The 2013 “letters to our children” blog circle is over, but since Ben was only born in April 2013, I wanted to continue through a full year of letters to my son.
Oh, I love you! I’m afraid I’ve butchered your poor hair over the last thirty days. Your first haircut, at my hands, was a hilarious endeavor, one that resulted in a very funny little line across your forehead, and chunks missing all over your head. But, you’re lighter, and it isn’t wisping all over the place now, so it can’t be all bad.
You are up to 7 teeth that have broken through (four on top, three on bottom), and you’re suddenly a little man — eating lots of table food, feeding yourself with your fingers, drinking cow’s milk (we started you a month early when it occurred to us that your diet looks a lot more like Elodie’s did when she was around 13-14 months old). We have started to switch you over to sippy cups vs bottles, slowly, and you are doing great with the transition. You love to eat, you are impatient for your meals, and you are fast.
You’re fast on the ground, too, whether you’re speed-crawling after Elodie, or just jetting off to a corner to make mischief with the boxes we’re unpacking. In the last month, we’ve had our life properly delivered to us (with the sea freight shipment), so our house has been busy for the last two weeks. A whole world of toys has opened up to you now, and you are loving it. It’s a joy to see you play with Elodie’s old toys, with your Christmas presents, to read books. And yes, you investigate all of the empty cardboard boxes, and you gnaw on just about everything. Your poor wooden crib has stood defenseless (without teething rails) for so long, and in about two nights’ time you left your literal marks all over it. It’s wonderful to have all of our things again, though one of your favorite games is still to play peek-a-boo behind the curtain of our sliding glass door.
Our family is still figuring out its rhythm with this move, with my new job and your dad’s, and we are probably not spending enough time together on weeknights to satisfy any of us. I even left you for a whole week, for a trip to Sydney. To make up for things a bit, and to get you some semblance of non-Elodie socialization (you two will be weirdos together, since she’s teaching you everything she knows), we’ve started taking you to classes at a Gymboree nearby on weekends. I’ve accompanied you at the two we’ve been to so far, and your favorite parts are (1) walking with and slapping the air log; (2) shaking the noisemaker toys; (3) picking up wiffle balls; (4) staring at bubbles; (5) waiting for the clown to pop up. I don’t think you’re too into our attempts to get you walking, but I think you’re only one or two months away from it.
You’re smart, physical, and big compared to where I recall Elodie being at this time, ten-to-eleven months old. I wonder how much of that is our own recognition that you are capable, learned from being an experienced parent this time around, compared with actual superiority as a super baby. Maybe it can be both.