Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Henry - Month 10

Dear Henry,

Happy 10 month birthday!

Ugh, double digits.  How on earth did that happen?  Would it do any good to ask you to slow down?  No, I didn’t think so. 

Where do I even start with all the changes?  You – exploded with change in your 9th month.  Last month you were just learning to crawl and this month you took off like a rocket, gaining  a speed and determination that makes your mobility truly terrifying.  Crawling is second nature to you now, and you no longer want to be contained at all.  You’re also pulling yourself up on everything.  EVERY.  THING.  I sat and watched you try to pull yourself up on an overturned kettle the other day.  It was only maybe a foot off the ground, and there you were, feet flat on the floor, legs kicked out straight, body doubled in half while you supported yourself on that little kettle.  You haven’t figured out how to do it without supporting yourself – but that’s not far away now.  In fact, just yesterday your dad and I shared a moment of shocked silence as we watch you stand, completely unsupported for about 5 seconds before toppling over.  We shared a glance that can only be described as sheer panic before one of us spoke "did that just happen?"  Yes.  That just happened. You are moving full steam ahead and we all know what that means : walking.  Soon you will be walking. 

I’m just not even going to think about you walking.  Let’s move on.

Now that you're mobile and confident, you are into everything.  We've come up with some interesting ways to deter you - mostly some makeshift barricades that work with varying measures of success (and do wonders for my decorating scheme). Occasionally, when we mount a gate to keep you from getting into a section of the house we're not interested in chasing you through, you look at us in outrage like we've just taken away your civil liberties and you are contemplating sending us a strongly worded letter.  You like to explore every nook and cranny you find, and the stuff you find in your explorations is usually surprising and alarming.  One day I looked down to find you playing with a bunch of pictures of yourself.  You'd found them tucked in an envelope in some spot we never thought you'd be interested in and you decided those pictures made fine toys.  You were so happy, waving them around in the air and squealing,  I just let you play with them. We probably paid $.30 for the lot of them, and frankly, it was totally worth it to see you so excited and proud of your treasure!

Another big milestone happened this month.  You got teeth!  Hurray!  Your dad said he was relieved because now we know you won’t be a little hillbilly baby with no teeth.  I pointed out that this changes nothing.  You only have two teeth.  It’s still possible that you’ll be the little hillbilly kid with two teeth.  But they are cute teeth, and I'm pretty sure you'd be the cutest hillbilly baby on earth if it played out that way.  I still get a little surprised when I see those peeking out at me when you smile. Just another reminder of how fast you are leaving this babyhood thing behind.

Speaking of making you smile – that’s getting harder and harder to do.  I guess you’re getting more particular about what you find funny.  Our old “make crazy faces and noises” trick isn’t working anymore.  Now we need to resort to technology.  You love to look at my phone – and you’ve figured out how to use your finger to scroll through the pictures on there.  A surefire way to get smiles is to play videos of babies laughing.  Oh man, you LOVE babies laughing.  We play a game sometimes where I show you my phone and make you laugh.  You grab the phone out of my hands and I pull out the digital camera to try to capture your glee.  You notice the digital camera immediately and toss the phone aside and launch yourself towards the camera.  This results in many, many photos like the one above. 

Early in the month you found your tongue and so for a couple of weeks that tongue was out and wiggling at us constantly.  Including the week we took your 9 month pictures.  You were pretty stingy with the smiles, but you gave us tongues galore.  I was worried that we weren’t going to get any good pictures out of that photo session, but when your Aunt Sara sent them to me, I realized what nonsense that was.  Your tongue is adorable.  And someday – someday you might just be mortified by these pictures and I’m not going to lie about how that makes me giggle a little bit.

We’re getting peeks of your little personality these days, and man – you are a character.  You love to be on the move.  You prefer to play with the most dangerous things you can get your hands on.  If there’s an exposed cord in the vicinity, you will find it in seconds.  The torrid love affair you once had with the ceiling fan has been replaced by your new love of power cords.  The other day we had you in our bedroom and you were crawling around and making the little clucking noise.  Your dad said you were using sonar to navigate the room.  Only seconds later you had your hand on the cords in an outlet we had completely forgotten about.  As we frantically grabbed you and pulled you away – we realized that you were using your sonar to locate unsecured cords.  Obviously, you are a genius. 

You think your toys are okay, but the very best things to play with are things we never thought to put on our baby registry.  Socks, pans, the bottle brush, a package of wipes, a spoon.  We even gave you your own (unplugged) cord to play with (it’s not the same, you hardly touch it, much like the remote control with batteries removed.  You're on to our shenanigans).  You’re learning how sound works, so sometimes you’ll take your little toy drumstick and beat it on the pizza pan to hear the noise it makes.  You love any noise and I'm not sure - but I think we've caught you dancing when you catch a tune.  You’re also learning cause and effect and lately you’ve begun to love splish splashing in the bathtub, watching the water run out of the faucet, and the noise the cats make when you grab hold of their tails. 

Everything is a wonder to you.  I was sterilizing your bottles yesterday and you crawled up to me reaching to be held.  I picked you up and we watched the steam rise towards the ceiling for a solid minute.   You kept looking at the pot and then looking towards the ceiling.  Those moments, witnessing your innocent wonder at these seemingly simple things – those are the ones I try to lock away in my memory.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see the world through your eyes.  Someday you won’t remember a time when the world was so new and amazing in every way – I’m hoping, with these locked away memories, maybe we can find ways to remind you.

You’re an affectionate little turkey.  You love snuggles, and I am eating that up because I know it won't last forever.  You’ll sometimes be playing and moving and having a ball and then suddenly you’ll make a beeline for my lap, sit and snuggle for a minute (or a few seconds) and then go back to what you were doing.  You do this in the bathtub a lot.  We splash and play with rubber duckies and then suddenly you are launching your slippery wet body at me for a snuggle.  That’s usually how we figure out you’re tired.  We’re learning how you communicate with us.  We’re figuring this whole thing out. We've come a long way in 10 months - and honestly, it just keeps getting better.  I keep thinking "This.  This is pure perfection.  I want to freeze this time in our lives forever."  And then you keep exceeding that perfection and I have to say that whole thing all over again.  How blessed are we to have these moments of perfection?  How unbelievably blessed are we to have you?

I’m beyond excited about the person you’re becoming.  It’s amazing to watch and be a part of this transformation.  We brought you home 10 months ago and you were just a tiny, helpless little squish.  You ate, slept and pooped on repeat with very little deviation from those three things.  We loved you, but we didn’t even really know you yet.  Now we’re getting to know you and, oh man – you are a delight.  You are strong willed and single minded.  You are mischievous and curious and wondrous.  You are playful and funny – we can see peeks of your sense of humor every day.  You are good natured and tough and not easily frightened.  Simply put, you are AWESOME.  You are, without question, the best thing I have ever done. 

Happy 10 months sweet baby.

Love and kisses all over,