One Fish, Two Fish

Anna, Month Nine November 17, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Letters,Month Nine,Photo — leighnut @ 10:08 pm

Dear Anna,

What a month it’s been! You’re marching along toward toddlerhood, what with all the new skills you’re practicing. In fact, on Monday, you were video-chatting with your uncle Pete and Unca-Doo and showed off a brand new skill — standing alone. All of a sudden, you were standing next to me, saying, “ba ba ba” like it was no big deal. But it was a big deal, Anna. I was so excited, I nearly dropped the phone!

You’re also cruising the furniture. You like to stand at your musical activity table, then move to the couch, then go back to the table. Moving while upright is quite fascinating for you. You have really mastered walking while holding onto our hands, too. I know the day where you take off on your own is fast approaching.

The funny thing is, you still won’t crawl. You army crawl with great speed, especially if it’s toward the forbidden fruits that are Sam’s toys, but just won’t get up on your hands. I know you can do it — I’ve seen you! — but I think it’s more important to you to get to Point B quickly. Let’s face it: you get about 2.7 seconds with Sam’s Buzz Lightyear before he snatches it away from you, only to replace it with a boring stuffed giraffe or rattle. I mean, that rattle doesn’t have wings that shoot out or a laser on its arm or anything! Poor Anna.

You’ve also decided this month that you do, indeed, like to have a pacifier for bedtime. Most of the time, you want to share your pacifier with me, offering it up with a “luh,” as if to say, “Mommy, you can have a turn. I think you’ll like it.” Thanks, Anna. I pretend to have a turn, then give it back to you. You’re satisfied with that for a few seconds, then really want to share again. You’re such a nice girl! I think Daddy’s favorite part about this is that you will also drink from a bottle. He’s been waiting and waiting your whole life to get to feed you! Thanks for giving him that chance before you’re too big for bottles. He loves you so, so much.

Speaking of eating, you are a hungry bird! You still want to eat your food all by yourself, and will only tolerate cereal or other pureed baby food if we can sneak it in between bites of steamed veggies or fruit. You must be growing right now, because this week you ate a whole avocado, some chicken pot pie, and a half cup of baby oatmeal in one meal! I was astounded. I think chicken pot pie is your favorite food right now. You cannot get it into your mouth fast enough. You will sometimes say, “Mmmmmm” when you eat, and you can sign “more” and “all done” to let us know how you’re feeling. Oh, and if we’re not paying attention to your “all done” sign, you bat the spoon full of baby food out of the way, flinging cereal all over yourself and the highchair. It’s great fun.

Your language has really changed this month, too. You’re still practicing one syllable at a time, but also have a few “words” in your repertoire. This week, your syllable of choice is “luh.” Everything is “luh.” Show me a toy. “Luh.” Wave hello from your crib after a nap. “Luh.” But when I ask you, “Anna, what does the horse say?” you whinny a high-pitched, “Lllllllll!” If I ask you to sing, you’ll say “aahhhhh” in a high sing-song voice. And you perform great, loud monologues of “Ba ba ba ba ba ba.” But my favorite thing, by far, is that you said mama. I was holding you, ba-ba-ba-ing with you, when I asked,”Anna, can you say Mama?” And you looked right at me and very quietly said, “Mama.” I will never forget the look on your little face as you said my name for the very first time.

You are so affectionate, Anna. You want nothing more than to be with us and snuggle. If I ask, “Anna, can I have a hug?” you will lean in and snuggle your face into my neck. Sam especially loves your hugs. He is so happy that you understand him and respond with affection. He is so proud to be your big brother, and you very obviously love him to pieces. There is no greater joy for me than to watch you and Sam play together, giggle together, and become friends. You are the best little sister to the best big brother. I am so incredibly proud and grateful to witness your friendship as siblings grow, knowing that you will always have each other to love and lean on. You have made our family complete, Anna, and we are so grateful to share this life with you.