The Big Ten

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Dear Charlie,

So here we are…double digits.  Ten months.

What is it about going from nine to ten months that has me all emotional this month?

Maybe because nine months still sounds so baby.  You were still stuck to one spot when you were nine months old, for one thing. It still seemed more baby and not so…you know…”almost one years old”.

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You are VERY much mobile now. VERY VERY VERY VERY much.

We put up the Christmas tree around your nine-month mark.  You started to army crawl.

By Christmas you were full on hands and knees crawling.

And pulling up.

Today you showed off your new-found cruising skills as you scaled the couch to get to your brothers toes.  I may have tackled you and told you to quit growing up so fast.  Right after I scolded your brother for having feet the size of jelly pans.

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You are such a happy little guy.  You take everything in stride. Everything.  This month decided to bring you your bottom molars. MOLARS! Before 10 months!  Even the Nurse Practitioner who checked you out for your well child appointment was stunned. The first one rumbled in and gave you such bad diaper rash that your little booty looked like I had set you on a tanning bed.  For three hours.

Every time you would poop (which was about 100 times a day during that stretch), you would immediately cry and start to crawl away from me because you knew I needed to change you and that it would hurt. I had to use warm wet washcloths because the wipes would sting your booty cakes.  When they started to bleed and we were both sobbing with every diaper change, I called the nurse.

They prescribed something called Magic Butt Cream.

And it was. Magic, that is.  It cleared you right up.

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But it left you so very sleepy.  It has been a LONG time since you would rather have me hold you and rock than to just be laid down at nap time. During Christmas break when all this was happening, I wrapped you in your ducky blanket and rocked and sang to you…and you were soothed by it.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t love that.  Because Charlie, it was a gift to me.  It was how we used to spend our long days together those first three months.  I had forgotten how much I love to have you sleep on me:  your slow breathing and baby smell.

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Your brother did his part to help out with you while we were all home together for those two weeks too. He loves to bring you things and roll balls to you and help you reach.  He “reads” books to you and is the first in your room when you wake up.

Speaking of your brother…your love for Eddie grows every day in ways I had no idea was possible.

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I never had a sister.  I don’t know what it’s like to grow up with a same-sex sibling, but I can tell you something for sure: it’s different than growing up with an opposite-sex sibling.

I love your uncles deeply and we have a very special bond, but even after decades, it is not like the one you have with Eddie after just ten months.

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He looks out for you. I want you to know that. If you had a sad day at Renae’s house? He will tell me about it.  If someone took a toy from you or pushed you over…even if it was an accident…he will spill it to me.

If he thinks you are hurt or in trouble he runs (never walks) to find me or daddy.

From time to time you bother your brother. Ok, you do it a lot.  But not on purpose.  You want to be wherever he is.  When you wake up crying, his entering your room turns your face into a tear-stained smile.

You are his biggest fan and he is your best cheerleader.

You clap for his every move, and he is always near encouraging you, “Come on, Birdie. You can do it. Come on Cha-yee.”

Don’t ever let that go away.

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You have decided that baby snacks are…well..for babies.  Not you, so we have given up on puffs and other “made for baby” type snacks and have taken to chopping fresh fruit, steaming veggies, and dicing turkey and ham.

And you love it.  Just like your brother did.

I’m not sure how, but your dad and I win at raising eaters.  I’ll take it!

You are our solid little man weighing in at 22.1 pounds and measuring 30 inches. The 85th and 97th percentiles respectively.

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You are so curious.  Now that you can go wherever you please, you are almost entirely uninterested in toys and totally into what every other things in the house is and does.

The slider attracts you like a moth to a flame.  You want to play with the blinds; you want to watch the birds; you want to kiss your reflection.

You crawl to all the cords and plugs that we don’t have hidden quite well enough.

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And you act so darn innocent about it all. And shoot that super smile.  And bat those big eyes.

And get swooped up into a big hug and smootch from me because I just can’t help myself.  I love you so much.  All your dimples and squishiness and drool and tongue raspberries.  I love it all.

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I often find myself staring at you in wonder.

How did I get so lucky?  Is this how it is for most moms? Is this what it’s like to feel “normal”?

And how in the world did you get to be ten months old already?

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It’s all a blur to me…but this time around? In a good way. A wonderful, laughter-filled, heart-breakingly good way.

I love you, Charles T.

You make my heart parts sing with happiness.

Muh Muh Muh.