Month 11

Sweet AG –

This letter is ridiculously late, mostly owing to me not having my act together, not because we’ve been out-of-the-ordinary busy this month.

It’s amazing, though, how out of hand things can become despite having a pretty predictable schedule. The routine of our lives doesn’t alter much, but I suppose the energy we expend during it does. So, once it’s 8 p.m., and your Dad and I are done with dinner and the day, it’s hard sometimes to get a lick of anything done. The older you get, the more exciting our time with you, the more energy it takes to keep up with you!

And no wonder! This month you’ve mastered the following:

Walking more than fifteen steps. You don’t really crawl much anymore, save for the few belly maneuvers you take as you make your way upright and it’s off to the races again. You do sort of resemble a drunk right now, with your tumbling and bumbling, you pushing your belly way, way out, your hands gesticulating wildly. That last part you can attribute to me and my Italian half. People will tease you for this; you have my permission to roll your eyes at them.

Signing. Your nanny is teaching you sign language, and as most babies are wont to at this age, you’re picking up on it wildly. Your favorite sign seems to be “more,” but I think that’s because it mostly resembles clapping and cheering.

Dancing. It does not matter the song. You are scooting and grooving. Once at church, as Mass was over and we were waiting for your Papa, we caught you standing up, then bending over, hands on the ground, butt up in the air, shaking your caboose. RIGHT UNDER THE ALTAR. Let them praise his name in the dance, indeed. You love, love music. I found a reasonably priced music studio around the corner from home, so we’ll be signing you up there to get you out of the house!

Pointing. This one completely trips us out. If we ask you, “Where is Mom’s nose?” you immediately point to my nose. If we ask you, “Where is Dad’s nose?” you immediately point to your Dad’s. Same thing with our mouths. That you know the difference between these two body parts is crazy enough, but that you now know the difference between Mom and Dad? Astounding. You still struggle with pointing out your own nose, but you do know where your ears are. Your Papa always said that watching your children learn is one of the best parts of parenting, and he’s right.

Climbing. You climb stairs, chairs, the nap nanny, the couch cushions…everything. My heart stops at every inch your legs take.

You still love bath time, and take regular naps. You’ve got four new teeth coming in, albeit slowly. You’re pretty good-humored about it. You love other kids and despite your being an only child, near-weekly play dates with other kids seem to be a good way to show you that there are other little people in the world. You’re really verbal and vocal, and now you’re trying pretty hard to repeat the things we say. “Dog” and “yogurt” and “Glinny” seem to be favorites, alongside of course, “Ma-MA” and “Da-DA.”

Your new nanny has been a wonderful introduction into your life. You light up when she walks in and proceed to ignore me completely. She’s made you playdough, brings over her guitar every day to play for you and has taught you about quiet time before naps. As a result, you’ve become a much bigger fan of books, at least in as much as you’re looking at them more, putting them into your mouth less. The other day I came home to find an art project you did, with her help, and I couldn’t have been more proud. Who knew I’d gaze at a bunch of pieces of yarn and construction paper, held together by clear contact paper, so lovingly?

We’re at the home stretch, I know. The newsletters I receive refer to my baby as a toddler, or at least that you’re a soon-to-be toddler. We have our bottles together and the last thing you want to do is cuddle and fall asleep in my arms. I put you to bed in your crib and you’re still awake. You get yourself to sleep now. Well, you and Pooh set out on that together.

The panacea for the roughness of life seems to be a couple of hours spent playing on the floor with you. You’re a fearless kid – you bound, leap and tumble all over and very rarely do your falls and bumps result into tears. Mostly when you’re leaping and bounding and tumbling you’re laughing, and oftentimes you head straight toward me, and jump straight into my lap, arms lifted high, stretched out for me to catch you.

I hope it goes without saying – I will always, always catch you. The catch itself may not always be quick, or perfect, but if you need a net, you know where to find me.