Dear Owen: a letter at nine months


You are nine months old and have now been outside of me longer than you were inside, and that is a little bizarre, on many levels. Lately, you’ve just had this little boy aura around you that I can’t ignore, even though I sometimes close my eyes and reopen them, hoping to see newborn you again. That newborn is gone and standing in his place is a four-toothed little boy, wearing sweatpants and a long-sleeved onesie…and usually 0-1 socks.

This last month was a big one for you. You’ve practiced standing up so much that it’s now become effortless; you don’t even use your mouth as a fifth limb to stabilize you anymore. You stand by the ottomans. You stand under the dining room table and by the dining room chairs. You stand, holding on to the mostly reliable rocking chair. You stand by your toy bucket, and only occasionally fall half-way in, grunting until one of us comes to pull you out. You stand by my legs while I cook. And unfortunately, you try to stand by the toilet every chance you get.

And when you stand, you bounce. You stick your little booty out, and you bounce like you’re in the Johnny Jumper, but you’re not, you’re on the ground, and we joke about how it would look if a grown man hopped and bounced along like you do. You’re taking some tentative steps along the furniture, but more often than not, your hands get ahead of your feet, and you fall. You’re pretty good at falling and usually get your hands down first.

But who needs walking (and falling for that matter)? You can crawl for real now. Sometime this past month, you finally got both knees under you, and started to coordinate your arms and legs, and now you can’t be stopped. You’re fast. You’re determined. You get into everything. So we finally faced the facts and did some serious babyproofing, though it seems like everyday you find something new to destroy.

It seems that you’re trying to communicate with us now. Everyday, our house is filled with your voice, as you explore what your vocal chords and tongue can do. You get on spurts where you blow raspberries for like 20 minutes on end, and from any room in the house, we can hear you saying, “da daaa daa da da ddaaaa” and occasionally “ba ba baaa ba,” moving your voice up and down. Sometimes you even sing…usually while you’re nursing; at first, I thought you were moaning, but then I realized that the pitch was changing and you that maybe you were singing…right now, it seems as though you might be tone deaf, but I think you might grow out of that.

You clap all the time. Usually at yourself when you fling a ball across the room. You have begun to wave “hi” back when we wave to you, which amazes me every time. You learned to high five this month, and now do it with consistency and gusto. Your face lights up when your dad comes home, and that, for many reasons, is one of the best parts of my day.

This last month, we took you to L’Abri in Rochester, and though you were a superstar, your very essence doesn’t allow for silence, we think…so we missed a lot of the seminars with you…which was okay, because in wasting time, we bought you a plush !Pizza! that you love, and we got to take you swimming in a the hotel pool, which may have been the high point of your young life. I held you, and your legs never stopped kicking, and you almost shook with excitement, splashing and laughing for almost an hour! I can’t wait to go to the beach and splash pool with you this summer!

Owen, we are always saying how fun of a little boy we think you’ll be. You look for reasons to laugh and smile, with that smile that just hijacks your face, crinkling your eyes with joy. I am eager for you to start talking; I so badly want to know what you have to say.

You are such a gift, and there is never a moment that I’m not aware of that.

Your Mom

Things you love: looking out the window at passing traffic and especially buses, eating oatmeal and applesauce and beef stew, balls, throwing balls, catching balls, baths, swimming, being naked, sleeping in your carseat, your “Leapfrog” table that you stand at, tasting ice cream, crawling, standing, being thrown up in the air, books (especially Smile and Peek-A-Boo), saying hi to people, when your mom or dad comes home, talking to your dad via video chat, the word “pizza!,” stuffed animals acting as puppets, brushing your teeth

Things you hate: leaving looking out the window, getting in the carseat, getting your diaper or clothes changed, falling down, when your mom walks away from you / leaves,

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