Thursday, November 09, 2006

Letter to Swee'pea: 9 months

Dear Swee'pea:

You were officially nine months old two days ago but I wanted to wait until I could go through our photos of the last month while I write. That day, we took you for your checkup at the doctor's, and you were 29 inches tall and 22 pounds 4 ounces, putting you around the 75th percentile for both categories. With all the doubts and decisions of parenting, it's reassuring that you're growing so well. The doctor asked about your sleeping, and when I told her that on your best nights you only wake twice, she said, "Well it's because you have him in your bed with you. That's why he's still waking up." I disagree but all I said was that I think it could be a chicken and egg thing.

Since I last wrote, you seem to have shifted your developmental focus to locomotion. Which is not to say that your language skills haven't been developing too. Quite the contrary: one day you were fussing in your exersaucer and I didn't know why. You kept saying, "Mo Mo," which you hadn't said before. Eventually I figured out that you were hungry and were saying what I always ask you before each bite when I'm feeding you: "More?" Another day, you said something approaching "kitty" when our cat passed by.

You officially crawled, on your hands and knees, on November 1st, three weeks after you pulled yourself to standing for the first time. A week and a half before that, you did shuffle forward ever so slightly on your hands and knees, before belly flopping the rest of the way to your destination. Your wounded soldier impersonation is still much faster than the hands and knees crawl. Now you are pulling yourself up on everything and have started to 'cruise.' Your favourite place to cruise is along the length of the couch, where you usually find the remote, your new favourite chew toy.

You continue to build your strength and have begun to incorporate yoga practice into your daily routine. The other day you began working towards the downward dog, and shortly after that I discovered you in your expensive wooden playpen, er crib about to work through the sun salutation. So, we lowered it. Unfortunately I haven't been able to capture your yoga with the camera, not for want of trying, but because whenever you see the camera, you immediately begin hamming it up. You seem to have become aware of your facial expressions as communication.

You continue to be increasingly squirmy, to both our frustration. Getting clothes on you takes considerable time, with long breaks in between for you to explore.

Diaper changes have become a rodeo event, like calf roping. Except without rope, and in our living room instead of a dirt ring, and the calf cries and bellows and kicks in frustration at being restrained, and is liable to pee in your face or smear poo on the floor if you take too long. And you can't just tie the calf up, you have to undress it, wipe its bum AND put its clothes back on. And instead of using rope to subdue the calf we use distraction, thrusting toys in your face with much less success. And it takes way way longer than 8 seconds to complete. So I guess it isn't much like calf roping after all.

Already you seem to exhibit the same fondness your father has for electronics, and you have a special ability for finding the remote, which I know will come in handy later. Among your other talents are finding any and all cables and grabbing them, and sticking your hand in the vcr, which has now been moved to the top of the tv.

You are already exerting your own will, and howl when we take the remote away from you or the sippy cup you insist on splashing everywhere, or any other favoured thing. You also don't seem to like your jolly jumper or your exersaucer much anymore, I guess because they keep you in one place. Often we have to feed you with two spoons, one for you to chew on and one for us to shovel food into your mouth. Just this morning, despite my admonitions that we don't put our feet on the table in this family, you continued to do it anyways. At first playfully:

But then with some evidence of willfulness:

The two teeth next to your upper centre teeth (which haven't come through yet) have been pressing into your gums, making them bulge white like they're going to erupt any second. Your father was hoping they'd come in in time for Halloween, so you could be a vampire. But no joy. It's been weeks and still they haven't actually poked through yet.

You continue to have our hearts in a tight grasp. Your daddy has been involved in a fundraiser at his work, which involves wearing a pedometer and recording the steps he takes each day. It seems to have become part of your routine that every night daddy lays on his back on the floor, and you climb all over him searching for the pedometer. When you find it, you pull it off his belt, and stuff it in your mouth. Then he takes it and puts it back on his belt and you find it again. This game could amuse you for hours and is totally adorable. What's even cuter is when you find my belt, and start searching for the pedometer, not realizing that I just don't have one.

You also discovered the joys of daddy's tickly beard this month and laughed and laughed, even as his beard merely approached your cheek. Sadly, as with everything that makes you laugh, it's not funny forever. We just bask in your laughter while we can, never knowing when it will come again.

You love to help with the laundry.

Here you are combining your two loves:

Well, not so much help as pull clothes out of baskets and things. But perhaps it will grow into a love of doing laundry? One can only hope...

It is so exciting to watch you grow and change each day. Thank you for coming into our lives.

Love Mum


Aliki2006 said...

Oh, so sweet! Your post and pics made me so nostalgic for when my little boy was nine months--your son reminds me quite a bit of my Liam when he was the same age...

Beck said...

He's so cute that he makes me get that baby longing... yikes!
I love that age of baby, so cuddly and fun and curious.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh he is a beauty!! And I loved the calf-roping (false)analogy.

Welcome back to the 'sphere,

penelopeto said...

oh, such a great age. you guys look like you're having a lot of fun.

and, duh, now that i've seen your red hair, i get it - the redhead baby, your name (i just figured you were a big neil young fan).

Mother Bumper said...

He is adorable and what a wonderful post for such a wonderful boy.

jen said...

oh, cin...what a beauty. that sleeping pic is out of this world. and so are you, the lovely mum you are.

alec's mom said...

What a beautiful post! You and he are such a lovely pair.

cinnamon gurl said...

Aw, thanks.

Penelope: I am a Neil Young fan, but I also have a real thing for cinnamon buns, the kind of thing that people notice. Plus, I love spicy food and spicy colours... so it all just came together. Oh, and SD suggested spelling gurl as in URL... geddit?