Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dear Mack - Month Nine

Dear Maverick,

The good news is that while the last two months have been pretty obnoxious regarding the election, in contrast, you have been really fun. Yesterday, election day, you turned 9 months old. This last month for you has been really busy for both of us and filled again with a lot of travel, family and friends, which is always a good thing. In fact, we are currently still on the road and despite the changing sleep arrangements, changing time zones and changing everything you are still proving to be mostly a great traveller. I say mostly because your new thing is to now wake up waaaay earlier than normal to get into bed with me which gives both of us not great sleep when it is for so long at night. We do better with that when it is the last hour or two of the night. Now that your sleep is out of whack, I do look forward to both of us sleeping in our own beds soon in hopes that this will correct itself and you will go back to being the great sleeper I know you are.

As we set out on our most recent journey, I admit I was a bit worried that you would not sleep on the plane like you did a few months back. I worried about how I was to contain you now that you are mobile. I worried about how I would ever keep you entertained for the entire 3 hour flight. The good news for me was that you have recently learned to eat Cheerios, and find this activity so engrossing that I was hoping that if I brought a big enough bag with me on our trip that you should be entertained for at least the first hour or so of the flight. You see, your preferred method of eating Cheerios is to pick up a handful and shove them in your mouth. Usually 2 of them make it in the mouth and the rest fall from your hand and scatter about. Now, I am not completely certain how many actually make it into your mouth....I am guessing at the most 2 or 3, but the fallout of those Cheerios that don't make it into your mouth is quite impressive. I would say for every 1 that makes it in your mouth, a good 10-15 end up on the floor. There may be a more wasteful way to eat Cheerios, but I can't think of what it is. Still, I am not complaining since at that ingestion speed, you can eat Cheerios for a looooooong time. We basically survived the last half of the flight from Los Angeles to San Antonio by you shoveling handfuls into your mouth and me trying to catch and kick back into your little cup those Cheerios that did not hit the floor and pouring more into the cup when it ran dry. Eighteen hundred crunched-up, soggy Cheerios later, we landed. I do hope they had a Dustbuster on board.

So far this month we have been to visit your Gram, your PaPa and Granny, and now your Cousins and on the way you have again met many more people who were so excited to finally get a chance to meet you in person. Since we have been in Texas, you have endlessly been entertained by your Aunt Jen and your cousins who just can't quite get enough of you....unless you have a stinky diaper, then you get quickly handed off to me to sort that out. Really, all of you are quite in love with one another. At times, you have gotten a bit clingy if you are extra tired, but mostly you have been happy to hang out and play with them for hours at a time. I admit at first, I felt a little sad at how much you were not needing me, but I think I can get used to it.

You are continuing to develop new skills it seems daily. You now clap on demand. You give hi-fives. You started a week or so back when our friend Gayle spent a good hour and a half doing hi-fives over and over and over again. By the time you went to bed that night you were snuggled up to me with your eyes closed trying to fall asleep and you kept shooting your little arm up for another hi-five. I finally had to gently pin your little arm down so you could fall off to sleep, but it did make me giggle. I am a bit concerned that now that you have learned this skill you think you have the power of mind control, because every time you hi-five even a little, someone nearby drops what they are doing and try to get you to do it again and doing anything possible to keep you doing it.

You now laugh. You play peek-a-boo. You have learned to throw things. I am not sure that is a good thing, but you find it entertaining, so as long as you are throwing plastic toys, keys or food off your high chair and not valuable china, I don't think we have a problem.

You give kisses now which is my favorite skill. One morning you woke and I sat you up facing me on my lap and you grabbed both sides of my face and proceeded to give me 4 solid baby kisses. It was one of the best mornings ever.

We continue on our path of having you feed yourself. This month you have tried sushi, caprese, frito chili pie, all types of pasta dishes and pretty much any fruit or vegetable I can get that is soft enough for you to handle. You are a self feeding wizard. However, it is still going to be a while before you can handle a steak knife, so on occasion you do get spoon fed yogurt, oatmeal or other such soft foods like that.

You are changing so fast and so much every week that I can clearly see that the day is coming when you won't be a baby anymore. Some days, I'll admit, that is a comforting thought - but last week, when we were on our way to Texas, we got on the plane and much to my pleasant surprise you fell asleep in my arms during takeoff. Usually on a plane I have a book or I-pod all ready to go to help to pass the time and the thought of sitting perfectly still without one of those things would sound like some kind of punishment. But you were so beautiful and sweet, sleeping with your face turned toward me and your cheeks all rosy, and right at that moment, I didn't want anything but to sit there with you and hold you and try to forget how quickly you are growing up. Slow down.

I love you,

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