You are eight months old today and as I am writing this you are finally napping in your crib six hours after your morning nap ended and three hours after your usual afternoon nap. You just don't see the point in napping when there are books to pull off of shelves and blocks to bang against the walls and songs to sing and games to play. This month you have gotten so independent that I can leave you on the floor with your toys and you will sometimes play happily for half an hour. Of course, there are also the days when you will not let me out of your sight for more than three seconds.
You spend a lot of your time now starting to crawl and you are so very close that it is painful to watch and sometimes we try to help you along but that usually results in a face plant into the floor. You have figured out that once you master this crawling thing you will be able to chase after Pixel and pull his tail whenever you want, rather than relying on his whims and patience. You are trying to get onto your hands and knees from sitting up and can't quite get over that front leg. When we put you on your hands and knees you are learning how to pick up your hands and either scootch backwards or collapse onto the floor, but progress is progress. You are also starting to pull yourself up - just a few inches, but you are getting the idea. Earlier today you discovered that if you stand up and hold onto the couch you can reach the remotes that are invariably lying on it, so I expect a lot more standing from you in the future.
We aren't going to talk about your sleeping at night this month. Let's just say that sometimes it is very good and sometimes it is very bad. You do go to bed very easily almost every night, and as I said above progress is progress.
You still aren't into solid foods, although you are considering the possibility of not hating pears. You are on a steady diet of breastmilk and avocado, supplemented occasionally by a couple of cheerios or fruit flavored puff things. You like to pick up the cheerios and love to put them into your mouth (which you got very good at very quickly) but once they are there you lose interest and frequently scream and cough until I reach in and take the cheerio out for you. Then, you start looking for another one.
Above all this month, you have become so much fun. You are really starting to understand words and if I ask you to find the kitty or Daddy you will look straight at them. You can play games like peek-a-boo and you enjoy smacking your hand onto a table or the floor to get me to do the same thing. You have learned how to remove your hats, and we started playing a game where I would put a hat on your head and you would take it off over and over again. I am regretting starting this game now that we are having another cold snap and I can't get you to keep a hat on. You have also learned how to take your socks off and do so on a regular basis. When I go in to get you from your naps you are almost always barefoot, and last week you pulled the sock off another little boy you were playing with. You like to pull my socks off too, but get upset when I won't let you chew on them.
Earlier today you figured out how to clap your hands and you haven't stopped since. I'm constantly amazed by how alert you are and how focused. Your attention span is longer than mine most of the time.
My favorite new thing is your kisses, which are open-mouthed and sloppy and usually planted on someone's nose or chin, but are the best kisses I have ever gotten and you love to give them.
We added a new step to our bedtime routine this month. What we have been doing is taking your clothes off (which you adore) and playing for a few minutes, then greasing you up with lotion for your eczema, getting into pjs and your blanket then reading Goodnight Moon. Lately we have started doing the Hokey Pokey when we get you into your blanket, and you love it, especially the part where you stick your butt in. It is just about the first time I have ever heard your father sing, but he sings it with me every night.
Yesterday was a sad day for us, we had to put Callie to sleep. I am very glad that you got to meet her, but in a way I am also glad that it happened now before you were old enough to understand what was happening. Someday I will show you the pictures of her with you and tell you about her and maybe even tell you that we took you with us to put her to sleep because I just couldn't stand to go alone. And maybe I will also tell you how much it helped to soften the blow of coming home without my cat that I got to sit and nurse you while you fell asleep in my arms. Having you makes everything in my life, even the bad things, better. Being with you makes even the saddest day a joy.
Every day you become more and more yourself, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.