Today are you nine months old! I would be in a dark depression over this lightning speed time warp, but you are just so stinkin’ fun right now.
As suspected, crawling serves but one function for you: transporting you to a different location to stand. From the table to the window sill to the laundry basket, you scoot, hoist, balance and celebrate. You’re a pro at leveraging all your baby muscle to get into an upright position. I don’t know if it’s because we’re deliriously biased, but we’ve always thought you were freakishly strong for a baby. This standing business is further evidence of our argument. Beauty, brains and brawn. The world can’t possibly be ready for you.
Speaking of those growing brains, you are a first class imitator. Being the responsible caretakers we are, in preparation for the brightest possible future for you, we’ve been teaching you how to make fart noises. And we find it thoroughly hilarious every single time you purse those pouty lips together and shoot saliva across the room. You will learn very quickly that being one of us does not always mean being the fanciest or the shiniest, but we hope it means being the funnest. But don’t say “funnest.”
Your Uncle Tony has also been teaching you how to blow kisses. Right now the hand makes it up to your face, and then you lose interest. Don’t worry, baby girl, I know it’s a complicated process and really more of an 11-month old trick. But we have every confidence you’ll master it by 10 months. No pressure.
Yet another adorable attribute you possess is remembering which member of your fan club taught you which skill. When you see Uncle Tony now, the first thing you do is swing that open palm up to your mouth. When you see your Daddy, up comes the floppy waving hand. Sure, when you see me, you still nosedive into my chest, but I can’t really expect Pat-a-Cake to compete with your life supply.
Last week you were sick for the very first time. If I’d only had your disposition to consider, I never would have known. Most of the time you were just as pleasant and playful as ever. But the certain giveaways were the snot streams trailing down your face incessantly. You slept a little more, and snuggled even more than that. By mid-week, you’d shared your germs with me and we holed up in the house for the rest of the week and weekend. And I gotta tell ya, those colds were probably two little gifts for our family, forcing us to push the brakes on the chores, the commitments, the errands and the socializing.
You, your Daddy, Maya and I had three days of lounging late into the morning, short walks to breathe some fresh air, camping out on the floor with some toys and rare couch cuddles way past your bedtime. Of course in between it all there were the snot-drenched shirts, the disinfecting every surface, the washing of all the bedding and the few times when you clearly (and loudly) let us know you were not feeling well. But what I’ll remember are those late afternoons when we were sleepy but didn’t sleep, reclined in front of some baseball game, and you were content simply poking at the buttons on my sweater. There’s simply no other place I’d ever want to be than completely congested, woozy with sick, but bent into a perfectly shaped Mama and Addison indentation with your soft round head resting on my arm.
While you may not warm up to new people immediately, you are undoubtedly social. As long as you’re otherwise happy, you usually don’t cry if you get passed around or find yourself in the arms of a stranger. You may toss out a stink eye or six, but that’s just another check in the Gets It From Her Mama column. At your Dedication, you flew from one aunt to the next, cousin to cousin, and didn’t miss a beat. A nursery worker at church said that you tried to comfort a crying baby by patting her on the head. It worried me slightly since I know for you “pat” is code for whack, but it warmed my heart just the same thinking that the seeds of compassion are already blossoming inside you. With the daily inundation of evil and tragedy, these reminders are healthy for my cynical mind. There is good left in this world, and it takes the shape of a chubby baby hand reaching instinctively to soothe the cries of another. Keep reaching out that hand, sweet Addison.
Way back in March, just barely into your ninth month, Uncle Tony and Aunt Ally watched you for a Mama/Daddy date night. When we came home, they swore you were saying “bye bye.” I didn’t believe it. But sure enough, it stuck, and you will offer up a lulling “buuuuh buh.” Granted, every other word we’ve attempted sounds an awful lot like “bye bye,” but it will still go down in baby book history as your first word at an astonishing nine months. Whenever I actually get around to starting your baby book. You also say “boom boom” (I swear it’s different than bye) and have recently developed this throaty, coughing laugh. It’s eerie how conspicuously patronizing it sounds. Real funny, guys. Look, I’m in stitches. Ha. Ha. Are you already sarcastic? Be still my proud heart.
The magic of such brightness bursting from such a small creature, radiating onto everyone you meet, it’s simply spectacular. Whether furrowed brows, raspy laughs or gentle sighs, there is no dullness in you. You are movement and concentration and feistiness and discovery. You are stubbornness and strength. You are tumbles and wobbly legs. You are rolling burps and staccato giggles. You are nothing any of us could have ever dreamed up, and as I marvel every day at this little person stepping into her own identity, I confess
I am so inside-out punch-drunk in love with you. Snot and all.
From My Whole Heart,