You’re a good boy.
But a couple weeks ago we introduced you to ice cream and I think we got our first glimpse of tantrum potential. Of course it’s so abstract at this point, it almost seems exciting. Like another layer of you we get to discover. At this stage, you asserting your independent will seems so, I dunno, adorable.
More important than all that, I have just started to see you as the little boy you are no doubt becoming. On from Sophie the Giraffe, you are now more intent to turn over a red flyer wagon or your bathtub or the contents of my purse. You don’t just master all that chopped up food with a developing pincer grasp, you physically turn your bib upside-down over your head to see if any remains might make their way to your mouth. You’re clever, of course. You pretend you can’t crawl or move but if I turn my back, you have magically moved from Point A to Point B so that you can suck on a power strip. My human surge protector.
You have two little bottom teeth, still working their way to their positions at full attention. But even in their upwardly mobile status, they can hurt my nose and create the cutest bite marks on a red apple. You are sort of waving but you prefer high fives. And that’s the American in you and that makes your momma proud.
It’s easy in ten months to remember vividly times with you that have passed. Sometimes I will just get a flash of hours upon hours spent leaning over your Moses basket, singing a song on neverending repeat to soothe you. Or how you used to suck your pacifier like Maggie Simpson and bat your hand against our faces when we laid you down in our bed. I remember certain clothes from when they fit you, certain toys that mesmerized you and the way every morning you wanted to bounce in your little seat and furiously kick. It’s hard to even believe there was a time when you spit up constantly, cried so loud the neighbors heard or drooled right through your shirts. But I don’t think backwards too often because inevitably you’re doing something in the present that captures me.
Now it’s that you prefer to stand. Your knees lock and I get it. You grab other baby’s faces and love Peekaboo so much, you even like it over Skype. You bang on tables, squeal, and are quick on the draw. You are now deliberating on what you actually think of my cooking. But you should know that standing in the kitchen, over cutting boards and scraps and a hot oven and a Beaba working overtime with scalding steam, peeling vegetables I have never before bought or considered or tasted or understood (rutabaga, turnip, parsnip: I had no idea) is about as close to a feeling of calm I think I have ever known. The time that I get to solely decide what fills your tiny belly of a Buddha in all its uppity organic and homemade glory, is a fleeting privilege I am not squandering.
When someone gets you going, usually daddy, your rapturous crazed giggles transport the three of us into the place that families try to imagine when they think of becoming a family in the first place. And I promise you that we will lead by example when it comes to love. Your dad is a great man and I am proud of myself for choosing him. You made us even better. The best.
And most of all, in these tiring days of working and nursery and sicknesses and amazing but busy travel and unsure weather and an unavoidable need for a hand vacuum, I am grateful to be the one you usually happen to look at when you say mamamamamamamamamama over and over again. Even if you don’t mean it yet. Because I am, after all, she. Your