Month nine

Dear Eleanor,

Today you turned nine months old. Shouldn’t you be paying rent by now? Surely someone would pay to squeeze those chubby cheeks of yours.

Cheeks for rent. Reasonable prices.

This span of your life is the time that everyone warned us about. Many times we were told that our lives would end when you figured out how to open the cabinets. Well, you’re constantly rooting through our cabinets now, and we’ve all survived. And by the way, you’re awesome.

Awesome.

You insist on pulling all the coasters and books and such off our tables. You drop each item on the floor and then move to the next piece of furniture. What are these pillows doing on the couch? Clearly, they belong on the floor. You aren’t actually interested in playing with the stuff on the floor (unless you’re lucky enough to nab my cell phone), so then I put it all away and you begin again. Maybe this isn’t the best use of my time, but I can overlook that because you’re fascinating. What on earth is going through that fuzzy head of yours? Why this obsession with throwing things on the floor?

Everything goes to the floor eventually. Everything.

You got to show off your new skills to several visitors this month. While Grandma was here, you came down with your first cold. And it was at exactly this time that you figured out how to say “Mama.” You were such a sad little creature, your tiny congested voice saying “mamama” over and over. Your mood stayed surprisingly upbeat though.

Too cool.

Our friend Kenny also visited. He hasn’t spent much time around babies and asked one of my favorite questions ever: “Do you cut her hair?” If only. You’re finally starting to get some fuzz, which Dad is very excited about (I think because he relates to your plight.). You may have a full head of hair by kindergarten, so then we can finally stop dressing you in pink.

They don't understand.

You’ve been doing a lot of talking. When you’re upset now, you shout a series of syllables instead of just crying. You’re probably hurling baby curses at us, but lucky for you, Dad and I don’t speak baby.

Khaaannn!

Now that you’re better able to move and communicate, you seem giddy much of the time. Dad and I are always dancing with you and playing some very active games of peek-a-boo. When you wake up from a nap, you stand in the part of the crib nearest the door and wait for us so that when we walk in, your smiling face is peering over.

Isn't this the best ever! Best what you ask? Best everything!

I remember that in the days after your birth, I started to feel really bad for my mom. My love for you was so intense, it made me realize that my mom loves me more than I love her. I felt guilty about that. But as the months have passed, I see that’s silly. I know that you will not love me the same way I love you. My joy comes from watching you flourish and find happiness. These memories I have of our little family dancing around the kitchen, your mouth thrown open with glee, are the best of my life.

Family

Love,

Mom