How can you possibly be nine months old today? It seems as if we have just met you and are just starting to get to know you, and now you have been outside my body for as long as you were inside it. These months have passed so quickly and I can't believe how quickly your babyness is melting away, but I also can't believe it has only been nine months because I feel like I have loved you forever.
You've had quite a month, little lady. You started crawling two weeks and one day ago, and then didn't do it again for three days. Two more days after that you decided you liked it after all and were off like a shot. You crawl all over the place, to chase down poor Pixel, find me if I dare to duck into the bathroom, retrieve a favorite toy or just sometimes for a change of scenery. The other day I vacuumed the upstairs and kept trying to put you in a room away from the noise but every time I did you came trucking along after me with a very determined look on your face and then broke into a huge grin when you got to where I was. I love you crawling. I love watching you do it and I love that you can go your own way.
When you aren't crawling you want to be standing up. You can't quite pull yourself up yet, so I spend a lot of time standing you up and propping you against the crib or a baby gate, a chair, the couch, my hip, the stairs, the dresser, or any other moderately stationary object. You scream and laugh and giggle with glee and look all around you, up at the ceiling, down at the floor to examine all those familiar things from your new perspective.
You have such a personality now, and such solid ideas about what you do and do not like. Tormenting Pixel, like. Having your diaper changed, dislike. Playing with electrical cords, sockets, nightlights, trash cans and empty boxes, like. Getting dressed, dislike. You are also developing a vocabulary. You say Mama and Dada but don't appear to attach any meaning to them. You also say baba and nana and vava and make all sorts of clicks and pops and raspberries with your mouth. You have also learned how to yell to express your displeasure without having to bother to actually cry. Although you have also learned that Mama doesn't always respond to yelling so you turn on the waterworks at will.
You almost always take two good naps a day now, and it has made you a much more pleasant baby in the afternoons and evenings. The last couple of days we have been trying some new ways to help you sleep at night, and at the risk of jinxing it so far we seem to be making a little progress. Last night you spent the entire night in your crib and I think it is the first time you have ever gone an entire night in your own room. I was thrilled, and admittedly a little sad. I enjoy pulling you into bed with us in the small hours of the morning and sleeping with your chubby little fingers up my nose. One of the things we have done in our new sleep campaign is set up a camera in your room so we can check on you without going in there, and I find it is hard for me to go to sleep because I would prefer to sit and watch you sleep.
I hate it when people say that babies are good babies, because I feel like babies are just babies and are themselves. But you are such a good baby. You are happy and cheerful and love to play and flirt with people. We went to a meeting yesterday where there were several other babies and you spent the whole time crawling around trying to kiss them. You like to kiss my forehead and my still flabby belly and on Easter you kissed your very surprised Aunt. Your best kisses, however, you save for the cat. How you love that cat. I think he must love you too because he puts up with your very rough little hands and doesn't scratch you to ribbons, despite great provocation.
Yesterday your father took you out all on his own for the first time. I don't know how it had never happened before, but it hadn't. He was a little scared, but he overcame his fears and took you to Best Buy. When you got back, both of you were grinning from ear to ear, just so pleased with yourselves and your adventure. Other than the time in my car driving to the grocery store or the gym or wherever else I have gone, that was the first time in nine months that I have been alone. I reveled in the first 10 minutes and then started wondering when you and Daddy would be back. I like that we are able to be a little more independent of each other these days, but the fact is that I am happiest when I have you on my hip, giggling and pulling my hair.
Mia Bean, you are a silly little monkey, and I love, love, love you with every last bit of my heart.