Friday, September 5, 2008

Dear Mack - Month Seven

Dear Maverick,

To tell you the truth munchkin, I am enjoying the end of your seventh month more than I enjoyed the start of it.  You see, this month in my development as a first-time parent, I have been learning about the concept of phases.  I remember hearing parents say their kids were "going through a phase," but I never realized what it meant.  Here is what it means. Occasionally a child will display some sort of totally bizarre behavior that mystifies parents and defies all explanation.  Then, just as the parents start to figure out how to deal with the mystery behavior, it abruptly stops, never to return.  So "going through a phase" might as well be baby code for "trying to make me clinically insane by your first birthday."

I don't know what phase you were going through this month, but it involved a week or so of more fussing than usual and refusing to nap, followed by five days or so of even more fussing and sporadic night sleeping.  When you were at your worst, it seemed I could not do anything to console you.  I was fairly certain nothing was physically wrong with you so that was reassuring.  However, it was also disheartening, because it meant that no one, including your doctor, could tell me why you were upset.  

And then, just as I resigned myself to a lifetime of now having a fussy baby, you stopped, and you have been your usual content self ever since.  I am very thankful that you're not planning on fussing forever.  I just wish I could understand why you did it in the first place.  Maybe then I could prevent it.  Make it better.  But I will probably never know what was bothering you, and what's worse, there will probably be more times in the future when you will be upset and I won't be able to do anything about it.  When that happens, I wish there was some way you could know how much I want to fix it.  So much.

This "fussy phase" business aside, this has been your month to discover your potential for movement.  You continue to love our Friday playgroups and we have so much fun doing new things every week and I love having that special time with you every week.  There is no where I would rather be than with you.

Eating solid foods continues to be a source of great entertainment around here.  You are getting better at it and it continues to be great fun watching you try new tastes and textures.  There does not appear to be much you do not like, though tomatoes appear to not be one of your favorites.  But to the disappointment of many as they watched in anticipation of your first taste of LOVE pickles.  You did not even bat an eye.  I have not given you lemon or lime just yet, but be's coming.

As Aunt Lori predicted, you have finally started crawling.  At first you did this uncomfortable looking cute inch-worm-like maneuver that involved scooting around on your stomach.  It looked terribly uncomfortable but it did start to get you going in forward motion.  For about a week or two you spent your time scrunching between your toys scattered about on the floor.  

Yet within a week or so, you were getting up and bouncing hard on all fours until just a couple of days before your 7th month birthday when you finally put all the pieces together and are now off to the races.

It is hard for me to believe that only 1 month ago I was celebrating your new ability to simply sit up.  It is quite amazing to me how briefly the time was that I could sit you up surrounded by toys and know you would stay put.  This is no longer true.  The new question around the house is "Where's Maverick?"  Much to my amazement, you are now even starting to pull up on things around the living room.   It seems once you master one task, whether it be sitting or crawling, within a matter of hours, you are already working on the next milestone.  No one has made a prediction on walking, but I do not think it will be long given how fast you are accomplishing everything else.  

This month you are working on figuring out your walker.  You spent a fun evening at your Aunt Lori and Uncle Deans new house blazing from one end of their living room to the other in a full on sprint.  

However, like a bad baby bumper car ride, you can navigate yourself into corners or against walls and cannot figure out how to get out of it.  So now, whoever happens by and finds you wedged up against something has to relocate your wheels so you can start moving again.  You also are trying to figure out how to reach things on the floor from the walker.  Sorry kid.  It ain't happening.  

You also have this little red number that you love to sit in, but have not yet figured out how to make it go.  That is ok.  Your cousin Austin is keeping it lubed up for you until you are ready...

For your 7th month birthday and to celebrate your new crawling abilities I got you some fabulous new crawling play tunnels.  You love to crawl in them and get so excited that you flip yourself over and kick your legs so hard and just squeal with glee.  Once inside, it is a challenge to get yourself to turn yourself back over and crawl out as you seem to be uninterested in getting out once you are in.  Occasionally, I have to navigate in and fish you out when you have decided you have had enough.  It is one of the cutest things ever.  I am a bit suspect about this spell you are casting on me and I try not to think about it too much, but it is getting you lots of really cool toys.

Speaking of your cousin.  You think he is the best thing ever. We jokingly refer to him as your pet monkey.  When he is in the room, you watch everything he does and find him so entertaining.  I am starting to think Aunt Lori likes the days he is here to keep you entertained.  You kick your little legs so very hard and squeal so very loud when you see him and get so very very excited.  You two are already great pals.  He hunts you down for hugs and kisses regularly too.  I look forward to watching you grow together and become great friends.

Overall, this has been a really great month with you.  It is fun to see you develop your own unique preferences and quirks.  You are funny and sweet and endearing, and every day I see you do some little thing or make some face that reminds me of your cousins, or me, or your grandparents or one of your aunts and uncles, and it amazes me to see how much we are all a part of you even while you are so clearly becoming a little individual.

I love you,

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