Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Month 8, A Review

Dear Phoebe,

Yesterday you turned 8 months old. I don't think anyone believes you are 8 months old though, both because of how incredibly long you are and because the time has gone by so fast.

You are sitting up so well lately that today -- for the first time ever -- I tried putting you into the basket at the grocery store WITHOUT your car seat. I buckled you in and you slid down a little, but you didn't fall out or anything. You kept grabbing for my grocery list; you love anything made out of paper, particularly putting it in your mouth. I am really looking forward to introducing you to stationery stores someday when you have a little more hand-mouth self control.

You now have about 1/4 of a baby tooth. Just the one. It's the bottom one, on your right. And it's so cute, but you refuse to let me take pictures of it, which of course drives me crazy.

Thanks to this new tooth, we figured now was as good a time as any to start feeding you small chunks of food -- not just purees -- and we have also introduced to you the wonder that is cottage cheese. Some days you love it, some days you press your lips together so tight you look like an old lady who smoked her entire life. You shake your head and indicate that "No, mom, I will NOT be eating ANY MORE OF THIS TODAY".

I believe this stubbornness was inherited from your father, and because he does not have a blog he can't argue otherwise.

Lola is very excited about your newfound love of crackers, as she is usually right there when you've got your back turned, ready to clean up the many crumbs you leave. A particularly disturbing development this month has been that you open your mouth -- wide -- when Lola goes in to lick the crackers off your face.

You are still not all that interested in crawling yet, but lately you have started to lunge forward onto your stomach when you're sitting. When you do do this, you somehow manage to get yourself stuck with one arm bent at a funny angle so you've essentially pinned yourself to the ground, and you cry and protest until one of us turns down the volume on the television and goes "Did you hear something?" And then we go and sit you right back up again and take bets to determine how long it's going to take you to do it again.

Football season is over, Phoebe, so your dad needs something to do until September.

I read something awhile ago that said that a person becomes a parent the moment they begin taking care of someone else. Your dad and I love taking care of you, and are really proud this job we have. We love feeding you. Playing with you. Even changing your phenomenally disgusting diapers. I have asked around: your diapers are the worst among discussions with my friends who have babies.

Part of this responsibility and joy of taking care of you has taken a twisted turn when it comes to your dad. He is spoiling you already. He lets you play with the remote control. He lets you play with his sunglasses. He feeds you honey mustard (to see if you like it) and I go "SHE CAN'T HAVE HONEY SHE'LL GET BOTULISM!" and he goes "Whatever, there can't be much honey in here anyway and besides I already fed her some".

And you laugh and kick your legs and your little eyes are so full of happiness that even I can't resist, and I do love to watch you so playful and happy.

You're not going to get your way all the time, though.

But for now, we are really enjoying it.

I want you to remember that we let you get away with a LOT when you were 8 months old. Particularly when you complain about the breathalyzers we'll have waiting for you when you get home after the prom.

Every day you discover more about your world. You find new ways to play with your toys, you laugh at and even anticipate tickling. You are such a joy in our lives -- I can't stress that enough.

Laughing Baby 2 from Meghan Hoetker on Vimeo.

Every night before I put you down to bed, I whisper to you never to grow up, but you aren't listening.

I suppose this is just one more example of us just spoiling you and letting you do what you want.

Every month I look forward to writing these letters to you. I hope you'll appreciate them someday. I hope that someday we can talk about your life and you'll appreciate my perspective. That is, once my perspective isn't peppered with anxiety over everything you are doing or aren't doing.

By now I'm sure you're familiar with my anxiety. It's why I'm going to teach you how to make martinis as soon as you're old enough to hold the lid firmly on the shaker.

The other night your dad and I were (once again) musing about what you're going to be like when you're older.

Again, he suspects you're going to be a bird-loving wildlife biologist. Truthfully, I have no image in my mind of what I think you're going to be like when you're older. I just hope you're happy. And healthy.

And right now, I'm just really enjoying getting to know you.

And I'm going to enjoy taking care of you for as long as you let me. Because I know this time is going to pass entirely too soon and the day will come when you think you don't need me. And I'm going to think "I wish I could just go back to 2009 when you were 8 months old and giving loves to your doggie and laughing at all my funny faces".

I am always going to want to take care of you, even (and probably especially) when you don't think you need it.

You will never need to ask.



Annie said...

These pictures are awesome!!

Mama Parker said...

This is so sweet! I couldn't stop reading!!