Dear Baby Genius,
You are ten months old–just two more months, and you’ll be a whole year old, and I find myself wondering just how that happened! This month was a month full of big developments, and we’re learning more every day about who you are, what you like (and don’t like), and what sort of life we may have in store with you. It’s been great fun!
This month, you began by working on your crawling. You would scoot across the floor. Now you are in full army-crawl mode. For some reason, you haven’t quite figured out getting up on your hands and knees, but you’re fast with your current crawl, and this has been remarkable to watch! Any time you see a cat walk by, you’re off to catch it. You even will follow us into rooms now, which is something you weren’t yet trying to do a month ago. Needless to say, we’re having to change a few things about our living space to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself. You do bump your head from time to time, and we’ve had more tears with the increased movement, but you’re quick to recover if Mama or I hug you close. It’s just incredible watching you get from one place to another on your own, and you do so with such joy on your face–and determination.
For awhile you would crawl and would get yourself stuck, but now you have also figured out how to sit up from a crawling position. This is sometimes a little unnerving at night when we’ve put you down for the evening, and you wake up only to sit up immediately. Mama and I have gotten accustomed to seeing you lying there reaching for us when we come in to help you back to sleep, but now you sit there looking a little confused.
As if all of that weren’t enough for one month, you also started pulling yourself up. You have a little play area next to the chair where I work from my laptop. You had been working to pull yourself up there, but I had helped you for some time. Then one day, you just did it on your own.
And you did it over and over and over again. But that’s how you do things, son. You figure them out, and then you can’t help but repeat what you’ve learned because it’s just so cool to be able to do things. Because you enjoy standing so much now, Mama helps you walk across the room, and once in a while, you’ll do just a little bit of cruising, inching your way from one corner of the sofa to another. We are endlessly proud of you and all that you’re figuring out.
All of this mobility has made playing with you a much more physical activity. When Mama and I get on the floor with you, we become your climbing structures. You crawl over us, up us, down us, and we have the greatest time. At times, you remind me of a puppy, and much like a puppy, you occasionally throw a little biting into your playtime. We’re trying to help you understand that biting hurts your moms, but you forget sometimes, and we’re left with two little tooth marks to remind us of our play time. Along with the biting you tend to pull my hair to get a better grip on my head. This hurts, and although you’re doing it less, I may just have to cut off my hair to make it a more difficult target.
Last month you worked so hard on those teeth, so this month, you’re taking a break from teething, and you still just have your two bottom teeth. It seems you’re just a late teether. This limits the solids you can eat somewhat, but you’re doing a pretty good job of gumming bits of fruit, veggies, O cereal, and more. You still love to eat, but now you really prefer to feed yourself, so we give you bits of all kinds of foods. Some of your favorites this month have been peas, black beans, carrots, green beans, your O cereal, and, the most favorite of all, fruit. You love all fruit, but this month brought the height of cherry season, and with it, we saw a whole new enthusiasm for food from you. Upon seeing a bowl of cherries, you would light up, lift your arms in the air, even shake a little with excitement until you got a piece of one of them.
Mama and I couldn’t cut them up fast enough at first, but now we’re pretty speedy, and when you get the piece in your mouth, you can’t get another in fast enough.
This enthusiasm for cherries brought with it some screeching when you weren’t getting your food fast enough, so we worked very hard one day on learning to sign “more.” You picked up on it very quickly, and while your sign is more of an open-handed clap than the actual sign, we get the picture, and you use this pretty consistently instead of screeching now. We love this about you!
While we’re definitely working to teach you some signs here and there, you are also starting to form some spoken words. Last month you were into saying “mama” for both me and Mama, but now you don’t say that anymore. However, imagine our delight when after we let the cat out one day you said very clearly, “Cat!” Now that has changed to “Dat” more frequently and sometimes “di-di-dat.” It only makes sense; the cats are some of your favorite things in the world. When they enter the room, you shout “Dat!” and when you hear one of them, you exclaim “Dat!” One day, you were in the bedroom with Mama, and one of the cats had jumped up on the bed to say hello. When I came back into the room, you looked at me with a huge grin on your face and said, “Dat! Dat!” I knew you were telling me about the cat who had come to visit, and it delighted me to hear your two-word story.
Another of your words this month was something resembling “Go,” although it changes from “Doh” to “Oh.” This word refers to the Ergo, one of your other favorite things. Mama and I both wear you around when we need to get some housework done or when we go out, and you love it. It doesn’t matter which of us wears you or whether you’re on our fronts or backs, you’re always ready for a ride in the “Go,” and when you see one of us putting it on, you smile broadly and either say “Doh! Doh!” or “Oh! Oh!” and we always know what you mean. In fact, as I type, you’re riding around on Mama’s back as she cleans the kitchen.
We have found that while you like your stroller for walks, the Ergo is the best way to go out and about with you. You like being up where people are talking, where you can see what’s going on, but it’s also a nicer place for you to nap (who wouldn’t want to nap like that?). On the Fourth of July, I wore you in the Ergo for our town’s parade, and you loved being able to see the fire engines drive by and the people waving.
While you have been to our town’s farmer’s market on the plaza many times, you haven’t yet been to a big event like this, and it was crazy! We brought tasty food from home, and we had a nice picnic. All kinds of people wanted to take a look at how cute you were, and you were very interested in checking out all of the dogs (which you called cats). We managed to survive this very hot day, and we all had a great time–you crawling around on a blanket, Mama and I talking to friends. It was a lot of fun, and we look forward to the years of celebrating that you’ll actually remember!
Because it’s such a mild summer, we’re spending a lot of time outside, and aside from going on long walks, one of your favorite things to do outside is swing. We take you to the park as often as we can, and let you swing and swing. You light up as we push you higher and higher, and you love looking over the edge. It’s great fun for all of us.
Sweet boy, you are growing so fast. Your doctor’s appointment this month revealed that you’re 29 inches tall and 20 pounds. You’re turning into a longer leaner boy, and you really are starting to look more like a little boy than the baby we’ve come to know. With the emergence of our little boy comes a whole new Baby Genius, a boy who loves his moms and shows it by giving great big hugs and saying, “Ohhh ohhh oohhh.” I imagine that this is your version of “I love you.” Your dimply smile is positively melt-worthy, and you delight us to no end with your love of laughter. You already know how to make us laugh, and you love laughing right along with us. It’s fantastic, and it’s fun, and it’s the best time I’ve ever had. So while I’m starting to get a little sad to see your babyhood pass, with each new day, I’m more excited to get to know the boy you are because, quite frankly, he’s awesome.
I love you sweet Baby Genius.