You are ten months old, and I’m almost on time with this note to you. A great achievement, if I do say so myself.
Ten. It’s such a big number. And yes, I’m going to say it again, you are growing so fast! Hence the big news this month–you’re WALKING. Yes, you are walking. You choose walking most of the time now, and when you fall, you pick yourself right up again and walk some more. You love to hold things and walk, showing off whatever new item you’ve discovered that you can carry around with you. You try to go faster than your ability sometimes, but you amuse yourself by your attempts to “run” away. I love watching you walk around.
You started out just taking a few steps at a time. Then we went to this big indoor playground, where they had all sorts of things on wheels for you to stand and push around. The next day, you were much more confident, and you used the next week to practice and practice that wobbly walk of yours, and by the weekend, you were nearly an expert. Then we went on a trip and put you in disposable diapers for a weekend, and you kind of had to start over again with a new sort of balance. Same when we got back home and back to cloth. Now, though, after all that, I don’t think there’s anything that could slow you down.
This month, you also began to sleep in your own bed, often even several hours at a time successfully. There was one morning, when I was at the gym, you got your diaper changed, you reached toward your crib when Daddy picked you up, and when he wrapped your soft blankie around your shoulders, you rested your head on his chest, sighed, and almost immediately passed out. He said you weren’t even acting tired, you just knew that was what you needed right then. You’re pretty smart.
You’ve been trying so many new foods. You love it when I offer you bites of whatever the rest of us are eating, even if you may not ultimately enjoy the taste or texture. You just seem to really enjoy eating. You smile and grip the spoon in your four teeth. You chomp and babble. You stick out your tongue and laugh. You kick your little feet with excitement and flap your hands in the air. And you scream for more.
You have the best smile, and you wear it almost constantly. It is so much fun to make you laugh. Your brother loves to do those things that only a big brother can really get away with to make you giggle. Blankets over your head. Wrestling. Running at you full speed from the end of the hallway making a ruckus. Lately, if I just look at you and laugh a big fake laugh, it sets you off, and then I don’t have to fake it anymore.
You still love baths with a passion. You crawl around and splash and squeal. You look up with a big open-mouthed grin. You explore, and you’ve figured out how to stick your mouth in the water and blow bubbles. And you are completely impressed with yourself, even the couple of times you come up sputtering. But my dear, you were born into water, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that you’re so comfortable there. When you slip and slide under the surface, you naturally hold your breath and come up smiling nine times out of ten. Even Michael, at five, still has some trouble with that concept, which you don’t even have to think about.
When Michael first made me a mommy, I was like any new mom. I was forming this new identity, this new mother-self, which I resisted more often than I’d probably ever admit. I looked for solutions for situations that weren’t really problems, but part of the territory of motherhood, of existence with an infant, a toddler, a child. When you were born, I was already mother, but as I’ve watched you, played with you, nursed you and cradled you, as I’ve lived my daily life with you, I feel like I’ve really settled into this role, this self, and there’s no other place I’d rather be. Being your mommy, and Michael’s, is by no means the easiest job I’ve ever had, but it is by far the best.
You are fascinated with new things, new people and new places. You reach out your arm and make some sounds. Your mouth hangs open, and even if it’s well past nap time, there is no chance you’ll sleep. We went to Discovery World and the Mall of America, among other places, and you wanted to touch it all. The best is when I let you down out of my arms, when you’re ready, and you get to just go.
You always look back at me, to make sure I’m watching, but you’re testing your own limits, as well as looking for mine. You turn to me and grin, with that glint of trouble in your eyes, and then, yes, you go. You go fast, you run away from me. But you’ll keep checking back over your shoulder to make sure I’m right there behind you, laughing like it’s a game, me chasing you. But I know you’re also just making sure I don’t let you too far from Mommy just yet.