Thursday, December 07, 2006

Letter to Swee'pea: 10 months old

Dear Swee'pea:

You are ten months old today. I'm starting to get confused by the passage of time. The weeks and days mostly pass in a blur of feedings (both breast and solids), naps, and changes (both diapers and clothing). At the same time though, it feels like a lifetime since you were that tiny little newborn with the long skinny fingers and toes and wobbly head.

A few weeks ago, when we were out for a walk in the park, we passed a couple of newborns. And I found myself wondering as I looked at them, how do their parents not break them? How do they manage to handle those fragile new beings? We recently went through our old photos to choose some for a calendar and both your daddy and I went all soft and gooey seeing your newborn self. Strangely, it was never that scary handling you; well, except for baths. Before we figured out to forget the blue plastic baby-sized tub and just bring you into the big clawfoot tub with one of us holding you close and secure, you screamed with such passion it ripped our hearts out at bathtime. We still have no photos of you in the bath, even though you seem to quite enjoy baths now. The old trauma has still left an impression on us.

Anyways, the point of all this is that you are a strong and sturdy little person now, and we no longer worry about hurting you if we put a shirt over your head. You pull yourself to standing on anything and everything, and cruise around with no wobbles or stumbles. If you lose your balance you know how to slow your fall and avoid getting hurt. You have even figured out how to climb the stairs. Even though it's only one or two at a time, it's still pretty scary for us and we hover anxiously.

Since I last wrote, you have been developing your more social skills. Last week when I was checking out Maestro Fresh Wes and Vanilla Ice videos on youtube, I noticed you started dancing when the music came on. And when you see your daddy or me dancing to music, you like to join in. You have also learned to clap, not only when you have a yummy bite of food, but when you see others clapping, like when I played euchre last week and won. It was nice to have you there, cheering me on so well. High fives are something else you learned while I played in the United Way euchre tournament at my work. We are still waiting for you to wave bye bye or hello.

Since you have discovered the usefulness of your index finger, thanks to your love of cheerios, you love sticking it into our noses and mouths. Last night, when Daddy came home from work, you discovered the little hairs above the collar of his shirt, and tried to pull them out. It made you smile so much, he let you do it until his skin was red.

Pulling Daddy's neck hairs

Last night in bed, you put your finger in my mouth and tapped my teeth for the first time. Then you put it in your mouth and tapped your own little teeth. It's pretty cool how you're discovering your body, and how it resembles ours.

Diaper changes are still a rodeo event. I am beginning to learn to wipe your bum as you flip and crawl away. And to put a new diaper on while your crawl away or stand at the couch playing with cushions. There has to be a better way though. I see other parents manhandling their children with ease changing their diapers on their lap. But I haven't figured out this technique, so we continue to wrestle and flip, wrestle and flip. At least clothing changes are slightly easier, now that you hold your legs out straight when I put your pants and/or socks on.

You now mostly crawl on your hands and knees, having discovered it's much faster than the old GI Joe crawl. Indeed, you seem to have found a new gear entirely, one that makes you wag your bum back and forth like an overexcited puppy, your legs swinging back and forth behind. When you first started doing more of the hands and knees crawl, you raised your hands way up between each "stride," like a goose-stepping soldier (well sort of anyways). It was pretty cute. But now your gait has become more efficient and you don't lift your hands as high.


Sometimes I try to steal a few moments at the computer here and there, to read a few paragraphs of a blog or google something related to my search for daycare or our upcoming trip to South Africa. I used to keep an ear out for the telltale THWACK, ssswissshhhh, THWACK, ssswissshhhh, THWACK of the wounded soldier labouring across the room. But now when I hear the slap slap slap slap slap slap of your hands on the floor with a low rumble of thundering knees beneath it, I know I have to move quickly. Your favourite places to speed to are the vents in our living room, which you like to bang with your open palm, the stairs, the bookshelf, where you pull out either the big hardcover dictionary or our wedding album*, and as of last night, the computer, which you have learned how to turn off, despite Daddy's cardboard taped over the power button. Nevertheless, you remain eternally faithful to your first true love, the remote. If it is within sight and reach, you always go to it with a fiercely tight grip and big slobbery kisses.

painterly moment by the couch with clutter

My favourite thing about watching your bum waggle its way away from me to your various loves, is when you decide to turn around and come to me for a cuddle. If I'm sitting on the couch, you will pull yourself up to hug my knees, and wait to be pulled into a fuller hug. If I'm standing, your will pull yourself up by my pants and bury your face just above my knees. This morning, I was sitting on the floor next to you while you played with a new toy from the toy library. I said, "C'mon over here and let's have a cuddle," while gesturing with my hands. You looked at me and I repeated myself. You smiled and came over and gave me a big hug, then curled up in my lap to play with your toy for a few minutes. I love that you seem to enjoy our hugs and cuddles as much as I do.

Rainy Day III

The last ten months have been scary and enlightening, and full of wonder. Every time you point with your pudgy little finger, I can't quite believe that that finger is the same one that once tapped the inside of my womb, that your lovely little heels are the same ones that pressed against my ribcage from the inside. Last weekend at the library, we saw an acquaintance from work whose wife is pregnant, due next month. They said something about needing to get tips from us. My first response was horror. We don't know anything; we don't have any tips to offer. But it occurs to me that we have learned a lot over these last ten months, and maybe we could offer a few tips. The passage of time yields as much in our development as parents as it does in your growth. I imagine this is a process that will continue forever, each of us affecting the other. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Love Always,

PS Please have fun on the plane when we go to visit your grandpa and great-grandma, and please try not to cry too much.

* Literally, as I typed that (yes, I sometimes write on my blog while you play nearby), you pulled out a new book, one that pleased me no end, and I couldn't resist the photo op.

Baby Bibliophile - Elements of Style Edition III

It ended brutally though.

Baby Bibliophile - Elements of Style Edition V


Penny said...

Wow! I didn't know you had TWO sweetpeas! Awesome! I love the pics of your sweet little pea. I remember Oee when she was that small - they are so cuddly and every movement is amazing! Congratulations on your family.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ummm, no, I only have one Swee'pea.

But thanks!

penelopeto said...

you're so good at documenting this stuff - it slips from memory so fast. I'm sure the picture will embarass Swee'pea to no end some day, but that bum!

For your 10 month-iversary, I've tagged you guys for a meme!

Mad Hatter said...

Oh Sin, I do so love these letters to the Pea. Lovely.

Re the clapping: Miss M still does this. We were glues to the Liberal Leadership convention on TV last week. When Chretien took to the satge and the liberal hordes burst into applause, Miss M dropped everything to cheer him on. Sheesh. Maybe I should tell her about the sponsorship scandal.

Beck said...

Clapping is fun! Look at your Swee-pea - such a cutie! And what a sweet, moving letter for such a sweet little guy.

bubandpie said...

Good to see he's already devouring important literary reference books. (Oh how I suck, but I just couldn't resist the pun.)

metro mama said...


Great to see the little guy is already eschewing theory.

Em said...

What a lovely letter!

Now a message to little SP - be kind to your mama on that plane!!!

Not-so-Sage Wisdom said...

Okay, so I have to stop now, since I'm at work, and I still haven't made it to your SA posts, but I was surprised to discover that our little ones have the same birthday. My daughter is exactly a year older than your Swee'pea.

Planes...our little one is becoming a frequent flyer -- she flew round trips at 6 months and at 10 months and she will again this Christmas -- but never on a flight as long as you'll be taking to Jo'burg. Hopefully the flight attendants will be understanding and accomodating.

The one thing I wasn't expecting was that they wouldn't allow me to nurse her while the flight was taking off and landing, which was my plan to deal with the effect of the change in air pressure on her little ears. They required me to hold her tight to my chest with her head up at one shoulder. I was so surprised.

I'm worried about our flight. Now that she's a full-on toddler and not as inclined to sit on her mama's lap for 5 hours, I don't have a clue how I will keep her from tearing around the aisles at every opportunity. I'm hoping that, since we're flying on Christmas day, I may be able to request a seat beside an empty seat, if any are available.

Good luck!