10 months old

Dear Simon,

You are 10 months old. You are every bit of ornery I imagined you would be. You are now crawling and pulling yourself up on everything: the couches, the coffee table, our bed, your crib, bookshelves (Lord help us) and whatever else is in reach. You are a wild man and you just head in one direction until you’re distracted by something, then you’re off to go do something else. You are so much fun to watch. After work, your dad and I just play with you on the floor for the hour that you’re not completely cranky and tired. It is so fun to watch you grow and become more and more curious and active.

The excema on your legs is clearing up right now. We had to get you a steroidal ointment to grease up the creases of your thighs. You still scratch at yourself for various reasons, quite deliberately you scratch scratch scratch at things: your skin, your head, your blanket, the carseat, whatever. You also like velcro. Two of your favorite books are the ones where you can scratch at the velcro touch-and-feel pages of the board books we have.

Other favorite things include:

  • laptops, remote controls, cell phones, plugs, modems, routers and cords in general (not okay!)
  • Grandma and Grandpa sent us home with some old magnifier glasses from Walmart since they tend to keep you occupied for a short moment while we try to change your diapers before you flip over and crawl away with poo still in your crack.
  • books books books. You love your books and will listen to a story but you don’t like to be on someone’s lap to hear it. You would prefer to sit facing me, and like me to read the story as a librarian would at storytime.  You also love MY books that I have carelessly left on the bottom shelf in the living room. Your favorite one to pull out and play with is my signed copy of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, or Pat Conroy’s new one South of Broad.. Again son, not cool
  • You really like these yogurt bites, which taste a little like freeze dried astronaut ice cream. Strawberry is your preferred flavor.
  • And one of your very favorite toys is (for some reason) the half used bottle of white vinegar that usually is on a low shelf in the kitchen.

Since the weather’s been nicer we’ve been going outside and sitting on an old huge quilt in the yard some days. You watch every single vehicle that passes by from left to right, right to left, with intensity. You also gaze up at the trees when the wind blows through the branches and leaves. You will hold a flower or blade of grass tightly in one fist, and lightly graze it with your pointer finger of your other hand, petting it so gently. It’s quite cute.

We bought an inflatable giraffe pool that is awesome. I can fit in it with you and it actually hooks up to the hose and water can sprinkle through the tail. We had fun with that last weekend, though I’m terrified of the sun so you unfortunately have to wear a swim turtleneck shirt. But at least it’s blue to match your piercing blue eyes!

Your sitter told me the other day you stole TWO of the other kids snacks when they weren’t looking- which is hilarious to me, because you’re younger than both of them. You love to eat. We can’t shovel the baby food in fast enough. We have been trying out all sorts of new table-foods: turkey, chicken, cheese cubes, bread, cucumbers, mac and cheese, etc. But you still don’t have any teeth so that makes it difficult to chew. And when I let you play with the pasta box (that probably had a little bit of tomato sauce on it) you broke out into hives all over your face so we’re steering clear of tomatos for a while.

Sometimes you sing with me in the car, and your face just lights up when you see me or your dad. Leaving you for our little vacation to NYC was tough, but it’s really made me appreciate the time I get to spend with you so much more. And Grandma and Grandpa had so much fun with you that they were trying to find a place to hide you so we couldn’t take you home with us. You went on lots of walks and played with so many people, and visited my Grandpa and just made his day. Thanks for doing that buddy.

When we are at home, you follow me around from room to room like a stray cat. You are quite fickle when it comes to being held. You want to be held a lot lately, but immediately you want to be put down. It’s a lot of up-down, up-down here these days. You do not sit still for long, though you’re quite inquisitive and interested in things. Something may entertain you for a few minutes, but soon you’re off to get into something else.

The other day I left for just a minute to go to the bathroom and I heard a strange noise- like someone dropped a tin lid of some sort on the hardwood floor. When I came downstairs, I found that you had discovered a tin of baby ointment that I forgot we even had. There were little hand and feet prints across the living room into the kitchen, marking a path of where you’d gone after you’d smeared it all over yourself. You were quite proud of your discovery, and angry when I took it away from you. I laughed so hard. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

Everything in our house is moving up up UP and out of supposed reach of your little mitts. I’ve put away wine glasses, the laptop is up higher, we’ve hidden outlets and secured foam on the corners of the coffee table. This is officially a “kid’s house” as if I’m not stepping on a toy that makes noise, I am stepping on a cheerio. Your dad said, “You might as well stop worrying about the house being clean. I think it’s going to be like this for 18 years.” I’m considering it an excuse to not have to straighten up much.

Your smile is contagious and even on the worst mornings, when I’m exhausted and you choose to get up at 5:30am, your smile makes me chuckle to myself and I try to hide it, put the nuk in your mouth and eek out another hour of sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If I try to bring you back to bed with us, you will not lay still anymore and sleep- which makes me sad because I loved to snuggle with you. But it also makes me laugh when you discover your sleeping daddy and pull on his toes, ears and hair to wake him up. Ha! I love it.

You are my best friend these days, kiddo. I can’t wait for you to talk back to me (now that I’ve said that I know for a fact you’re going to be one of those kids that has never-ending questions) when I talk to you. People look at me strangely when I’m talking to you in the grocery store, or in the car. But I know you understand what I’m saying. You get it, I can see it in your face.

You learned how to clap, and you have three very distinct hand gestures that you use to indicate you would like more of whateveryou’retryingtotellus.  You don’t clap as in “Yay!” or “If you’re happy and you know it”. You don’t clap at music or even when we clap. You clap when you want something, or you’ll grunt and do an “All Done” sign- even though we know you don’t mean All Done. You understand the signs we make- “eat, milk, all done” and I’m pretty sure you’re catching on to “Mama” and “dada” the signs. It’s so neat to watch you understand, and I can’t wait until we can communicate even better with the signs we’re teaching you.

Simon, it is miraculous to me how with every inch you grow, it’s like it’s another inch of you for me to love. Every day, EVERY DAY- you jolt me into a reality gut check of what’s important. And you know what’s most important to me? The most important thing to me in my life? It’s you little man. You rock my world. After a stressful day when my stomach is in knots and my brain can’t slow down and I’m speeding to get to the sitter in time to pick you up without being too late…I see your face and your big open-mouth smile and it’s like everything else fades away and my day starts over with you. You are my joy, you are my best friend, I am so incredibly proud to be your mom.

All my heart,

Mom.

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