Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ten Months

Dear Peeper:

You are ten months old today.

Last month, I predicted that you'd be cruising by the time I wrote this letter, but you haven't quite gotten there yet.

You are starting to be more comfortable moving your hands from one object to another when you're standing up, and sometimes your feet follow, but you're still not actually going anywhere yet.

But, let you grab hold of a couple of Mama-hands instead of some dumb furniture - and you are off to the races!

You are very purposeful in your assisted-walking, too. You will occassionally ramble a bit (one night, a couple of weeks ago, we were pacing in the living room for quite a while!) but you usually head right to a very specific destination.

Of course, it's not usually a destination that we want to head to.

You love being outside, but haven't quite caught on that we don't go wandering around the backyard at midnight.

To be honest, as much as, in theory, I like the fact that you like to be outdoors, I'm not so keen on wandering you around the yard even in the daytime, dodging stickers and bees and dog poop. I'd just as soon leave that to Mommy.

We finally got your swing hung up in the tree today, though, so at least we'll have a destination when we do go out there.

That, and playing the windchimes, which you also love to do.

More than once, I've been sitting at the computer thinking, "Holy hell, it's blowing out there!" only to realize it was just you and Mommy!

The past week or two, you've wanted to walk all the damn time, and have complained mightily when we've suggested that you sit down and play with toys for a while.

You know, if you just had some balance, you could do this on your own, kid!

And, we know it's only a matter of time until you do, so we've been working on babyproofing.

(I guess we've actually gotten off easy on that, so far, since you've decided not to bother with crawling, haven't we?)

We've plugged all the empty outlets, and today we had locks installed on the cabinets and drawers (I wonder how long it will take us to learn that they are there, and stop banging them around everytime we try to open something?).

We've also got new outlet plate covers for the ones with things plugged in, that will turn and cover up the holes if you yank the plugs out, as well as toilet locks (you are already fascinated with the toilets) and cord organizers.

Speaking of the toilet - this week, we put your potty seat in the bathroom, just for funsies. I sit you on it (wearing a diaper) when I'm pottying and you think it's pretty funny.

Mommy tells me that you almost always pee-pee during your first diaper change of the morning, so we talked about letting you sit on it diaperless when you get up, to see if we can catch some, but I don't know if she's done that yet.

Like I said, that's all for fun now, just so you are familiar and comfortable with it when the time comes.

(And, because if you are happy sitting on it, that's better than standing against the tub and trying to climb into my lap while I potty!)

You've doing much better with that pincer grasp that you were so close to having a month ago. You still do a bit of a two-handed juggle with the Cheerios sometimes, but you're definitely picking them up and getting them in your mouth more often than not.

You've made big leaps in your language skills over the past month, too. Right after your 9-month check-up, you starting saying "bababa" and "dadada" and a couple of weeks later, you started with the "mamama" sounds.

We don't think you are really saying "Mama" or "Mommy" but we do hear a lot of "mum" and "mumum" sounds from you, and sometimes they seem to be in context.

A couple of nights ago, for example, Mommy was putting your jammies on you while I was putting on my own. You were ready to nurse, and were complaining about the jammies, and reached toward me saying, as clear as could be (but probably still accidentally) "Mum-Mama!"

We won't claim that you really mean it until you stop saying it to your books, panda bears and keyrings, too, but it sure does sound good!

In related news, we're pretty sure that you've been signing "more" for the past couple of days!

At first, you were definitely talking about Cheerios, but now I think you may be using it when you wants anything, not just when you want "more" of something.

Makes sense.

I'm sure you're thinking:

Mama does that thing with her hands when she gives me the food I'm asking for, so maybe I should try it.

Hey, when *I* do that thing, Mama gives me the food I want, too!

Ok, now I want (a toy, up from the chair, to be done with my diaper change). Maybe if I do that hand thing again, Mama will give me what I want.

Hey, why didn't it work? What's she flapping her hands around ("all done") about now?

Well damn, I thought I had it all figured out.

So, we're trying to be more diligent - and more emphatic - about showing you other signs. Now that you've caught on to the general concept, I'm hoping you'll get a few more, soon.

I wish there were a baby signing class available around here, but I guess we'll have to make do with what we've learned from the interwebs and the one boring DVD that we have.

Speaking of classes, you really seemed to enjoy your swimming lessons, once you got use to the idea. We finished up last week, and will start again in a couple of weeks.

We also have you signed up for a Kindermusik class at the community college in Mommy's WorkTown.

It's at 6 pm, so she'll be able to join us over her dinner break - we'll pick her up at work, go to class, and drop her back at work when we're finished.

I think you'll really enjoy that, because you like music and you like being around other babies and big kids, so it should be perfect.

What else do you like these days?

You're really starting to be interested in your "touchy-feely" books, and you like anything that makes music. You've figured out how to push buttons on several of your toys, to make the music play, although you still have trouble hitting them hard enough.

You're still a big fan of your "farm" (exersaucer) and I think we're going to have to move the legs up to the highest setting soon, because you are almost standing flat-footed in it again.

You have several wooden puzzles that you like to play with, but it's still all about chewing on the pieces. That's still what you do with most of your toys, actually.

Oh, chewing - that reminds me!

You now have three teeth, and the two bottom ones are now big enough to actually see when you give us a big grin.

The top one is still just a nubbin, and we can see that your gums are awful lumpy all along the top, so we think its buddy is coming soon, and maybe even their neighbors.

These new teeth have been (knock wood) fairly well-behaved so far. You've bitten my goodies a few times, but I could probably count on one hand the number of times it's been significant.

I've just stopped for a moment and told you not to bite, because it hurts Mama. The couple of times that you've bitten me a second time, I've taken that to mean that you weren't in the mood for goody right then anyway, so we've stopped and come back to it later.

Now that you are ten months old, there's no denying that your birthday is right around the corner.

We received a catalog of first birthday party supplies in the mail this week, and yesterday, I sent out a "save the date" email to our friends and family who will be invited to your party.

I can't believe that I am actually planning your first birthday party.

That is absolutely insane.

Two months doesn't seem like very long at all, but on the other hand, when I think how far you've come and how much you've learned in the past two months, it seems like forever.

Which is fine with me, because I am so not ready for you to be a year old yet.

But I will go ahead and start thinking about what kind of cake you might want when you are.

I sure do love you, Cuteness.



  1. So "more" basically means "gimmie?"

  2. Well, not even "gimme," really, just "do what I want."

    I think.

    I've seen her do it in the middle of a diaper change, just as she was starting to get fussy about it, and one other random time like that, when she obviously wanted something to happen, rather than something to be handed to her.

    In those situations, I've "corrected" her and shown her "all done" again.

    This evening, she threw a "more" as we were walking through the kitchen. I offered her some Cheerios but she wasn't interested, so I tried a cracker and she took it.

    I don't remember exactly, but I think she also did it a few minutes later, when she had a mouth full of cracker and clearly needed her sippy cup to wash it down. I showed her the "cup" sign for that one.

    It's a start.

    The important thing is that she's snapped to the concept of making a gesture to communicate and that we will respond (at least sort of) appropriately.

    Which is pretty darn cool.

  3. Very cool.

    Now if those big people would just get smart enough to understand what she is saying her world would be a wonderful place. Oh, and if the would let her walk all the time. Oh, and and take her out to play even when the big light is not on out there. What's up with that? Why don't they just turn the big light on so we can play. :D

  4. It is so much fun to hear about your signing adventures with your daughter! Please send me your mailing address so Baby Signs, Inc. can send your daughter a video that is designed to teach signs to babies her age. And we'll include a Video Dictionary DVD for you and your partner, too. It's got 150 ASL signs and 35 Baby-friendly signs on it.

    Best wishes,
    Linda Easton-Waller
    Director of Marketing
    Baby Signs, Inc.

  5. It's great that you're baby proofing your house. But if you ever need to make a fast trip to the bathroom, don't forget that the toilet seat is locked! Years ago a friend of mine put one of those kid-proof doorknob covers on the bathroom door and when she suddenly had to upchuck one day, she couldn't get the door open. Peeper's hand sign the other day was definitely "more." No doubt about it. What a smart little cookie she is (and so cute too.)


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