Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Del 11 months

Hi Baby Girl,
You.are.adorable! Yes, yes, sometimes it's I'm annoyed with the crankiness or the wanting to be held but mostly I try to remember that this is soooo short lived. I love love that you want snuggles. I am embarrassed to confess that I've really let you down in the babywearing department- and myself, for that matter. Mostly your in arms and then I get frustrated when I'm not so efficient doing daily tasks one handed. Instead of getting frustrated I really should commit to wearing you more. We'll work on that this month, sound good?

Yes, yes, your big grin shows off your four teeth clearly. You've had these teeth since about 5 months and I've been wondering when you will get any more. I don't think I would even think about it but I figured once you started with the whole teeth popping situation you would continue at a lively pace. But no. And then I noticed a playgroup friend's (a one year old- not a mom) debuting teeth were very evident when she was flipped upside down on her mom's lap. So I tried that.
Sure enough- two more top teeth are emerging. (Sorry they can't be seen in the next picture.)

Your social skills are blowing me away. I assume you're fairly active. You get around, you've started crawling stairs... that sort of thing. Then I see other babies (I will confess that these are all babies of the male persuasion) that are way more all-over-the-place. In comparison you are quite the social butterfly. Who knew? Maybe other people did- I didn't. You smile at anyone who glances your way. You also smile in an attempt to catch someone's attention... usually mid-nursing session. You may feel fine stopping mid-snack to give someone a grin but usually that person is concentrating very hard on not looking in the general baby-on-breast direction. You babble like you know what you're talking about and Daddy and I are regularly laughing at the sounds you come out with... and then... because we're giggling you start snickering too. Your signing has also been incredible. You're not very interested in watching Signing Time but you pick up on the signs we show you. A couple weeks ago Daddy asked if I had shown you the sign for book because you were signing something looking at a book. I came to see. You were signing shoes because there was a picture of shoes in the book. You don't even wear shoes! But you know the sign. You are also very very careful about signing "more". It takes a fair amount of concentration on your part- and I'm not convinced you know what it means (sometimes "milk", sometimes "hold me")- you focus on your fingers, get everything in the right place and then sign away. I think "milk" and "more and maybe "eat" are your signs so far.

You continue to be vocal enough to take care of yourself. Noah is learning (I will admit, slower than you or I would like) that when you scream growl you mean "no!". I often find him giving you a "squeeze hug".... around your head. Or laying on top of your back as you try to crawl away. Or... the other day I caught him throwing you (relatively speaking) to another part of the cushionless couch you both had climbed on to. All this practice of letting others know what you want has come in handy with other children too. Early this month we went to a play place in NH and when a little boy (big relative to you!) took a toy you had you scream growled at him. It was very effective. You got the toy back.

Just tonight you surprised me with how much you are learning and able to imitate. (These days whe people ask if you can do something- you know, dress yourself, count to ten, file our taxes- that sort of thing- I say: I don't know! maybe- you are just constantly surprising me with what you can do.) Lately I've been rocking you for a few minutes before putting you into the crib for the night (I used to rock you until you fell asleep). You seem to prefer this new arrangement even though it often takes longer. When you sit up I will stop rubbing your back and often pat the crib mattress in an attempt to show you that you need to lay back down to get back rubs. For the last couple nights you've sat up, patted the mattress in front of you, and plopped back down. Amazing. At least your completely neutral mother thinks so. Tonight I patted the mattress and also rubbed it from time to time. After seeing me do this one time you laid down. I started rubbing your back. You popped back up and patted the mattress but didn't lay down. I patted the mattress... and then rubbed it. So you rubbed the mattress. I patted. You patted. I rubbed. You rubbed. Fun game. Not effective going-to-bed strategy so we had to curb the fun before it got all crazy. But- all that to say- I was blow away that you were so intent on mimicking. I know, I know- every other baby does this- but they're not my baby and I think you're so incredible.
Keep doing what you're doing little one. I can't believe you're going to be a year next month! Woohoo!
Love you so very much,

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