Dear little buddy,
You turned eleven months old last week. You are completely exploding right now like all kids do who are simultaneously teething, learning to walk, and shifting from three naps per day to NOT ENOUGH SLEEP. You are a total joy to be around in the mornings when you frolic and explore on your own, artfully evading the attempts of your sister to engage you in her games. Those games usually result in you mashed on the floor under her, or with her sitting on you, or with you crying because every toy you touch is yanked from your grasp. She is also practicing her undressing skills on you, and I regularly find the two of you in a quiet corner of the house, you on your way to being naked and shoeless and Pequita busily trying to cram your massive skull through the neck hole of your shirt.
You are doing extremely well learning how not to bite Mommy with all your new teeth - three on the bottom and 1.5 on the top. After that first massive double puncture wound that resulted in much painful bleeding from the bottom of my left nipple, we have had no further incident. Lucky for you, I must say, as I was considering playing the weaning card.You are so busy that you frequently don't have time for nursing during the day. You are surviving, though, as you manage to squeeze in seven or eight hours of nursing each night while I contort my body painfully to keep a nipple in your mouth. The soothie will no longer do; it has to be flesh between your tender lips. If you fall off the breast, you awake with a squawk of protest that turns into a loud squall if you are unheeded for more than thirty seconds. Big plans are afoot to resolve this for you if it doesn't stop on its own; Mommy without sleep is not as much fun to be around.
You are crawling like a little hurricane around the house, yard, Home Depot, and play grounds all over town. Homestead Mama's favorite version is your bear cub crawl: both hands and both feet, totally off your knees, with your tushie high in the air as you zip around. I am partial to your standard crawl when you apply turbo; you mosey along shopping for something to tip over or grab and when you set your sights on the object of your desire you ZOOM at triple speed in a blur of hands and knees thumpity thumping with reckless abandon. It is no wonder that your shins are covered in bruises.
You also quite keen to be standing up. Everything vertical exists for you to pull up on. I blew your mind the other day by putting you on the kitchen counter to stand up. You had never been that tall, and I dare say you enjoyed it.You melt my heart regularly by crawling into the middle of the room and looking around to make sure you have an audience before slowly and with much caution rising to a wobbly stand exactly like a surfer getting up on his board, arms out for balance, knees bent. You flash me a huge grin of pride when you are upright and hover there for long seconds before falling over as you lift a foot to try to walk. It won't be long until you are successful.
Your personality is also blossoming. Your sister smiled the mad, whole-face grin of someone on a roller coaster for much of her first year. You have been a tad more subdued and preferred to sport a jaunty half grin with raised eyebrow. You are clearly coming into your own, though, as your new preferred expression is a gleeful nose-scrunching roaring grimace that would be suitable for sporting in a rugby scrum. It is typically accompanied by a loud scream of joy that has startled folks all over town who are not used to the kind of vigor we are breeding here at the Homestead. It is also your first useful tool in quelling the marauding forays of your sister; you have managed to make her think twice about stealing your toys with this scream, no small feat.
You are voracious and willing to try anything. I can feed you a huge meal in your high chair and then turn you loose to play while I eat my lunch only to find you clutching my pantleg and grunting for bites, madly clapping your hands as you ask for MORE! MORE! MORE! in sign language. Avacado and mango are clear favorites, but last night you polished off with gusto my sardines in hot chile oil on crackers. For breakfast this morning, after I fed you all that I could think of that was appropriate for 9am, you had spinach pizza dunked in raspberry yogurt. I fully expect you to be off the charts again at your next weigh-in.
You are super company much of the time. Late afternoons are a little rough right now since your days are so full that you get pretty tuckered out a couple of hours before you fall asleep, but since you are in the midst of the 'I only want Mommy ' stage I have an easier time than your Mama, with whom you mostly cry until she hands you over to me if I am within hearing or sight distance. You are much more snuggly than your sister was at this stage, and bury your whole body into me, and a select few other humans, nuzzling and chuckling with joy. You let me love on you whenever I want for the most part, which is one of the benefits of having babies [and a smart move on your part, as it makes up for the aforementioned kicking all night.]
Your first birthday is looming, and I cannot believe I've known you almost a year. I am so glad to be with you all day, every day.