This is big. You’ve hit double digits! Ten months, wow. It was right around this time a year ago that I went into the hospital to sit around and wait for you. It seems like a lifetime ago and yesterday all at the same time. I got to see your little face twice a week for many weeks, Peanut. You were cute then, all squished up and pruney from amniotic fluid, and you’re even cuter now. You still get pruney, but from playing in the bath tub for a long time. We got you these stacking cups for the tub, which you love. They make a great clicking sound when you bang them together and are easy to grab as they float by you in the water. I also use them to rinse you off when you’re all soapy. They’re highly functional. And that’s totally why we have them: for the function, not the fun. Riiiiight.
The best thing about this month is that you are communicating more. Up until this point, it’s been a grand guessing game of What-Does-This-Cry-Mean?. Now we are adding the very exciting Guess-the-Meaning-of-the-Grunt game. Well, it’s not really a grunt, more like a short “Mmm.” Example: part of your bed time routine involves reading a book. One day a couple of weeks ago, when I was putting you down for a nap, I read you a book like our night time routine. Later that day, when it was time for Nap #2, I sat with you in the glider and started to feed you. Well, you sat right up and leaned over the side of the glider, staring at the book and saying, “Mmm.” Like, “Hello, Mother, you need to read to me before we start in on the eating. You know the drill.” So we read, and you ate, then fell asleep.
This new communication thing brings with it definite preferences. Gone are the days that we can feed you any old thing. You want choices. And you will be heard. If I put a chunk of banana on your tray, but you are ready for a piece of toast, oh, the reaching and squealing begins. If I offer you a piece of food and what you’d like is a drink of water, it’s “Eeeeeeee!” until the cup comes to your lips. It’s very cute. And if we don’t figure out what you want, minor trauma ensues. If you’re on the floor, you throw your head back and sprawl on the floor and cry, then sit up to make sure we are aware of the injustice of it all. Your mini-tantrums are few, and secretly, Daddy and I find them very funny, though we’d never insult your dramatic acting with laughter. It is, after all, a tragedy, not a comedy.
We’ve developed all sorts of games this month. We wave to baby Sam in pictures around the house, we play the mimic game at the table while you eat. If Sam grunts, Mommy grunts, if Sam waves, Mommy waves. Then if I do something unexpected, you squeal and laugh like I am some sort of comedy act. I don’t think I’ve ever been funnier in my life.
You have quite a little sense of humor, Sam. Daddy still makes you laugh the loudest. He is your favorite toy, I think. You like to climb all over him and wrestle with him and roll your big red ball back and forth with him. The best thing, though, is when you sneeze you giggle a little afterward, like it’s your own private joke. It’s not an all-out giggle, but more of a “heh heh heh, did you hear that?” When we read I Am a Bunny, on every page I ask you “Where’s the bunny?” and you will point to him every time. Except for the frog page. I ask the question, you look at the bunny on the right page, then point to one of the frogs on the left page. Same thing every time, same frog every time. If you didn’t look at the bunny first, I’d think you had a bunny block on that page, but I think it’s your own private joke to play on me. I love it.
I’m pretty sure this is the month that you will start to walk. You cruise the furniture like an Olympian (if there were such an event) and stand for long periods of time without holding onto anything. In the last week, you’ve started looking like you’re thinking hard about whether your body would stay upright if you took the leap and stuck a foot in front of you, but haven’t quite gotten up the courage to make the move. Daddy and I give you lots of encouragement and opportunities to try. So far, your greatest attempt was the step-and-launch. You put one foot forward and leap-launch into our waiting arms. But not walking has not stopped you from climbing. You try to climb everything — your horsey, the media console, the front hall table, Daddy, the coffee table, your crib. We are in trouble when you finally figure it out. I don’t know where we’re going to store all the furniture when that day comes. 🙂
Your language skills are increasing daily. The other day, I handed you one of your shoes to distract you during a diaper change. You looked at it, then lifted your foot to put it on. You knew right where it was supposed to go! When I tell you to put your cup on the table, you do it. You may not have the words to say what you’re thinking yet, but you certainly understand what is said to you. It’s amazing to watch it all happen.
The best thing for me this month happened just last week. You, Daddy, and I were in our room, where Daddy was playing with you. He said, “Sam, where’s Mommy?” and you turned around and looked right at me. I couldn’t believe it. In that moment, everything blurred around me as I stared into your beautiful little eyes, looking right back at me, knowing me by name. You are my bestest boy, Sam. I love-a-love-a-love you.