Monday, August 27, 2012

Letter to Greta: 10 Months

Dear Littlest One,

Ten months! Close to a year! And aren’t you getting to be feisty in your soon-to-be-toddler age. No longer content to go along for the ride in our crazy household, you are increasingly making your own demands and protests, letting us know with screeches when you want—or don’t want—to do or have something. You are crawling fast, usually heading for a set of stairs, which you can now climb up (but not down). You climb onto the brown leather ottoman and sit there. You are standing for several seconds at a time without holding onto anything. And you are determinedly practicing your walking by pushing the lion push-toy around the yard. You are active and strong, and I have no doubt you’ll do your best to be walking as soon as possible.

You are becoming an increasing source of trouble for your big sister. You want whatever she has, and don’t hesitate to grab it; you want to do what she’s doing, even if it means trying to crawl onto her lap as she spins in the Sit n’ Spin. If she’s playing with something, you will crawl over and onto it. You have one focus during our days together: Lucia, clearly the most fun and interesting little person around. Lucia is running around the yard, “tap-dancing and saying ‘astronaut’” while waving a flag? You must also have a flag to wave. Lucia is filling small bags with an assortment of play food? You must have a play-food item in each hand to chew and hold. Lucia is drawing with markers? You must also hold markers (or, if I’m one second too late, you like to chew on the open marker tip then smile at me with a grotesque blue or black mouth). Lucia is snuggling her Lambie? You must also snuggle your Lambie, right against your neck like she does. Lucia is snuggling her Bibi while watching Olivia? You sidle up to her, pull up to a stand, and quietly, secretly hold the very end of her Bibi to your own cheek.

You are still putting everything into your mouth. Stones, seeds, leaves, crumbs, stray Cheerios, stray Goldfish, tiny counting toys, marker caps—anything. It is horrifying to suddenly see you chewing away on something, and it enrages you when I must pry open your mouth to get the object out. If I look away for even a second, you find something to put in your mouth.

On a brighter note of eating, you are a champion eater—you love food and eat great quantities of it, more than I thought any baby could. A typical dinner: two veggie food cubes with three tablespoons of multigrain cereal mixed with breastmilk or water; a large piece of banana mashed with an equally large piece of tofu; a slice of bread; lots of cheese; some cubes of watermelon. Today for lunch you had lots of bread and cheese, then some steamed baby carrots, then some watermelon cubes, and then an entire jar of Earth’s Best Turkey & Vegetable Dinner. Breakfast is always an enormous amount of plain yogurt with two fruit food cubes. Yet you are not chubby: just healthy and sturdy, hovering right in the middle of everything percentile-wise (though still on the tall side).

You are still getting up twice a night to nurse—an improvement over months past, to be sure, but not ideal. We know we have to night-wean you, but we are so tired already that we just can’t face the inevitable nights of lost sleep that night-weaning will entail. It’s just so easy to go in and nurse you back to sleep and then go back to sleep myself. It has to be done, one of these days. Just…not…tonight.

You are too cute to even begin to describe; but your cuteness is a smokescreen for the fact that for all of the above reasons you’ve become a true handful. This month is the first month where I’ve really felt like I’m ready for your current stage to pass—it is a cute time, a time of big changes and exciting milestones, but with the putting-things-in-the-mouth and precarious stair-attempting, it is also exhausting. But I’ll keep you around for your heart-melting gap-toothed smile.

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