I am so excited because today you turn eight months old. Eight is my favorite number and I am hoping this will be my favorite month. I don’t think this will be hard to accomplish because each month with you quickly becomes my favorite. Getting to know you and watching your personality emerge has been the most amazing opportunity, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Your Grandpa Larry is always telling the story about how I teethed on jerky. Last week while we were camping your cousins decided to see if you would like to chew on the dried beef and gave you a piece. You gladly chewed and gummed away at the salty snack, much to the delight of your eager audience. Well, I guess you take after your mother in that respect so we can go ahead and make that our own little family tradition.
Also last week on our camping trip you and I were sitting on our air mattress with Grandma Nana when all of a sudden we heard the most awful, nails-on-the-chalkboard grinding noise. And it was coming from you! I couldn’t figure out what you could possibly have in your mouth to make such an awful noise. But Grandma Nana, being so wise in her motherly (and now grandmotherly) wisdom said that you must have cut another tooth. Sure enough, I peeked inside and discovered you have a new tooth on the top. Grinding your (three!) teeth together has become a great pastime for you. I keep telling you that you won’t have any teeth left at the rate you are going, but that doesn’t seem to phase you in the slightest.
Over the last month you have gotten very good at baby talk and will sit and jabber away for hours. Only recently have you actually started saying “words.” I use the term loosely because while you will say them on your own and even repeat them with prompting, you don’t associate them with anything. Much to your father’s delight, you have gotten very good at Dada. In fact you have a “Daddy Repertoire” consisting of Da da da da, Da-deee, and DAD. I capitalize Dad because that is how you say it. In a very serious, stern voice. It’s not “Dad” but “DAD.” And you just love to practice saying it. In fact the other day you said it while you were crying which just about broke your father’s heart. I’d say that you are doing very well at wrapping him around your finger. Keep up the good work, kiddo.
We have discovered that you have the sweetest disposition. When we read books together you always make me pause on the pages with people or animals while you lean in and gently kiss the page. Sure, the kisses are mostly just slow open-mouthed head-butts, but they are kisses nonetheless.
While you are gentle and sweet, you are also female so you are able to change your mood at the drop of a hat. You can be laughing, contently playing with a toy and without even missing a beat you start crying. I have always wondered why crying and laughing, for being such opposite reactions, sound so much alike. I assume it must be to facilitate you in going from one emotional extreme to the next.
You have also learned how to use your cries to communicate your want for things. Now most people would say cries come naturally, but these cries are anything but natural. They are just about the most fake, annoying cries you can make and you use them whenever you see something you want. But more often than that, you use them when we have taken something away from you. Your dad calls it your Don’t-Take-That-Away-From-Me cry, which pretty much sums it up.
Another lovely phase we are experiencing is separation anxiety. You have an extreme Mommy Attachment. Now this is totally naturally and to be expected, as I am with you all the time, but it has gotten to the point where you will cry if I walk out of the room for even a second. And you can forget about me letting someone else hold you. These are unforgivable offenses. Your father says “there is Mommy and then there is everyone else” because sometimes you won’t even let him hold you. You will cry and look towards the door to try and find me. This is all bittersweet for me, because while I love that you love and need me so much, occasionally I have to leave you. I mean, sometimes I really gotta pee!
Now I know a lot of this sounded pretty intense, and a non-parent would read this and decide they will never have children. But these are all just phases that prove you are learning, discovering, and developing. Also for every whine or cry, there are five times more smiles and giggles. And I would be completely lying if I didn’t say that every minute I spend with you is the happiest of my life.
All my love,