Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two, Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of the door.
Welcome to nine months, sweet girl.
I say this with each new milestone, but oh how the time flies. For the blink of an eye you were our own wee newborn, curled up in our arms, and now you are a crawling, eating, whirlwind of chubby baby.
Dearest Em, you are a baby on the GO. You are a mover. After I put you down for bed at night, I walk downstairs and turn on the camera to see if you’ve decided to sleep. Never. You’re up, you’re standing, you’re practicing taking small steps, holding onto the crib rail for dear life. When I come into your room in the morning, you gleefully show off your new skills.
With Ben we’d put him in the living room and he’d head straight for the door, down the stairs, and out into the yard. He was a one-man disappearing act.
You, are the other hand, look for people. You quietly make your way down the hall to my office and peer around the corner. You pause, scoping out the situation. Once you’ve located your intended target, you make a mad dash across the floor, under the desk, grab the victim’s legs, and then pull yourself up. You might do a little gnaw on the knees to say ‘hey! I’m here! Pick me up, yo!’. You won’t rest until you are happily ensconced into someone’s lap. You are a baby that likes her people.
You have your first cold this week and the stuffed nose and wheezy cough have been tough for you. You’re not a fussy babe; instead you like to take extra time during nursings and snuggle in close for hugs. I’m going to miss these moments when you’re too busy with life and haven’t got the time for cuddles.
After crawling, your second love is eating. Come dinner time, you’re the first one to the table and the last one still munching away. When you’re really hungry, you bang your hands on the table ala Khrushchev and yell: “Mamamamamama!!!”. We hop to.
We’ve noticed that you very attached to your stuff. You’re never without something clasped firmly in one paw. The item doesn’t hold much significance: it can be a toy, a hat, or Ben’s spoon. You drag it around and then pause to give an occasional chew. Extracting stuff from your mouth has become one of our main occupations. A few things have gone through, like the inch long bug I discovered in your diaper a few weeks ago. Ew.
With your brother, we were like most first-time parents: in a low-level state of constant anxiety due to the monumental task of caring for a new little person. There were multitudes of questions to which we didn’t have answers. Why isn’t he nursing correctly? Is that amount of spit-up expected? Dear god, why oh why isn’t he sleeping!? Is that cough normal? Why hasn’t he crawled yet?
The second time around we’re much more relaxed. It’s deliciously freeing. We’re slowing down to enjoy and revel in these infant stages, Emma. That isn’t to say we’re perfect parents (far from it!) or that we’re not finding two children to be a (big) challenge; just that we are taking life one day at a time, and loving your little baby self. Hiccups along the way are now simply part of our family journey.
In particular, I enjoy our time alone in the mornings when Ben is away at preschool. We have a leisurely breakfast and play in your room. If given the opportunity, you make a beeline for Ben’s bedroom as it is forbidden territory when he’s in residence. Like the nosy little sister you are, you gleefully riffle through his stuff and burrow into his bed. Thus far he hasn’t noticed that his toys have acquired a few chew marks or that they’re scattered about the room. It’s our little secret.
I love you, darling. Your parents and brother are in constant awe of your determination, your hilarious belly laugh, and your serene demeanor. You are a joy to have in our family, dearest Em.
“A mother's body remembers her babies-the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has it's own entreaties to body and soul.”