Sunday, March 02, 2008

River News: Month Eleven

Happy 11 Months River!

You are now only one month away from being a whole year old! I knew that day was coming, but on March 1st it became suddenly tangible and real. I had the frightening realization that very soon you will go from being my little baby to a full-grown toddler. I know that has more to do with your mobility than age, but it seems like it's barreling toward us. You're so close to walking--using only a single hand to help you along or balancing on your own while you stand--but more than that, the person you are is changing.

You strive to assert your independence so fiercely, and you're getting so clever. Your skills are developing incredibly fast--learning which foods you like and how to get them, climbing up and down the stairs with ease, putting things away rather than just flinging them aside--these are just small hints of what you will be able to accomplish in the coming year.

And that's not to mention talking! Your vocabulary has moved on from the "ya ya ya's" to a feast of consonants and vowels: words you chew out, sounding like Russian or German. You regale me with sentences of your own design, discussing the condition of your toys or how pretty the sky is in a beautiful, incomprehensible language.

One of your favorite times to talk (and one of my favorite times to listen) is first thing in the morning. After 10 months of hearing you wake with a sad cry or upset scream, I finally get to experience you waking up happy. Around 7am, the monitor comes alive with the sound of your voice. Slight and lilting, you talk to your room, happy to be awake, unconcerned about being anywhere else. After getting our morning fix of cuteness, your dad or I pad down to your room and pluck you from bed (usually with your blankie in tow). We bring you to bed to nurse, and everyone starts the day with a smile.

Breakfast comes next and I can tell you, meal times have become a much messier affair. We love giving you the opportunity to feed yourself (anything that doesn't require a spoon), but you are by no means neat about it. Even if you like something, it's not uncommon for you to fling it on the ground just to see what will happen. And when you are done eating, you love to announce that fact by swiping your tray clean of every last crust, nugget, and crumb. The cats are getting better scraps, but the wreckage of crushed Cheerios and smashed peas at our feet is out of control.

Usually after breakfast, when we don't have a play date with my mommy group, you and I will go for a short walk or play in your room together. You find new life in old toys all the time, discovering some new element to its shape or texture or figuring how to get it to rattle, open, light up, or play music. You love anything that is in a pair or threes--leggos, balls, plastic bugs--we have lots of duplicates that you like to pull out and explore. Often you use your mouth as a third hand so you can examine three things at once.

At some point in the day, Anabel or Christine will come over and spend a couple hours with you. In general you have a great time with them--even better if I'm out your line of sight--and I get a little free time to catch up on email or work on various projects around the house. As a mother herself, Anabel is particularly great with you, inventing fun new games or gently coaxing a few more bites of carrot at lunch. She is responsible for inventing your current favorite playtime activity: The River Fort. Stacking pillows around a square activity mat, she created a little cave for you to run through, tear down, and hide in. You could not imagine anything more fun!

When you're dad comes home (after we've slaved over a
hot stove for him), we have a nice dinner together and then usually go up to your room for the last hour or so before bedtime. I know those are some of your favorite times--when mommy and daddy are both there, both able chase you around or just sit back and watch you play. Eventually you get droopy and we all head up to give you a bath and then put the final touches on your day.

Often, after we put you to bed we don't see you again until morning. This month has been a bit more dicey in that respect because you're getting your molars in. The pain comes in waves, making some nights (and days) worse than others (the night you slept horizontally in our bed, kicking daddy in the face comes to mind). Still, your ability to self-sooth has improved so dramatically that this round of teething feels much more manageable than the last one (cross our fingers).

So there you have it, my amazing boy--that was your 11th month! It was a pretty great one for the books, I have to say.

I love you,

1 comment:

Andy said...

This was a pretty great post for the blogs, too. Well said, Summer!

Mommyhood suits you very well, I think. Keep up the great work!