Friday, July 18, 2008

Month Nine

Dear Henry,

Nine. That's three quarters of the year. (It's never too early to start learning about fractions, son.) You are nine months old and so grown up already. I know it won't be long before you're asking for the keys to the car. If you drive like your father, you're welcome to them. If you drive like me, you won't see car keys until you graduate from college.
It took us a little longer than expected but we have finally placed you in your crib in your room at night. This does not mean we no longer cosleep because inevitably you wake up and refuse to go back to sleep until you are cuddled beside us - we are softies who give in without too much fuss. But at least you start the evening in your bed. You wiggle quite a bit while you sleep. And you have this habit of flipping onto your stomach and shimmying up until your head bonks into the headboard. Lately, getting you to sleep has been a challenge. You know you are tired. We know you are tired. And yet it is nearly impossible to get you to fall asleep. So we've had to resort to swaddling and your dad reads you Proust. Some day you are going to have this incredible urge for madeleines and you will not be able to resume life until you satisfy this craving. Thank your father. Madeleines are not to be missed.
Your little fingers are continuing to work on grasping things. You usually reach for your Hippie-Os (our organic version of Cheerios minus the high fructose corn syrup) with your left hand but to get the O in your mouth you require the assistance of your right hand. So, you might be left-handed, you could be right-handed, or you just might be one of those ambidextrous fellows. On the food front you are eating more and more each day. We are combining all sorts of things - leeks, sole, cheddar cheese, parsnips - and you are a gracious diner trying everything. I'm enjoying your culinary prowess for now even while knowing it will most likely end. As a former picky eater myself, I'll be happy to serve you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day when the time comes that you can eat peanut butter. Drinking from a cup is problematic. You don't want to tip your head back far enough to get any water. Plus, you're a little jerky from excitement when any cup approaches the vicinity of your mouth. Add that with grabby baby hands and you've got either no water at all or too much water, which ends in a choking, sputtering mess o' baby. But we're working on it. It's easiest to do so in the bath as there is already a ton of water around you and your nakedness means no sopping wet clothes when we're through with the day's drinking practice.
We have finished our first session of swimming lessons. To be frank, it went from OK to not OK to worse to really, really bad. You do not appreciate being dunked underwater. At our last class you clung to me with the most ferocious grip ever used by a human, which made it all the more difficult to pry you away from me long enough to hand you over to the swim instructor who dunked you a total of four times. Four times. Passersby probably thought your world was ending the way you were howling. I have been told that I should sign you up for more classes, that you'll eventually get used to it and perhaps even like it. You are super cute in your purple swim trunks. And we do have fun in the locker room stuffing you into lockers before and after class. Maybe we'll just go and do that for half an hour every Tuesday afternoon.
It's a good thing that the saying isn't "Curiosity killed the baby," because you are into everything. You especially like the dog bowls. You make a beeline for them whenever you leave the living room. Oftentimes, when you journey away from your parents, you do so using aptly named baby steps. Scoot. Scoot. Scoot. And then you look back to make sure we are both paying attention and getting ready to follow before continuing on your way. You enjoy examining the contents of cupboards, something I let you do when I'm trying to cook dinner. The mobility is on the rise and with it has come new things like wanting to stand in your highchair while eating. And rolling over when getting your diaper changed. And crawling away when it is time to change your clothes. All this means your parents are quite frequently exhausted. I'm not sure where all of your energy comes from but I'd like to tap into that source if I could, please.
This next month is the last month before school starts and it makes me infinitely sad. Sad because I will no longer be the one to drop you off at daycare or pick you up at night. Sad because my time will be consumed with reading and studying and learning all things lawyerly. I am hopeful we will be able to find the right balance. So that you have as much mom time as you need. You are only going to become more fantastically wonderful. And I don't want to miss a second of it.



Cathy said...

Oh this makes me sad too.
It seems it takes me a few weeks of summer to get used to the idea of being home ALL THE TIME w/ the kids. And then I love it. And then. BAM. It's time to go back to work. *sigh*
I'm sure you'll find a good balance - you'll be amazed at how you will find more time that you knew you had. Somehow - it happens.

Amber said...

I think that balance that you write about is the neverending goal of all parents... working, schooling or home full-time. I know I strive to find that for my kids and I'm home with them ALL THE TIME (or at least it feels that way). I want to be there for every second, but I also want them to be comfortable and confident enough to experience new things with other people as well. I know you will find a good balance. I agree with Cathy that I bet you'll find time you never knew you had. The little things will seem much less important and you'll become super-efficient at everything! I'm still so in awe of the fact that you'll be tackling these 2 major "first years" back-to-back. I hope you'll keep up your stellar blogging schedule so we can live vicariously through your experience! :)

Carrie said...

this post made me happy, sad, wistful, and a slew of other things in between. I really do enjoy your writings.

seek and you shall find.... balance WILL happen.

Mary Jo said...

I love your letters. And if it makes you feel any better, Aidan shimmies up to the corner of his crib and bonks his head on the headboard too (but I think, at his ripe old age of 12 months, he's growing out of it; but at 9, he did it quite often). :)