You are eleven months old. I can’t believe it will be your birthday so soon! We’re even going to celebrate a couple of weeks early because your grandparents are going to be out of town on the day itself. And it’s your own fault, too, because you were the one who decided to be born during the middle of their April Florida vacation (eleven days before you were expected, thank you very much).
You have become even more curious and engaged this last month, and it is so much fun to watch you explore your world. The toys I never thought would pique your interest have begun to captivate you. Not as much, still, as your brother’s things, but there are plenty of moments when you go off on your own rather than destroying whatever elaborate set your brother has going on with his tiny, chokey Legos.
Speaking of Legos and chokies, oh my goodness, you are trouble. One of the things in this life that wildly amuses you is to pick out any one of the five hundred million small things your big brother has scattered about his bedroom floor on any given day and stick it in your mouth. But you’re smart and in control about it. You hold it there in your mouth and get this insane twinkle in your eye to match your maniacal grin and walk over to me, wherever I am, flapping your arms and saying, “Uuuuu, uuuuu!” So of course, I say, “Spit it out,” and then you do, but you also immediately pick it up from the floor and start the whole sequence over again. You also enjoy running away once you know that I know you have something in your mouth you’re not supposed to have in there.
We had a little bit of a downer this month. It was around the time that everyone in the house was coming down with some sort of cold or illness. But at the same time, we also fed you chicken and couscous. So in the middle of the night, when you puked, we chalked it up to dinner. Then, of course, the next morning you totally vomitted in the car. I never had to clean puke out of the car before. Out of all the nooks and crannies of buckles and Velcro. Yuck. I was not prepared for it at all. So I’m in there with tissue after tissue and no place to put them. Fortunately, a woman from a minivan a few spaces away in the parking lot had an extra plastic bag to lend, and to her, I will be forever grateful that I didn’t have to walk around that morning with a wad of apple-vomit tissues in my pocket or purse. I still don’t know if you were sick or had some bad chicken, but I’m glad it ended there.
You are so affectionate and enthusiastic. I love spending my days with you, but I almost envy your dad and grandpa their jobs that take them away from you for a portion of each day, or your grandparents who only see you once or twice a week. I get a lot of crankypants moments when you’re tired, wet, hungry or whatever. And I don’t mind, really, because even when you’re screaming your head off, you’re still so stinking cute. But when someone else that you love walks through the door, you just light up. You’re like your brother that way. When someone who hasn’t been around suddenly is, you’ve got to give them everything they’ve been missing. All the excitement, all the smiles, the enthusiastic babbling. Pick me up, play with me, let me show you all the things I’ve learned today, and then let’s do it again, you seem to say. I love watching you with our family. With your dad and grandpa every day. With my parents. You love with wild abandon, and you thrive on their attention and affection.
You’ve been awsome for other people when I leave you for short periods of time, but I don’t get the same response when I walk in that door. Nope, I get the teary-eyed begging to pick you up and save you from the torture it was to be away from me. Which is endearing in its own way, I guess. I know that you have lots of fun when I’m out of sight, and it’s probably just that your little baby brain kind of forgets to miss me when there are other people to play with and love. And I know that you hate to see me go and love to see me return. Your expression of this is just your way of saying that there is no one else in your world like me, like Mommy. I’m the most important, and when you see me after missing me, I’m the only one who matters. And you know what? I can’t fault you for that at all. It’s pretty great to be all that and more, even if the expression of it involves some teary moments.
You are incredibly sweet and loving. You run to me whenever I get down on the floor to play with you and you give me big hugs. Sometimes even a nice open-mouthed kiss on the cheek. You really return love as you have been given it, without hesitation. When someone picks you up, even your brother who’s not all that much bigger than you, you often gift them with a big hug, wrapping your arms around as far as they’ll go and resting your head on their shoulder. I love those hugs. They make me feel like I’m doing something right.
You chatter and babble and it really sounds like you’re trying to explain some profound revelation about the universe to whoever will listen. You have learned to mimic certain sounds. Your “mama” and “dada” are pretty spot on. You’ve even said “ba” (ball) and “nanana” (banana) a few times. Now that you’ve started to understand that a banana is food, you will ask for a “nanana” no matter what is being served at the moment. Because the end result, us sharing our edibles, is the important part of that communication.
You like to dance. But the funniest part is that music from the stereo totally freaks you out. If it’s coming from the television or one of the toys, there’s no problem. But as soon as I put on a cd, you cry about the same as when you see me pull out the vaccuum cleaner, demand to be held and comforted, and you point to make sure I’m well aware of the thing that is contributing so much to your anxiety. I do enjoy the little bouncy dance that you do, and even when there’s no music playing, I’ll dance a little here and there, just to see you shake it.
You like to be chased and tickled. You get the biggest kick out of running away, and I’m not entirely exaggerating by calling it running these days. You run away from diapers. You run away with forbidden toys. You run away when I look you right in the face and say, “I’m gonna get you!” But you also run back to me with your mouth open wide, drool dripping into your usually soaked shirt front to hug, tackle and give me huge kisses, saying “Ahhh,” right back to me. You like to get me, too. And you do.
Yes. You’ve got me.