I’ve got a few more pounds of baby weight left hanging around, just mocking me. I’d like to thank you in advance for helping me lose them, since I plan to be chasing you around for, oh, the next three years. The cute army crawl of last month has turned into the lightning-fast zip across the room. I spend my days redirecting your boundless energy to appropriate play areas. We spend lots of time going up the stairs. You like to stop a few times on the way up and look out through the banister at how high you’ve climbed Mount Staircase. When you reach the summit, you turn around and grin, so proud of what you’ve accomplished. I hope to always catch those grins and tell you how proud I am of you.
It seems that your favorite “toy” is the radiator. You love to pull yourself up to your feet holding onto the warm radiator. And I’d like to stress that it’s merely warm, and not hot. I don’t think you could ever burn yourself on it, but I’d rather not test that theory.
We have not completely baby-proofed the house. I think we’re still slightly in denial that it has to happen, like you’ll magically figure out what is Sam-appropriate and what is dangerous or breakable. I know, I know, we’re living in a dream world. For now, I follow you around the house and help you avoid certain death — or at least certain destruction.
This month was your first Christmas. It was so fun to share our Christmas traditions with you. Daddy read you The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve after church, just like my dad did for us growing up. You have the attention span of a gnat right now, and did your very best to sit through it. Fortunately, you were a little tired, which helped. You wore your first pair of Christmas jammies and looked just adorable. Unwrapping presents was a hit for you. You’re very good at ripping paper, Sam. I think your favorite part of Christmas was that we begged you to rip paper, whereas we normally take paper away from you. That may have been the best gift of all.
You have learned to pull yourself up to your feet. Now you aren’t content to be on the floor anymore. You’d like to see the world from a vertical position, rather than the horizontal one you’ve been accustomed to. Like before when you were learning to crawl, your physical ability hasn’t quite caught up with your brain’s plans. Therefore, Daddy and I do lots of catching of your falling body and rubbing of your bumped head. I struggle with when to let you learn by falling and when to rescue you from the edge. I believe that I will continue to find the balance between the two your whole life.
Your babble sounds are becoming more conversational. You will look at us and make sounds to get our attention. It seems more like dialogue than a mommy monologue with baby sounds interjected here and there. In the night (because sleeping is not your forte anymore — thank you, teefs), you will “talk” to get my attention, instead of just crying. It’s a much nicer way to wake at three in the morning. We are still waiting for words. Waaaaaiiiiting, Sam. We’re impatient. Whenever you’re ready, we’re ready, so, uh, let’s get on that, ok? Just kidding. Mostly.
Perhaps the biggest news is that you’re getting teeth. Two teeth! (In fact, just a couple of days ago, I wrote that you were getting one tooth, and now a second one has appeared!) This marks the beginning of a whole new world of toddler food — and marks the end of those toothless grins of babyhood. It is slightly bittersweet for me — more sweet, definitely, but I can’t believe how fast you are growing.
There are so many new things to come, Sam. Soon you will be walking and talking. With those first steps and words, you will leave behind your babyhood and set out into the brave new world of a toddler. We will go for walks and splash in puddles and I will watch you discover the tiny things in the world. I hope that you will always find joy in the small things, Sam, for those tiny things are the precious parts of living. I promise to help you find them, my baby boy, every day of your life.