As always, the 16th jumped on me and I can’t believe it. We were walking through the mall and I was thinking “Hmm… I need to write the Meredith journal this week.” Then on impulse I stopped at Claire’s and bought you bling for the first time: three little headbands for your sweet, ever-bald head. Then we went into Bed, Bath, and Beyond and someone asked how old you were. “8 months this week,” I said, and then realized it was today. So you’re 8 months now and you just keep getting bigger while I hardly have the time to notice. You are a sneaky little stinker.
The funniest stuff you do lately is “Bah-bah-bah-ing” your fist on your mouth, and you also love it when I help you out with my hand or finger. It’s been a good tactic lately if you’re really upset because I can make you happy instantly. You also enjoy pulling Jacob’s hair, which he is surprisingly patient with. And perhaps the best is when you start head banging, either throwing yourself backward or smacking your face into mine. You will use anything as an aide to your vocal percussion. Speaking of which, your auntie Kilby found your dialect fascinating and pointed out what a funny set of clicks and guttural sounds you make. Alien baby.
You are full of hysterical giggles and it’s about the easiest thing in the world to get them going. Jacob’s the best at it but you are pretty Equal Opportunity about it all. Most mornings the first thing I hear from the basement is you and Jacob putting each other in stitches. I am so glad you have that. At night at bed time you get a little crazy, too, and carry on with the hilarity while Daddy & I sing a hymn for you. We are starting to feel like you two have very little use for us even when it’s time for hugs & kisses all around. A taste of things to come, no doubt.
You are also full of rage and fury when things don’t go right, which is mostly in the context of food, or shall I say, lack of food. You get so mad when I put you in your chair and the food isn’t ready yet, or when you think you’re about to get food but you’re wrong, like this morning when you were in your bouncer and I was getting Jacob cheerios and just the sight of the big yellow box made you go a little nuts.
You love bath time with Daddy and it’s almost always you and Jacob together now. You sit there and splash, splash, splash, and apparently you two make it into something of a game. Daddy gives you your baths and I am usually off being busy somewhere but I love sneaking in and hearing your squeals of delight. Last night I poked my head in to say goodbye before leaving for the evening and you gave me the sassiest happy face. Daddy says that’s the face you make every time he puts you in the tub, as if to say there is no place on earth that you’d rather be, and to thank him for finally bothering to do something right for a change.
You are starting to get the itch to move. It blows my mind how you used to be this lump of newborn and now you writhe and squirm in my arms until you reach whatever you’re intent on. On the floor you reach to the side for an object until you’re practically on all-fours, but that’s as close to crawling as you’ve gotten yet. To say you are rolling over is a bit generous, but it’s happening more and more often, usually because you are after something you can’t reach. The big progress to report is that you have no objection to being on your belly anymore. You are sitting so stable and it’s cute when I start laying you down how you reach your arms out to ease yourself onto the floor.
I’m thankful for how well you’re sleeping. You still protest when I’ve got you halfway into your sleep sack and you realize what’s happening but by the time you’re tucked in you’ve made your peace and turned your head away. You have three little pink and grey elephants who share your crib with you and it’s sweet to see you growing more and more appreciative of them. You’ve gotten pretty consistent with two naps and often you’ll make them both long and normally you wake up happy. Thank you for all of that!
Nights have gotten more dependable, too, and you rarely wake. I’ve started consistently ignoring you even if you do and you have learned to just go back to sleep. I am hoping any day now we can finally get you and Jacob sleeping in the same room. You should know your brother has sacrificed for you by sleeping out in the den for a month now. I’m not even sure if he remembers that “your” room used to be “his” room. I’m excited for it to be for both of you.
You are a little people person. You can stay happy and fun for hours and hours, and long past bedtime, as long as there are people to smile at you. I pray for you so often that God will use the extroverted personality He’s given you for all the people He will bring into your life, that you will learn to love them each well, whatever that looks like, and that you will be so full of grace and peace that there won’t be any room in your heart for fear or judgment or cynicism. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be part of the body of Christ and about how I want that to be my children’s primary identity and my whole soul smiles to think of you, beautiful and strong and loving God’s people one by one.
When I sat down to write this letter I thought it was going to be about how captured my imagination has been lately with your physical beauty and all its potential and all that I want for you to learn and understand and appreciate about being so lovely. (And by this I mean “being a woman” because, as I hope you will never doubt, the two are interchangeable. Women are lovely because they are women. Not because they happen to be pretty. Being a woman means being pretty. We jealous ladies need to stop comparing ourselves to each other and start comparing ourselves to the males of our species. But we’ll talk about this some other time.) The frustration and disappointment I struggled with during your first six months, feeling I wasn’t getting the chance to enjoy your tiny life as it flew along, have been crowded out recently by the delight of anticipating all that you are becoming. But I’ll save all this for another month because I think I’m too sleepy to say any of it well now.
I love you.