This is it. The last monthly letter I will write you. Today you are eleven months old. Just one short month away from being a one-year old.
I got so emotional thinking about this…I almost couldn’t write this letter.
This has been the absolute best eleven months ever.
Yes, there have been a few set-backs and developments in my mental wellness, but Bird, you have made me laugh away the fear and the sadness every single time.
Your personality is growing and shining through in new ways daily.
Part of it makes me sad that I don’t get to devour this newness all day, every day. But most of me knows I am at my best for you because I don’t. I also know that I notice each small change because we are apart during the day.
You are starting to have different smiles. You smile one way when you see me and another way when you hear your daddy come into the room. You have developed a mischievous grin when you know what you’re doing is naughty, and a proud one when you accomplish something you have been working on getting right. You have a wide one that shows all your teeth (12 already! the front eight and four molars!) when you see Eddie doing something silly.
And then there is the smile the spreads when you are giggling really hard from being tickled or teased by one of us.
You are SO close to walking.
Not only do you pull up on everything, but you cruise along anything (including the walls). Sometimes we will hold our breath as we notice you are standing alone next to the couch or ottoman, so engrossed in whatever is in your hands you don’t realize neither of them are holding onto anything for support. But as soon as you catch us watching, you realize what you’re doing and start flapping your arms in proud excitement. And then you fall on your booty with your super smile plastered across your face.
You love for us to hold your hands so you can “walk” to someone else…usually daddy or Eddie. The entire way you smile and make a happy grunting noise.
Your happiness is contagious and you can’t be pushed to the next milestone before you are ready.
Just like we were sure you could roll and crawl, we are sure you can walk. But until you are ready? You won’t do it. But the day you do, I have my suspicion it won’t just be one or two wobbly steps, but a full on run.
That is your MO, Charlie Bird. You save it up until you can do it perfectly.
Speaking of perfectly, you have quite perfectly decided that baby food is for, well, babies. And not you. One day you looked up at me with a mouth full of squash and let it fall out of your mouth.
And that was that. Full on “real” food from here on out. And you’ll eat pretty much everything. You have given us stink eye over some of the choices, but you’ve eaten them without much prodding on our part.
I’m not looking forward to calling you my toddler instead of my baby. I’m not even looking forward to when you give up bottles completely for sippy cups (which you are getting darn good at using for water). I will not be sad to stop buying formula though.
I’m looking forward to your first distinguishable words, though. Just like with Eddie, I long to hear “momma” come from you. You babble tons, and even seem to have certain sounds that are quite purposeful when you use them like “da da da” when you are looking at daddy or Eddie. You also mimic some sounds we make like when I make the “brrrrrr” sound when we play with trucks and cars or when daddy blows raspberries on your tummy.
One of the not-so-great things you have started is biting. I’m not sure if it’s because you have so many dang teeth for your age or what, but you want to bite furniture (which, Ok, Eddie did too), but you also bite people. Hard. This is not Ok and daddy and I are working hard to nip that behavior in the behind.
You also love to bother people. I mean, it’s cute and I laugh, but daddy and Eddie are not laughing. It’s totally something I do too, Bird. If I see someone just sitting and doing something serious, I want to poke at them or burrow on them or do something to get their attention. When you see Eddie lying on the couch, you can’t leave him alone. You pull on his blankets, his pillow, his Lamby. If he is playing Mario Kart, you want to sit practically in his lap. The other night daddy was lying on the floor and you crawled into him at full speed and burrowed yourself into his side until he acknowledged you. It cracks me right up. Especially how you sit and grin after you get the reaction.
Oh Bird, you make me laugh.
When people meet you, you come off as so serious. You stare people down without much of a smile. Even when you are concentrating on something, your bottom jaw goes out (just like daddy) and you push out those little bird lips of yours.
But once you know someone…really get comfy with them…your goofy side that I know and love tumbles out and wins hearts.
I can’t even put into words how proud I am to be your momma.
How happy it makes me to swoop you into my arms each day.
How blessed you make our lives.
Oh how we will cherish this last month of your first year. And then all the days after that.
Love you, Charlie Bird.
All photos by mL photography