Simers- double digits!
What what?! I actually got pretty emotional about this one. You are a big boy baby now. So close to toddlerdom. Where did my wee baby go?
The truth is, you have been gunning for this with fervor. Almost one year earlier than your older brother, you started crawling fast, getting into everything, pulling yourself up and in just the past day or so I have observed that every single thing in this flat is truly fair game. You pulled yourself up into the standing position in the kitchen so that you could open the drawer three high from the bottom and play with the hand mixer. I honestly was not prepared for this. Your behemoth size belies your cunningly quick and adroit athleticism. You are basically a 10-month old professional football (the American kind) player.
Yes, your size. It is impressive. People always ask me what you weigh and honestly I have no idea. I hope I never own a scale or a watch as long as I live. Which means I have no idea what your weight is, and we’re late to lots of stuff. What I do know about your size is that even though many of your clothes are hand-me-downs from your also-ginormous-as-a-baby brother who shares a birthday time, you have outgrown all the seasonally appropriate clothing. You, at ten months, are wearing the 18-24 month clothing for all brands and some of it has been looking a little tight lately. I really have no words for this.
It’s your eating that is a spectacle. People should pay to watch it on Skype. Your grandparents get the show for free but I am thinking maybe we can make a little cash on the side. I have given up on trying to homemake every single thing you eat because you can eat at one sitting more than your other three immediate family members combined. And I am worried you don’t enjoy your food. It kind of goes in like fuel: pretty quickly. No matter what I have prepared, I am always scrambling around halfway through to grab things and throw things in front of you. And then inevitably after the 6 courses I have been able to set in front of you, I just resort to giving you food off everyone else’s plates. I am in awe of it, Simon.
So this means you have those gorgeous baby rolls. As a friend said: like you have rubber bands around each wrist. I don’t get to admire the rolls as much as I would like since you are such an on-the-go baby, it’s getting almost impossible for me to even change you anymore. You can flip your body so fast and so hard and peel away, I have been half-seriously considering that we might need to potty train you even before you’re 1. I now change you with one foot holding you down on the floor. It’s not the most tender thing I will ever do as a mother, but necessary. We have white carpets, you know?
You got your first two teeth in the past few weeks. Bottom two. You didn’t complain very much about it all. Considering you can eat almost an entire steak by yourself with just your gums, you probably didn’t even know what you were missing. But the teeth are super cute and it’s a little bit of a relief that they have appeared. One never knows, is all.
Your hair is turning blonder by the day. I think I am still in denial because it is seared into the deepest parts of my brain that my youngest child has dark brown hair. But that’s not the trajectory we’re on. I pretend I am still a blonde and I pretend you are not going to be one so at the moment there is a big hair color standoff in this house. You are the most handsome baby in the land no matter what. Your blue blue eyes, your spellbindingly humongously happiest smile, your teeny dimples… we’re all wrapped like rubber bands around your wrists.
Simon, you really do have a very particular way of laughing and Daddy does a pretty good impression of it. It actually bears most a resemblance to a much higher pitched version of Eddie Murphy’s laugh in all his movies and stand-up. You might not know who he is, but one day we’ll make a big bowl of popcorn and have family movie night watching his early stand-up. Then I can tell you the story of how the hardest I ever laughed in my life was watching Raw at a friend’s house in high school. And you can roll your eyes because I am so old and lame.
For now, you still think I am pretty funny. And you think Jonah is the funniest of all. I can leave you guys by yourselves because even though Jonah always ends up sitting on you for extended periods of time, he does it with love and laughter and for as long as you can breathe each time, you totally laugh and love it too.
A week or so ago I was at the playground with you and your brother. It was Paddington Gardens, natch, and the day was chilly and overcast with puddles of rain still refusing to drain away. You were loving the swing as always and I didn’t notice when you yanked your sock off (of course I didn’t notice) until it was too late. Into a puddle. I made an audible sound of momentary concern. Um, what am I supposed to do in the cold with my baby with one naked foot? I then had the flash realization that even though my diaper/nappy bag contains 200 things that weigh me down (7 lip glosses – just in case), I of course would never have included an extra pair of socks. I actually scanned the playground quickly. I don’t know if I was worried someone saw or wondering if someone might have a spare pair. And then, I remembered: I still had gloves in my coat pocket (which is ridiculous because it was APRIL but that’s just the BS going on here right now).
Crisis averted. Your foot stayed warm and after some initially brief skepticism, you were really taken with the adornment. Kind of obsessed with it really. I started laughing out loud. And then Jonah started laughing and saying “Simon’s foot looks like a gorilla’s!”. Which I thought was such an astute conclusion for an almost 3 year-old to come to. I mean, the glove-on-foot did look like a gorilla’s. And so I laughed harder. And all three of us were just there laughing out loud and joking and totally realizing how awesome we are for being this crazy.
I love you, Simon Benjamin.