Has a month already gone by? Time is moving so quickly… You learn so many things every month that time must seem to fly faster than normal. I wish that I could freeze little moments with you and put them in a box of memories. The little day-to-day moments that won’t stay forever in my brain, but are so precious. I hate to say this out loud, but sometimes I envy the families on TLC that have their lives filmed. I’d love to have all of that seemingly mundane footage to edit a “Best Of…” tape of my life with you. But since you already have a virtual baby book here on this blog, I think that’s enough 21st-century for one baby.
If last month was the month of locomotion, then this month is the month of screaming. You love LOVE to squeal and shriek. We call it your pterodactyl shriek. It is definitely an expression of pleasure in whatever you’re doing, though sometimes it is merely a ploy to get our attention. Fortunately, we love to give it to you, Sam. You are the center of our world.
Just in the last forty-eight hours, you’ve decided shrieking isn’t enough anymore. You’ve finally started babbling. Daddy and I gave you a deadline of your nine-month birthday to start in with the syllables. It seems you are definitely our child. You waited until last evening to start in with the ba-ba-ma-ma-na-ing. Just under the wire. I would like to offer you this thought, though: Procrastination is the thief of time. (Ask Uncle Ang the story behind that sentence.) No good can come from saving your homework until the last minute, putting off the research paper until the night before, or deciding that the book will read itself. It won’t. And you’ll feel awful sitting in class not being able to participate in the discussion, because you couldn’t be bothered to read The Jungle and figure out that there’s more to it than just the slaughter of those poor cows. But I digress.
One of the coolest things to watch you discover is yourself. You’ve loved mirror play for a long time, but this month you recognize yourself in pictures. We will say, “Where is baby Sam?” and you look at the pictures of yourself on the wall and giggle. On our way up the stairs, we stop to see the big portrait of you. You laugh and reach for the picture, wiggling all over like a fat little puppy. It’s so fun to see you see you.
You are the King of Total Destruction, Peanut. Our living room looks like a disaster zone about 22.5 hours a day. The other 1.5 hours, you are sleeping and one of the adults in the house just. can’t. takeitanymore! and has picked up the field of toys and books. But it is your job to unload the books from the shelf and take all the toys out of the box and the laundry out of the basket. The other day, I was loading diapers back into the basket. You crawled over as fast as you could and started to throw the diapers onto the floor as fast as I was putting them in. It was as if you were thinking, “Mom! You’re ruining all of my hard work! I just took those out. [sigh] You don’t even get it, Mom.” I know that’s not the last time I’ll hear that. But I must say, I look forward to the day that you decide it’s fun to put stuff back in the appropriate receptacle.
When you’re frustrated, you throw your head back and try to launch out of our arms, or throw yourself onto the bed or the pillow. Usually, you are so tired and beyond — just beyond — that crying or yelling isn’t enough. This has resulted in fat lips for both Daddy and I on separate occasions. (Daddy’s was more impressive than mine.) The solution? Make sure you get good rest. The reality? Not always the case. You don’t like to miss anything, Sam, so sleeping sometimes falls low on your priority list, no matter how much we try to help you see its importance.
One of your favorite toys is Porkchop, the little stuffed dog. You like to carry her around in your mouth by the tail. She goes with you to the stairs to stop Daddy’s heart as you wave to him while holding onto the baby gate with one hand. She goes with you to the kitchen to make sure the door to the basement is closed. She and her little stuffed siblings, Blueberry and Bean, make near-constant companions in your adventures.
I would be remiss in not mentioning the Great Escape Crawl, Daddy’s favorite thing. It goes a little something like this: You are sitting, usually in the front hall, playing nicely with your toys. Either Daddy or I gets up to come and pick you up. You see us coming, squeal, and take off like a shot for the kitchen or dining room, stopping part way to make sure that we’re following you. You are so fast. I’m amazed that you don’t have constant rug burn on your knees. I understand now why some baby companies make knee pads for little crawlers. It won’t be long until you’re walking, though. You already love to cruise the furniture. You stand up at the coffee table, walk from far end to the couch, move to the couch, cruise down the length of the couch and try to climb up into my lap. Yesterday, you started letting go and standing on your own for a couple of seconds. We cheer and clap, encouraging you to continue your quest for independence. Remind me of that when I’m standing outside your kindergarten classroom, trying to will myself to walk to the car and leave you there.
But even as you make strides toward baby independence with walking and talking, you still love a good snuggle. My favorite thing is coming into your room, seeing you grinning from the crib and watching those little hands rise into the air, reaching for me. I pick you up and we play 1-2-3-Squeeze. I ask you about your dreams and you nuzzle into my neck. We dance a little, I sing a song or two, and off we go, into a brand new day.