My dear Mr. Henry Pie,
I found out I was pregnant with you when I was six weeks along. With my pregnancy lasting a full 40 weeks, the fact that you are now nine months old means that I have officially known you longer outside my womb than in.
Just recently when I was with some of my friends (all who have boys right around your age), we were talking about how we wish we would’ve known it was YOU in there. What I mean is, I knew you were a little baby; I knew your approximate size and height at any given week; I knew your most recent developments in utero; I knew you were a boy. But I didn’t know you like I know you now. When you were born and were placed in my arms, your elbow—that skinny little elbow—was the first thing I recognized. I remember saying, “I know this elbow.”
While I wish I would’ve known you before as I do now, in so very many ways I’m glad that I’m continuing to get to know you. It would’ve been too much to know you like this back then, to love you this much. While a mother’s love is instant, it also continues to grow. It’s not like a heartbeat that is steady and strong from the beginning; rather it’s like the increase of waves towards high tide. It just gets bigger and stronger with each minute. It would’ve been too hard to instantly love you from the beginning with this much love. It’s easier to handle these feelings once I’ve gotten used to the continuing rise.
This past month was your first big trip. Your daddy and I were very nervous going into it because a) we’d never traveled with a baby before and b) our inaugural run was going to be a long drive of 18 hours. You proved us silly though with your easy-going personality breezing you right through the long car ride. We drove about 12 hours the first day, stopping at 1:30 AM Saturday to grab a hotel room. You love your crib so, though you were sleeping in the car, it wasn’t a deep sleep like you’re used to. The minute we got you into the portable crib in the room, you sprawled out and went right back to sleep.
We got to our beach house around 6:00 PM Saturday and you were thrilled to be out of your carseat. (We were all so ready to be out of the car, let’s be honest!) The week at the beach was filled with so many new people, but you didn’t flinch at all over the strangers. It helped that your grandma and aunts were there so in the mix of people you didn’t know were people you knew.
You loved the beach (the deeper the water, the better the feeling of weightlessness which you thought was hilarious) and somehow in the midst of the crazy days, you managed to stick completely to your normal routine. The thing that still baffles me though is how you switched to the new time zone on your own (I don’t even know when or how it happened) and then switched back to Iowa time when we got home. I thought it would be much harder, but…surprise, you’re completely awesome. It was a non-issue.
Developmentally, a lot seems the same as last month, but I can tell you’re absorbing so much all the time. You are constantly processing and analyzing. You are coming into an interesting phase where you are constantly reaching for me to pick you up, but when I do, you want back down. It’s an up-down-rinse-repeat cycle that can be incredibly trying at times and my patience is getting a good workout.
You’re not crawling forward, but you can certainly scoot yourself backwards. You are getting increasingly frustrated and antsy about your lack of mobility in the forward direction. I think you’ll be a lot happier when you can get where you want to go on your own. You’ll be happier and I’ll be happier too because this sad panda business about going in reverse is making us all cranky.
Along with your antsyness, you are now incredibly distracted. Be it playing with your toys, drinking your bottle, eating your food, whatever it is, you are sidetracked by everything around you, every noise, every flash of light, every movement. I can see why nursing mothers complain around this age. It’s hard enough to get you to drink your bottle without flipping everywhere!
Your favorite thing to do is jump. Thank goodness I got your jumperoo a few months ago; it’s gotten a lot of use. If you’re not in it, you stare at it longingly, sometimes moving your torso like you are trying to jump. If you’re in it, you are so happy to play and jump. It’s the easiest way to keep you entertained.
I have a feeling this next month is going to bring a snowball of events with crawling, pulling up, standing, and eventually walking all coming up around the curve somewhere. We’ll see how much of it happens before the next letter I write you.
My little one, you are my sunshine. Being a parent has its challenges, but you are worth it. You are worth it a thousand times over. I’m so glad you made me a mama. It has become a title I cherish and it’s 100% because of you.
I love you, sweet pea.