo even more than before. You flap your hands against my hands as I cover my face, and you giggle like mad every time I peek. You also try to put my hands where they’re supposed to go, either covering my face or revealing it, and it’s quite a kick for both of us. Your laugh is so easy to come by, sometimes all I have to do is come home from work and scoop you up into my arms, and you just laugh and laugh. You’re just so thrilled to be around me, it’s incredible. And trust me, the feeling is totally mutual.