Dear Little Man,
Today you turn nine months old. This month reminds me that you should have stayed "on the inside" for nine months, instead of seven+. You see, most moms get to say, "now you've been on the outside as long as you were on the inside." For me, that milestone came two months ago, when it should have come one week ago (nine months from your due date).
This is only one of the things that makes me feel sad that you came early -- that I have a preemie. I am not sad that you wanted to start off the New Year with a bang, just sad that your path has been a bit harder than some other babies'. But you have not shied away from your challenges. This is where Mommy and Baby are alike. We have both stared down this difficult path and beaten it with a stick left, right and center.
Right now, though, I want to tell you about your accomplishments -- not what you have dealt with and overcome, but what you are able to do despite your prematurity.
Just in the last week you have been able to sit for an extended period of time. Daddy and I are now confident enough to say, "Yes, he's sitting up!" It took a few weeks of wobbling, but you are doing it now!
I think your nature is to be on the move constantly, so it was hard for you to sit and appreciate the fact that you COULD sit, that you didn't have to be reaching out for things all the time. You could just sit and look at CrackerDog Sasha, instead of laboring to get closer to her.
Which brings me to how you move -- you roll like nobody's business! You can do a quadruple roll now, which means that WE NEED BABY GATES. You spin and scoot and heartily attempt to get your bum and chest off the ground at once.
Just a few short months ago, you were content rolling and rotating within the borders of your play mat. Not anymore. Now you cover some serious tracks, rolling from the mat to the kitchen, over to Sasha's bed, and back to the mat.
Just the other day, you made your way over to the cabinets and tried to pull on the handle to get off the floor. You are interested in so much more now. It's almost as if you got rid of your tunnel vision and are seeing the rest of the world for the first time.
Your cognitive abilities have truly amazed me lately. You know your name and Sasha's name perfectly. We think you know "Daddy" but you're still working on "Mama." That's okay. We're always together, and I don't usually refer to myself in the third person, so I'll cut you some slack on that one.
You eat with great gusto, something you must have inherited from me. Your skinny physique, though, is all Daddy. You are definitely looking like Warrior, Jr.
Some of your favorite foods are bananas (but NOT the jarred kind), sweet potatoes, apples, and most recently, carrots. You also eat oatmeal, prunes, apricots and chicken. You REALLY don't like corn and tofu -- you gag and make faces and refuse to open your mouth. You're not so sure about peas, and avocados are sometimes a hit and sometimes a miss. We tried rice cereal for your first food, but you broke out in eczema all over your body. So we stopped that for awhile and when we tried again, you barfed it ALL up. Even though your pediatrician said, "no one's ever allergic to rice!" we haven't tried it again.
Your first two teeth came in within four days of each other early last month. Since then, there hasn't been much progress, but I think you might be getting another tooth soon. You are putting your fingers in your mouth again and were uncharacteristically fussy last night.
I kind of miss your gummy smile, but you DO look awful cute with those two little teethies. I don't fully appreciate the teeth, though, because you like to test them out on me quite often. I tell you, "no bite. That hurts Mommy." But you just smile and moon at me most of the time. A few times, I have scared you and made you cry, which makes me feel terrible, but I usually get a few day bite reprieve from this tactic.
Overall you are a pretty mellow dude so far. Your GranCracker says you are an easy baby, and she should know since she's a mom to three and a grandmom to eight. You are generally very happy, but you can be hard to impress.
People trying to get you to laugh or smile sometimes have to work pretty hard to get any joy. However, you smile HUGE for Mama and Papa just because you love us. You smile and laugh at Sasha, too, because apparently you think she's hilarious.
I can't wait to see what the rest of your first year will bring. I'm sure you'll be officially crawling before we know it (and can prepare for it) and doing lots of other cool stuff that is beyond your "corrected" age.
Right now, though, I'm happy enjoying you and the stage you're in. I want to try to remember everything, to indelibly mark the you-ness in my brain. You fill me with so much love and light, my sweet, sweet boy.
Until next time,
I love you with all my heart,
Dear Little Man,