Last week you turned eight months old. I am not proud of your for this. I don’t know what mystical wizard you bribed with that two-toothed smile to fast forward the clock beyond all rational explanation, but he’s on my list. Numero uno.
But since mathematically it seems that this must be true, here we go.
First, I will teach you who Oprah is. And then I will sing-chant in my best Oprah-esque voice, “Someone’s CRAWLing!” Yep, you are 100%, can’t-blink-or-you’ll-be-chewing-on-Maya’s-tail, how-much-are-indoor-electrical-fences mobile. Watching you learn this highly complex, systematic motion has been awe-inspiring. You babies sure are tenacious.
For weeks, you knew what you wanted but couldn’t quite put the pieces together. You’d get on all fours, and perhaps moving a few milestones ahead, you’d perch up on your feet with your booty high in the air. A better downward dog than I’ve ever achieved in any yoga class. But it didn’t serve your purpose. So slowly, but determinedly, you figured out how to inch one knee forward, and then slap one hand out ahead of you, and voila! Forward progress for you, a trip to the baby-proofing section for me.
It’s been less than two weeks since you’ve mastered this crawling business, yet you’re already bored and need to see more, reach higher, stand taller. So you’re hoisting that compact, dense body of yours up on your knees. Oy vey. I really thought you’d save the over-achieving for your collegiate years. I suppose if there are is a foundation that can support the gooey chunkiness of your tummy, it’s those sturdy thighs of yours. They are a force to be reckoned with and gnawed upon.
The food train is rolling along and picking up steam. You’re trying to ensure any hint of a fruit gets pushed off the back of that train in the black of night so you can play innocent come lunchtime, but I’m on to your tactics, little girl. I am actually lobbying for Mom of the Year solely on the grounds that you’d choose a dripping mouthful of carrots or peas over a sugar-filled heap of pears any day of the week. Thankfully those two a day Dunkin’ Donuts trips during the last month of pregnancy didn’t skew your taste bud development.
You are loud. I’m sorry, peanut, but there is no prancing around it. When you are in a comfortable situation, say while your Daddy and I are eating dinner and you’re possibly an inch left of being the center of attention, you insert yourself right back in the middle. You’ve discovered screeching and whining. Could’ve gone a few more months without those. But you’ve also found a handful of consonant sounds—B, D, M–that, when strewn together, we’re certain are some form of forgotten German that you picked up from a late night infomercial, making you leaps and bounds smarter than all of us. But we’ve known that since we first saw those alert, studious eyes.
In most areas, you are by no means delicate or graceful. I’m not saying this will always be the case, but you are a fidgety bowling ball of rambunctious. You don’t stroke my hair, you find a chunk and tug those strands out by the roots. You don’t examine a new toy, you grab ahold and beat it senseless against the floor. And you still take to grunting when you are deep in thought, working your ever-expanding mind through a problem. Right now you and I have matching battle scars, thin gashes to the side of our noses from your flailing fingernails. Trust me, if you’d ever tried to cut your fingernails, you’d opt for the gash, too.
Someone told me soon after you were born that motherhood just keeps getting better with every stage. I was skeptical because I fell so madly in love with you right from the start. I didn’t think anything could be better than newborn naps on my chest or the wild excitement of a few minutes of open eyes. But if I seriously did find that wizard and he would let me stop time for just awhile, I would pause it right here. This month has been pure, giggly fun. You are (mostly) smiley and responsive and anticipate our games and songs with laughs and claps, another check on the genius list. You wave to friends and strangers and recognize people you see frequently, curling your lips into a scrunched up smile and shaking your head back and forth. It’s like uncovering gold when you’re the recipient of that face. Highly sought after around these parts.
I can understand now that the future does hold the promise of even more words, milestones and memories. But I still cling to today, to the right now, to the footie pajamas and uneven hair growing in spurts, the undecided eye color and the indifference to bath time, the half hour of morning cuddles in our bed and those moments at the end of the day when all you want is my arms. I can’t bear these days slipping by this quickly, not knowing when you will walk yourself to the other side of the room without needing me to carry you, when you will tell people exactly what you want without needing me to translate for you. Yes, tomorrow will be bright. Who you are leaves no other choice. Perhaps, even “better.” But today is such perfection, sweet Addison, and I’m begging tomorrow to wait.
From My Whole Heart,