Dear Little Man,
Just two days ago you turned ten months old. I can't believe how quickly you have grown, and how quickly our time together as Mama and (infant) baby has gone by. It seems like just yesterday that you looked like this:
In the last few weeks, you have blossomed into a little boy right before my eyes! You have had an explosion of progress in your finger food eating and language abilities.
Last month, I was afraid to give you Cheerios. Now you eat black beans and kernels of corn whole. You eat chopped up chicken burger and tofu. Even well steamed carrots are not off limits. Your pincer grasp is becoming more refined by the day. (I know last month I said that you HATED corn and tofu, but apparently I was just giving you the wrong kind -- pureed corn and silken tofu? Blech. Whole corn and baked Terriyaki tofu? A-okay!)
In the beginning of the month, you would put one piece of food at a time in your mouth. Now you are practicing the chipmunk look and storing food in your cheeks to chew later. This is mostly because your motor skills have improved enough for you to get copious amounts of food to your mouth at once rather than scant amounts.
In just the last week, your language capabilities have begun to catch up to the BigGuy's. I think you got jealous of him saying, "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" over and over again. You had to do something to keep up. So now you are saying, "Da da da da, DA!" It's the most wonderful thing for your father to hear. I love it too. I know you'll get Mama soon.
In the morning, instead of just crying out for us to come get you, you practice your babbling and shrieks of delight for a solid ten minutes -- or more! -- if we let you.
Another funny thing you have been doing is at meal time. While you are in your highchair, you will start to lean back and lift your chin to the sky, with an exaggerated smile. You seem to be doing this purely for our benefit. It's almost as if you want to prove what a silly little monkey you are to us. You get this squinty eyed grin going, coupled with a look of self-satisfaction that is absolutely priceless. We can't help but laugh at you.
You are also learning what it means to drop things from your highchair. You have two reasons to drop things right now: 1) for the effect of the drop -- hearing the thud and watching mommy (hopefully) pick up and return what you dropped, and 2) to feed Sasha.
You seem genuinely pleased when you feed Sasha. Sasha now loves chopped up tofu and whole kernels of corn, too. The black beans? Not so much. Unfortunately, I have to clean those up.
We've also been on project fatten up around here. I am feeding you an egg yolk custard once a day, and also stir coconut milk into your oatmeal in the morning. Your egg yolk custards consist of one egg yolk and two tablespoons of either coconut milk or chicken stock, cooked over low heat until, well, custardy. (Ok, sometimes I cheat and do it in the microwave, but it's not nearly as smooth that way. The upside, though, is that it only takes a minute!) (You are enjoying the chicken stock ones best most recently.)
You are DEFINITELY getting heavier. The strange thing is that only your stomach and cheeks are getting bigger. You have quite the physique now. Daddy and I joke that you are "just the perfect specimen of manhood." And then we laugh at you. Sorry, buddy. But you are INCREDIBLY cute. And SOOOO skinny in your arms and especially your legs. (See picture #4 above.)
Last month, we were ready (Daddy for the most part) to say that you were sitting up. Now you can sit for up to ten minutes at a time! You have really developed your ability to sit and appreciate things, or patience, or whatever you want to call it. You seem to be able to sit and survey the situation, rather than just dive right into it, in an effort to plan out your next best move.
Previously, you would just go for it. Screw what the next best move was -- you wanted THAT toy RIGHT THERE and you wanted it NOW! Now you think, "mmm, MAYBE that toy, but MAYBE this toy. Let me see. Oh look! There's the tractor! Let's get that! No, wait! SASHA!! Yes, let's get Sasha! That'll be fun!"
Speaking of the CrackerDog, you and her have gotten even closer in the last month. She loves seeing you and wants to give you kisses. You love seeing her -- you get a HUGE smile on your face and kick your legs -- and want to explore her.
Unfortunately, your trust in Sasha has extended to ALL dogs, and while I love that you're not AFRAID of dogs, I wish you would be more cautious. Most dogs don't respond to tail, ear and muzzle pulling by just laying there and taking it. This is definitely a lesson we will have to work on in the future, because you think you can put your hands in any dog's face, which is just not the case.
You like to put your hands all up in Mom and Dad's faces, too. You don't know the meaning of "gentle" yet, so it pretty much means we get gouged. Luckily for me, you've been biting WAY less, and I am SO thankful. You haven't yet gouged any of your friends, mostly because of attentive mommies and daddies. You are a quick one, my love!
You still love your nursing and are only mildly interested in sippy/drinking cups. I'm beginning to worry that breast milk will be your only fluids for the foreseeable future. I can only hope you'll take to the cup
As for those teeth I thought would be coming in, well, they haven't. But they seem MUCH closer to the surface. You have four bulges, two on the bottom on either side of the ones you already have, and the two top front teeth. Looks like you got Momma's slow teeth, for sure. I'm hoping, for both of us, that they come in quickly and as painlessly as possible.
You have also been super funny with your tongue lately. I'm not sure what you think you can do with it, but it seems to hold special powers for you. You are exploring all sides of your mouth and gums with your tongue. You stick your tongue out at us and laugh when we reciprocate.
You are just one funny little dude, my love. You continually amaze me with your progress and love for your family. I am really enjoying this stage you are at -- not quite a baby, definitely not a toddler -- completely adorable.
Best wishes to my long and lanky dude.
All my love,