Monthly Letter, Month 13

Dear Baby A,
I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write this month’s letter, since your new trick is turning off the power to the laptop. We’re all very impressed, so you can stop doing it EVERY TIME YOU SEE ME ON THE COMPUTER.

Today, your sister and I swore you talked! We told you to call daddy, and you picked up the phone, punched some keys, and spouted something vaguely reminiscent of “ga-da” about four thousand times. The syllables and inflection are there-we just have to get the consonants down, and then we can spend the next 17 years wishing every day at least a hundred times for the time where all you did was coo and giggle.

This has been The Month of Food. You are no longer interested in baby food much, flinging the spoon onto the floor, shaking your head and pursing your lips whenever you see the jar coming at you. No, you are Part of the Family now, and nothing less than the food off of our plates will do. I’m constantly surprised and delighted with your palate- just today you’ve had a plate of black beans with yogurt, two bowls of peas, about 400 kernels of dried corn, 2 strips of green bell pepper, and about 4 ounces of sour cream. I know the day when you will only eat plates of white food, or food that’s on toothpicks will come soon enough. Today we were told that it’s time to “wean” you off the bottle, and that now you should be drinking out of cups and sippy cups. Um, OK. If only there were some way to get you to drink milk out of a cup…

Your favorite game now is “chase me around and run when I chase you”, which, up till last week, you would only play with your dad. Finally I’ve been allowed to do some chasing and some running, and the sound of your mirth when I catch you in a great big bear hug is quite possibly the most wonderful sound in the world.

With your sister, you have a special game called “flop or spin”. The rules are, she asks you if you want to flop, and if you nod, she flops you down backwards. I’m sure you can get the rest. The part I like the most is that usually, as soon as the word “flop” comes out of her mouth, you throw yourself backward in her arms and laugh. In this house, as it was when you first began to giggle several months ago, the primary occupation of all family members is Making BabyA Laugh. We go to great lengths, and when we are rewarded with your peals of delight, everyone in the house must stop what they’re doing and come watch. You’re quite a magnificent show.

Outside is your preferred location. Unfortunately, we live in Mosquito Alley, so if we Baby Jailtake you out to your new baby pen you come inside covered with little red welts. Somehow they never bother you, and so then you don’t understand why we have to go inside at all. There are times when you stand with your face pressed against the glass of the sliding doors, staring with longing at all the acorns and grass and pieces of debris that make up the Smorgasbord of Page’s Dairy. So far you haven’t choked or taken sick with dirt poisoning, so I guess we’re doing something right.

So far. Most days, I feel like you and I are going to make it through at least till 3:30 when everyone else gets home. Some days are even really really fun, with very few tantrums and lots of chasing games. Did I mention the tantrums? You’re not good at it yet, young one, but you’re getting there. As soon as you figure out how to stomp both your feet instead of just the right one, you’ll be good to go. You definitely have the dead weight/stiff as a board act down. You have a special gift for hitting just the pitch that makes my ears bleed and my vision color red. During those moments, I’m at the same time horrified and strangely proud, watching my genetics at work.

Little One, we love you so very, very much, tantrums, laughter, throwing food, discerning palate and all. You’re the light of the house these days, and when all else fails, when all the rest of us aren’t sure we’ll make it though the day, you do something totally YOU, like fling a bean at someone, or stomp your tiny feet and run down the hall, glancing backward to see who will chase you.

Thank you for that. You rule, Baby A. We are all so glad to know you.

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