I am home alone with you, and you are sleeping. I should be doing any number of things – washing your bottles, sweeping up the vast destruction of the rice cake you had for dinner (or rather, the rice cake you did not have, but instead donated to the floor), sorting clothes, cleaning the kitchen, packing for our trip this weekend. Doing any one of these things would make me feel better in the morning. For instance, it’s always nice to not have to wake up to an explosion of rice cake. But I can’t seem to muster the energy for any of that. I’m tired and a little sad. It’s been a rough week. I worked the past two days, and I missed you. Your dad is in California. You’re testing out a portacrib in our room to get used to it for our weekend away. But really, I just have the overwhelming urge to scoop you out of your crib and cuddle with you.
I will resist. (Actions have consequences.)
Why am I feeling so sad and nostalgic? It may be in part because you are now 11 months and 1 day old. I can’t believe you are growing up so fast.
In some ways, it seems like you just arrived, my little baby, helpless, frail, so tiny. But in other ways, it seems like you have always been here. I can’t imagine a day without you.
I’ll admit, this 11 month milestone has taken me by surprise. I’m having trouble accepting that soon you’ll be a one-year-old. You’re teetering toward toddlerhood, and I’m not quite emotionally prepared to say goodbye to your baby days.
The days and weeks and months speed by so fast. I’ll blink, and it will be Thanksgiving, and you’ll be sitting in a high chair with a cupcake on the tray. Can it be my baby doing that already? I’ll blink again and you’ll be having a slice of cake, using actual utensils to eat. I’ll blink again and you’ll be a real grown-up, not just a grown-up baby.
And yet, as sad as I am that you have to grow up so fast … as much as I miss those days I would just tote you around in the carrier all day, letting you sleep and wake and sleep and enjoy the world at will … as much as I miss the cuddly nights you’d sleep beside me … I love seeing the lively little man you are becoming. I love you more every day.
I remember when you turned four months old and I thought, “THIS is my favorite stage.” Part of me worried it really would be my favorite stage, that I would spend the rest of your life wanting to go back to four months. You were smiling, yet totally portable. It was delightful. But I love watching you grow into yourself even more. I love seeing your personality come out.
I love watching you crawl and play and explore the world. You’re a fast crawler now, moving through the room and grabbing things you like. You like to open and close and open and close and dimantle and bang and open and close. Last weekend you climbed stairs for the first time. You went up three steps at a friend’s house. You love to practice this new trick at our house, but our 100-year-old wooden staircase is a little trickier. You’ve made it up one step. But I know how this will go. Soon enough, we’ll have stairmaster workout days, up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs.
I love that you laugh at me, and not just when I take you by surprise. Now you laugh at things that are legitimately funny. For instance, my dance moves.
I love sharing sweet moments with you, like the day we went for a run in Rock Creek Park and stopped for a “picnic.” We shared a bagel and an apple and you ate some baby food. It was an adventure we both enjoyed, and it made me excited to pack picnics for us in the years ahead.
I love how you share with me. Two weeks ago you took a bite of an apple and then pushed the apple toward my mouth. You laughed when I took a bite. You claimed it as a fun new game, and now you love sharing things or putting things in your parents’ mouth. It still makes you laugh. Me too. I admit it’s funny.
I love your newfound interest in food in general. I love that after months of rejecting the little chopped up banana pieces I tried to feed you, this week you decided to just bite right into a banana, chomping away like, “What are you looking at? I eat a banana every day.”
The world is full of suprises for us both. I look forward to discovering them.
I love you!
Happy 11 months, little bug.