Hi, baby girl. You turned 9 months old on Saturday.
You want to see something shocking? Here is a picture of your newborn pajamas next to your current pajamas. Look at how much you've grown in nine short months! I remember looking at your newborn clothes before you were born and thinking how big they looked. But now, all I see is tiny, tiny, tiny when I look at them. Despite being nearly double the size you were at birth, you still feel pretty tiny when you are snuggled up next to me. Tiny, sweet, and just right.
I had such a good time with you this last month and I daresay it was my favorite month so far. You were just so happy and giggly and curious and excited about everything.
If I were to sum this past month up in a word it would be movement. You are always on the go these days - crawling, pulling up, and climbing stairs. You also want to stand up all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME. Every time I go into your room when you wake up during the night (yep - you are still doing that!) or after a nap, I find you standing up.
I was amazed when you first started scaling walls and furniture to get yourself into a standing position. I had no idea babies were like little spidermen (spiderbabies?).
The only problem with the standing is that you randomly decide to stop holding on, which results in a fall. Timber!
You are getting much, much better at crash landing on that padded bum of yours, which certainly helps, but it still gives my heart a lurch each time you topple down to the ground. And with all the toppling, there have been some bumps and bruises. Oh, how I wish I could catch you every single time, but it's just not possible. I have to let you start to explore the world, even though it means not being able to protect you every single second. I think that last sentence might just define the biggest challenge of being a parent. To want to hold close, but knowing I need to let go - all at the same time.
Interestingly, these falls are much more traumatic for me than they seem to be for you. Here we have documentation of your first fall - double red marks from crashing into a corner. You seem to forget about it a second after it happens and are ready to try climbing once again. You've got perseverance, baby girl.
This month also included a good deal of time playing with questionable toys. The first of these questionable toys are the cat toys. You chase after furry mice, bat around plastic balls with bells in them, and I also let you stick your
tiny hands in the ball chaser. I like to think that practicing these skills will make you a good mouser some day. Remember, the nice thing to do is to lay your kill down on the doormat outside so that the entire family can enjoy it. Sharing is important, Bella. Remember that.
The other questionable toys that I let you play with are some cocktail recipe cards (where's my mommy-of-the-year award?). I got these recipe cards as gifts at some point during my early 20s and I showed them to you on a whim one day when we were rearranging the stuff on our living room shelves. You absolutely love them. Must be all the colors. Or an inherent love for liquor. I'm hoping it's the former.
I've noticed you seem especially fond of the watermelon martini card. Not until 2030, young lady. For now, we'll stick with warm milk at cocktail hour. I know, I know, not quite as exciting, but that's the breaks of being only 9 months old.
Speaking of you growing up, just yesterday I was thinking about where your life might take you. We were walking together (well, I was walking and you were were sleeping soundly in your carrier with your head on my chest) near a high school and I tried to think of what that might be like: to have you be a high school student and me be a high school student's mom. I hope you like high school, or, at least, enjoy your time there. I hope you take advantage of all the exciting opportunities and maybe even go abroad somewhere the summer between high school and college, like I did. I can see you, confident and independent, sipping an espresso at a café in Paris. Or maybe Paris won't be your thing at all, in which case, I just want to see you confident and independent and doing something that makes you happy. Won't it be fabulous watching you grow up and seeing where life takes you?
But you know what? As fabulous as seeing you grow up into a wonderful woman might be, I'm loving that you will still be needing me close by your side for several years to come. I can't think of a better sidekick than you.
I love you a million times over,