Ten Months Old: Less Baby, More Toddler
At this very moment, you are napping in one of the few places that you nap these days: in your Beco, on my chest, finally dreaming after a morning of fighting off sleep with a vengeance.
And you are positively spilling out of your baby carrier.
Do not worry: you are safe and snug in there. But not snug-as-a-tiny-bug-in-a-Beco-rug snug. Your legs, in all their sweet chunkiness, dangle down past my hips. Your arms, and their soft pillow rolls, break out of every space they can find, hands grasping for my chin, arms pressing against my sides, elbows pushing baby hands up and out and away.
You have changed so much, and not just since those moments ten months ago when I first held you in my arms. You’ve changed since last month. You have more hair–lots of hair, lots of curly hair even! You have four teeth, and likely more on the way soon. You call me “Mama” and you crawl with a newfound gusto and you eat mushroom and lentil pie and chili and…and you’re making it quite clear that you are now less baby and more toddler.
Now as I write this, you are sitting at your high chair, feasting on Cheerios and avocado. You are “talking” with me in between bites.
These are moments that I especially love, not least of which because I love the way you talk: you either babble in a low, deliberate tone that sometimes borders on your signature “dictator voice,” or you sing-speak in a squealing tone that’s reminiscent of a whale song. And it’s all adorable. All a part of your language building, your attempts to work toward words and conversation. You sign some (mostly for “more” and “breasfeeding”), but you seem hellbent on speaking. Not simply communicating but speaking.
It’s what you hear your family doing. It’s what you hear your brothers doing: the storytelling, the arguing, the giggling. It’s what they do, and trust me, I know: if they are doing it, then by God, you want to do it too.
Soon, once I’m done writing these words, we will go out shopping with your brother Alec. He will pick out Christmas presents for you and Miles, and you will “pick out” presents for your brothers too. You are wonderful on outings. Delightful, even. In fact, I often joke that if I could do all my work in a crowded, noisy public space–like a mall or a professional sports game or a bar on a Saturday night–you’d be absolutely thrilled and content and would probably never fuss or cry or (I wonder) even have such restless sleep at night.
But besides the fact that we’re sure to have a jolly time on our little shopping trip, I’m also looking forward to all the holidays will bring you, and us as a family, over the next few weeks.
This past month has already brought us your first Halloween, in which you sported a fantastic zombie mom-and-baby costume with yours truly. It was fun, but certainly not as meaningful as the holidays that are approaching.
I’m looking forward to your first Thanksgiving. This holiday is so important to our family, and I want you to be a part of it all: the turkey-eating and the laughter and (I hope) the passing out late at night for a long night’s sleep after a day of feast and family.
I’m looking forward to your first Christmas. Your grandparents will come and stay with us, as always, and I want you to be a part of the Christmas Eve carol singing and the early morning present-opening and the day-long eating and playing and merry-making.
I’m looking forward to this time most of all because it will be our first holiday season with our complete family.
Know this: our family wasn’t complete until you came along.
This whole first year has been a year of “firsts” not just for you but for our complete family.
And I want to thank you for this. Because for all the sleepless nights and frustrating morning and days where I can’t get anything done, there have been double, perhaps triple the number of amazing firsts and glorious mornings and days where the five of us simply enjoy being with each other.
And it wouldn’t be half as amazing or glorious or enjoyable without you.