(All pictures and movies included in this post are from my SIL’s amazing blog).
Isa, please forgive me for being over a week late in writing your 11th month letter. You turned 11 months the day before Mothers Day, which was a crazy grandmother-centric extravaganza that left little time for me to do what I wanted. Needless to say the work week went by and I hadn’t written to you.
I can’t miss this letter because the last month has been so insane. You have grown so much, learned so much, changed so much. I would hate to not have a record of it for posterity.
In the past four (I guess it’s really five) weeks you finally started to crawl. You don’t do it much but now when you need to get somewhere you can get there, face first! You have a tough time on the hardwood floors, which are too slippery, but you can crawl pretty well on the mats in your playroom or the carpets and rugs at your grandparents houses. You don’t ever take more than five of six “steps” before you collapse dramatically onto your tummy but you can do it when you want to. Usually you don’t want to though. What you want to do is stand.
Isa Bear, you LOVE to stand. You pull yourself up everywhere, on the gate in the playroom, in your crib, at the park, on the toy shelves. At first you were very shaky but now you can stand with one hand and throw things around with the other. And man do you love to throw things around. you can trash that playroom in five minutes flat. Literally. You pull your two little boxes out and just grab toys, one by one, flinging them around the room. You can free a bookshelf of its burden in even less time. It’s truly remarkable how quickly you have every board book we own strewn around across the floor.
All this standing and crawling has been getting into the way of your sleeping. It takes you about an hour (sometimes two!) to fall asleep now. Sometimes you don’t take a nap at all. When daddy and I going in to check on you you’re just standing up at the side of your crib, screetching happily (unless you’ve tossed your binki overboard, a very new and particularly annoying trick). I’ve heard this happens when babies become mobile but it’s been weeks now and shows no sign of stopping. I hope it does – you’re expending so much energy now, I know you need your rest.
You also need to eat and you do so with gusto. You’ve learned to feed yourself small solids and revel in the independence of popping puffs into your mouth. There are many casualties and dozens of puffs sacrifice themselves on the kitchen floor but they do so for an honorable cause. My little girl is learning to feed herself! I’m just impressed you can handle a puff on your tongue without gagging – that is a feat in and of itself! Even in your chair you’re on the move. You push yourself away from the table, putting your feet up like a college student on the couch. It’s hysterical, though we can’t let you keep doing it, it’s not very nice manners you know.
All this moving also makes it much harder to change your diaper. You get so fussy when we lay you on your changing table; I have to resort to belly-raspberries, peekaboo, finger munching and the binki-stealing game just to keep you from crying. Sometimes I think you’re fussy just so I’ll play with you. On more than one occasion you’ve been lauging at me while crying (only you could pull this off so effortlessly). You love to get your belly raspberried and you think it’s hilarious when I suck on your binki and you grab it out of my mouth. You always hand it back for me to play the game again and again, until you decide that you actually want it and you greedily pop it in your own mouth. Lately I’ve been munching on your fingers and toes, which you think is ridiculous, especially if I ramp up the sound effects (nom, nom, nom, nom). A good snorting noise goes a long way with Small Bears.
As for noises, you make quite a few yourself. You’re even starting to say “ma ma” and “da da” AND associate them with me and your father. This is very exciting indeed! You seem to have a whole range of new consonants though we hear most only sparingly. Your go-tos are mama, dada, baba, and gaga. I swear sometimes you try to say “gatita” but it’s probably just me.
Buddhism teaches that our children don’t belong to us; we are only stewards guiding them through life. I feel so honored to be your guide and I know you will show me as much, if not more about the world, than I will show you. I only hope I can be the patient, thoughtful, compassionate mother that you deserve.
Thank you for sharing your life with me. I promise to honor the amazing gift of your presence each and every day.