My boy Charlie,
I began writing this post yesterday during one of your much-needed naps. I was thankful for the quiet, as you had spent the entire morning in what we call “dragon mode.” Nothing would make you happy. In fact, we had to leave IKEA empty-handed during an errand run because you started wailing.
I’m not sure if it’s teething or what, I wrote, but both your dad and I are exhausted and harried from keeping up with you. And it’s only 1 p.m. Much too early for a beer.
Today your Grandma B reminded us you had a vaccine at your nine month appointment on Friday, and no wonder you were out of sorts. On top of that, you’re fighting your second cold of the year. Well, now your dad and I guilty for being so flustered. We’re sorry, little dude. Being a parent is hard.
At nine months, you are 21 pounds and 28 inches long. You eat at least eight ounces of fruits & vegetables & rice cereal a day, along with 30-35 ounces of milk. You still scream your balls off when we take a spoon out of your hands. You have four teeth: two top and two bottom.
I gotta say, it’s hard keeping up with you these days (cue your dad: “Gotta is NOT a word!”). You’re all energy, which is buoyed by the fact that you can do so much more than a month ago. The other day I plopped you in the crib with some toys while I answered a few e-mails and, BOOM, I looked up to see you standing. How did you get there? You are trying desperately to pull yourself up on the rest of the furniture and take great joy out of playing with the knobs on our TV equipment. We lowered your crib twice this month.
I used to put you down somewhere and be reasonably sure you’d be in that general vicinity when I came back. Well, not anymore. You are lightening fast, even though you’re still not “crawling.” These days, you move across the floor in sort of a sit-crawl, with one leg bent under you. When you were born, I couldn’t imagine you walking, and now those days are growing very near. A friend estimated six weeks. I’m not sure I’m ready.
You love banging toys into other toys (noise!) and taking things out of boxes and containers. You just learned you can carry toys in your mouth while you crawl. Very convenient! We’re still trying to teach you how to wave. We think you’ve begun mimicking us a bit, and your Grandma Z is teaching you how to say “uh oh.”
You love peek-a-boo, and you’ve begun to learn that we can chase you. There’s still no sound sweeter than your laughter.
We had quite the adventure this month when your father went away on business for an entire week. I’ll admit it was pretty tough being a working, single mom (did I mention I’m also going to school on Thursday nights?), but I felt so proud of myself at the end of the week. I put you to bed every night, got up with you every morning, handled the feeding and the baths and the driving back and forth to school. I also took off a few days so we could spend them entirely together.
And it was so sweet. Well, except for the time I tried to help you out from under the table by pushing your little tush to make you slide. You face-planted onto the hardwood floor and busted your lip with your tiny tooth. You were covered in blood when I swooped you up, wailing. Mother of the year, right here.
• The other day, you tried to grab the bubbles in your bath. You tracked them with your pointer finger, then looked so confused when they disintegrated in your grasp. Where did they go, mom?
• A few weeks ago, I walked into Grandma B’s to pick you up after work and you beamed when you saw me. I got down on the floor across the room, and you crawled to me, squealing with happiness. For the first six months of your life, I swore you had no idea who I was, or didn’t care, so this moment was very special for me.
• The third moment was when I caught the hiccups just as you were finishing your final bottle of the night. The lights were low, the rain machine was soothing, and you were supposed to be getting droopy. Yet, every few seconds a hiccup escaped, and you cracked up, and then I would start laughing, then I’d hiccup again and the entire process would repeat. Your father came in after a few minutes asking, “What is going on in here?!”
• The fourth, and best, moment came a few days ago. We recently cancelled cable to save money, and your dad installed some sort of computer that connects to the TV so we can watch shows online. I didn’t know he had selected a desktop image (for the TV). He minimized some windows, and there you were on the big screen. I was struck by how incredibly precious and beautiful you were, and I just started crying. I looked over, and your dad was tearing up, too.
Little man, you are perfect, dragon mode and all.