Today you are ten months old. TEN MONTHS OLD. I’m sure that by the time you’re able to read this, it won’t seem like such a big deal, but to your mother, right now, it is a huge deal. You are painfully close to a year old and I am searching all around to figure out where the time could have gone. My tiny little baby is growing up (that is a phrase I imagine you will hear many, many more times in your life).
This month was a roller coaster of highs and lows, though I can say confidently that there were more highs, thankfully. You are now a totally adept stander and insist upon standing all day long on any surface you can find. You personal favorite is the swing (which we really need to move into the garage as you no longer sit in it…sniff), mostly because it is the least stable surface you can find and the most likely to cause head trauma of some sort. No matter how much I try to redirect you, two seconds later, you’re back to it, laughing maniacally as you teeter dangerously.
You can crawl pretty darn quickly when you want to, particularly if there’s a cat to catch. Jacques-Imo has taken to just pre-emptively bopping you on the head whenever you come near and Karma just runs away as soon as she sees you. This doesn’t discourage you at all and you are as convinced as ever that they are your very best friends in the world. Your dad likes to trap you all in the gate in the living room and announce it as the start of the Hunger Games.
This month you had your first Valentine’s Day and saw snow for the first time, both of which you were largely ambivalent about. But we loved it for you, so don’t worry about it.
You’re sort of close to talking, but also kind of not really (my talking is awesome, obviously). Whenever you see a cat or a dog you get so excited, wave your arms and yell “ga ga!” It’s a sound that is almost exclusively devoted to animals, and yet, sounds nothing like what you see. So we can’t tell if this is your Eli version of a word or just your excited noise. Either way, it is terribly cute. You have also learned to play echo this month, but only with yelling, never with babbling. And you’ve all but given up saying mama, because you are kind of a turkey.
The low for this month was another cold followed by another ear infection. Unlike the last ear infection which made you kind of sad at night but was otherwise not a big deal, this one walloped you pretty hard. You had a high fever for 4 days in a row and were entirely pathetic for much of that time. You are not a fan of getting Tylenol and Motrin, so forcing those into you every 3 hours for 4 days was miserable for all of us. Especially the time your dad insisted he could give you the medication in one push and then you threw up all over me. Someday you’ll learn about how much I really love you when you get a better understanding of just how much I hate puke.
You rallied from the ear infection and as soon as you were well we resumed crib training for the 3rd? 4th? time. I cannot tell you enough how sorry I am to have waited this long, to put you through this now that you’re so aware. It’s a combination of loving you too hard and not wanting you to be unhappy and being so tired I am completely without a backbone. We did cry it out the other night and while I still feel like there might be an extra heaviness to my heart now, you have come through just fine and in the two subsequent nights you have not fussed at all at bedtime. It’s a start.
One of the coolest things this month is how much your playing has changed. You still love to grab a stuffed animal and bury your face in it and play with your little leap pad table, but you’ve also learned how to play with bigger toys the way they were meant. Your dad taught you how to put a ball into one of your toys and after a few minutes you became a master at it. And if we give you the ball and the toy, you’ll happily sit and play with it for 10 minutes at a time. You’ve also learned how to spin things and can make all your musical toys sing at once, much to everyone’s delight.
Your likes this month include: the cats, dad, mom (to a lesser extent than the cats and dad), your pup (pacifier), apple cinnamon oats and quinoa “mish mash” baby food, little crunchies (which are essentially chips for babies), blueberry bread toast, your bunny bed, your aunt Claire, musical toys, and of course, Glen (your monkey blanket).
Your dislikes this month include: your stupid crib, sleeping in your stupid crib, drinking enough milk to gain any weight, the car seat, riding in the car, Tylenol and Motrin (when not given on your terms) and having your nose or face or hands wiped.
It strikes me sometimes how you seem so big, and others so little. The other night your dad pushed you around on your toy car and you just looked so grown up. You could sit up in it by yourself, you weren’t gripping the car for safety, you were holding your monkey and pushing the buttons, happy as you could be. The very next day we put you on a patch of grass for the first time (which you hilariously hated) and you looked practically miniature. And I think that’s where you are right now in life. You’ve grown so much and I can see how little baby is left, but at the same time, you’re still so small, with so much growing and learning left to do.
When you were sick this time, it became very apparent the roles your dad and I fill for you. He is the entertainer, and I mean this in the most wonderful of ways. He can get you to smile even on your worst days, a skill I do not possess. I am the comforter. I dote, fawn and fuss. Instead of going for a smile, I get snuggles and comfort. The two of us together are a good team and oh son, we just love you to the ends of the earth.
Despite being sick, this has really been a month where you’ve emerged as your own unique person. You have a personality firmly in place. You have an easy smile, just one look from us (when you’re healthy) and your whole face lights up. You break out in belly laughs for no apparent reason and find joy in things that we’ve long lost our excitement over. I can’t speak for your dad, but for me, you’ve helped me find joy in small things that I might have overlooked. You remind me of how very fortunate I am, we are, each day. Even on the worst days, I still get to come home to you, to this joyous child, and that makes me the luckiest person in the world.
Happy 10 months, Eli. We love you and can’t wait to see what next month brings.