This week on 11/15/2012 you turn 49 weeks or 11.2 months old.
Last weekend you had your first air travel and overnight visit. We flew Southwest Airlines to Nebraska and then drove across the river to my aunt’s house in Iowa. We stayed there for three nights. This trip was very special and I was glad you were able to meet both of my dad’s sisters, your Great Aunts. You are a link to my dad — his only grandchild — who died way too early in his life. I wish he could have met you, he would have loved you. I’m pausing here in my writing of this to ponder those last two sentences for a moment, and just what a miracle your life is.
Your Great Aunt Donis’ favorite thing to say to you was, “HEY!! I’m talking to YOU!” Your Great Aunt Marjorie would tell you that you’re a good baby. Your Great Uncle Jim would tell you, “You have to keep an eye on me. You just don’t know what I’m going to do next!” Your response to all of those things after the first day (when you were a bit jetlagged) was to look at them and laugh.
We had a family gathering on Saturday night and you met your second cousin and his daughter and a whole bunch of people that I don’t even know how to list them… but when it came time to say goodbye, you waved and waved and said “bye bye bye bye bye” and laughed and laughed and the goodbyes went on forever because you were laughing and they wanted to make you laugh even more. I’ve never seen such happy goodbyes!
While we were there, we took you to the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge. I wanted to take some of your 11 month pictures there… you wanted to speed crawl the entire span of the bridge and seemed to think the dividing line between Nebraska and Iowa was the start/finish line. Just so you know? Picture taking and speed crawling are not compatible activities.
Overall, though, your father and I are so very proud of how well you traveled and behaved the entire weekend. The ultimate compliment came from people on the plane who either were astonished at the end of the flight when you sat up and started laughing and waving bye bye at them. So many people said, “I didn’t even know he was there.” Or, “What a happy baby he is!” Actually, you were just yourself — happy and hilarious. You nursed very well, you slept and napped well, you laughed and played charmingly, all that despite the fact that your sixth tooth is working its way through your gums. You are just an amazing kid!
We sat you down to dinner one night this week, and you sat there for over an hour, eating and eating. You love your food. For dinner that night you had chicken, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion, tofu (a first time try=love), a baked french fry (no salt), banana and apple. While we were traveling, you had some beef stew, you tried Mexican rice, a fruit salad (cottage cheese, sugar free jello, pineapple). I noticed this week, with the traveling and such, that you prefer and do eat better when you have your own chair (instead of sitting on our lap) at the table.
You are weighing in this week at 27 pounds 10 ounces. Same clothing size (18 month, some 24 month) and diaper strategy as last week. Things you say, “Cat,” “Pfffff” (hissing), “Say it,” “Pop So” or just “POP” (popsicle).
You are cruising with more and more regularity around the room. From one thing to the next you go. You love to open the top drawer of my desk and pull out the bendy ruler, then you move on to my keyboard drawer, and then the cat door. You use chairs as a walker, pushing them along all over the place. It’s convenient that most every house has chairs in them! You point at things you want or want to know what they’re called. When you want to nurse, you make the milk “sign”… and in the event I miss or ignore that cue, you pull the travel nursing pillow out of the bag if we’re out or if we’re home, the nursing pillow off the chair and sit in the middle of it and stare pointedly at me. Your favorite book of all time is the Quiet/Loud book. You also like the food book, and a purple Elmo book and a Wiggles book. You love to turn the pages of your books when we’re reading them.
Things I want to remember about you this week: How very sweet it was to hold you on my lap while we flew on the airplane, you asleep after nursing, and the way the dim light from the window in front of us slanted across your face, you twitching in your sleep and with every twitch you curled yourself closer to me. Not knowing you would do this on the flight out, I dressed us both too warmly. I didn’t make that mistake on the way back.
How cute your little fluff butt is when it goes crawling across the room. How you were SO excited when you found “your” toy car in the bedroom at your Great Aunt Marjorie’s house (a duplicate of the car you have at home). How when we went outside there, and the wind was blowing and rattling the leaves in the big tree behind the house, you sighed and said “Oooohhhhhh….” so amazed. How when we were at our layover in Las Vegas airport, your first response to the blinking lights on the slot machines was, “Oh wow.” How at each of our flight’s layovers, you found a wheelchair both times and were so excited — WHEELS!
How excited you were when we got home and the kitties were swarming around us, and you laughed and laughed and crawled and crawled. You were so happy to be home. When we set up the blow up turkey outside our home, you hissed at the deflated heap the next morning because you though that heap was the inflatable Halloween cat. The way you slap your tummy or your knee in rhythm to some song playing in your mind. The way you push a toy along while you crawl like it’s a soccer ball, I don’t think you’ll ever hold a toy in your mouth. How funny it was when you discovered an old pacifier from when you were a newborn in my car, you examined it thoroughly, tried it this way and that, and then decided that it must be a teether toy and promptly started chomping on it. How desperate the look on your face was when I was eating some brussel sprouts and you wanted some, and then when I gave it to you, amused, thinking you’d surely spit it out, you ate it like it was candy. You surprise me at every turn.
Maybe it’s because I’m an older mom, or maybe it’s because as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate myself for who I am, and let my concerns of what other people think or do slide away from me. So when people ask me what you do, do you walk or do this or that? I just smile and tell them not yet. I know it will happen when YOU are ready to make it happen. Just like when you decided it was time to be born. Just like you decided it was time to sleep all night long, and I was the one who needed to nurse you instead of the other way around. Just like you decide what you want to eat, or not. Simply put, there is nothing that you do today that I wish you didn’t do and similarly, there is nothing that you don’t do today that I wish you did. If there’s nothing else that I’ve learned in life, I hope it shows that I’ve learned to cling to and savor each moment as it passes by rather than rushing to the next moment. I like to let each moment in time stand on its own, like a perfectly formed morning dew drop on a flower petal. For this second, this moment, you are here, you are this size, this person. You will never, ever be who you are now again. There’s no going back, only forward. But maybe I can capture bits of this moment in these letters, I can sure try.
You do you perfectly, because you are perfectly you.