Bob has left the building.
Last week, seemingly out of nowhere but perhaps due to your Beaniesitter’s educational influence, you started saying mama.
I guess I knew you’d say it eventually, but you started saying dada when you were ten months old or so, and it always made me a little jealous and sad that you couldn’t say mama. Don’t get me wrong—I didn’t mind being called Bob. Bob is a perfectly good name. But there’s something magical about your sweet little voice when you wake up in the morning, lift your head up to look at me, and say mama.
Just as excitingly, you are getting very close to saying your own name. For now, usually you just get the Mi- part, though you sometimes get a little bit of an l in there. The s sound still eludes you, but since there’s no s in mama, nobody’s complaining at our house.
You also know how to say lots of different animal sounds (including a clicking sound you attribute to a squirrel, which no one remembers teaching you), BUH! (which means Mubby and absolutely requires an exclamation point when written out, because you say it with great enthusiasm), and no. You either can’t or won’t say yes, because when I ask you to, you say no.
You also do a really funny face sometimes that involves lowering your chin, looking up through furrowed eyebrows, and sticking out the tip of your tongue. It took me a while to figure out what you were doing there, but eventually I realized you were imitating the sad face I make when you refuse to hug or kiss me. I stick out my lower lip when I do that, which apparently looks like a tongue to you.
You’re stingier with the hugs and kisses than you used to be, which is a downer, but I think it also represents cognitive development. Before, when I’d ask for a kiss, you heard the word and immediately set about the action. Now, you hear the word, analyze the situation, and make a decision about whether you want to complete the action or not. Sometimes you don’t, but sometimes you do, and maybe the kisses you choose to share are a little bit sweeter because of it.
We spent a fair amount of effort (though not nearly as much as Skittergramps, Mubby, and some of your great aunts and uncles) this month helping sort through things in Grammy and Pop-Pop’s house, which they’ve decided to sell. We still see them in their assisted living apartment, but it’s strange to me to realize you’re probably not going to remember the big house in Springville. My cousins and I spend so much time there and had so much fun there; it’s an indelible part of my personal history.
Even as you grow more independent, part of me still feels like you and I are the same person. It’s a cheesy metaphor but the best one I’ve ever heard to describe how a mother feels about her baby—it’s like my heart is running around outside my body. Running really fast, I might add, and yelling with every step, so we hear UH-UH-UH-UH-UH as you thump down the hallway at top speed. So how could it possibly be that my little boy—the little person I made out of Mexican food and Omega-3 supplements and optimism—won’t remember Grammy and Pop-Pop’s house?
You’ll have your own memories, I know. You’re making them already. We’re at Mubby and Skittergramps’ house right now, and you have so much fun going around to Mubby’s different garden decorations, pointing out the rabbits and squirrels and flowers and the fish in the pond. We’re going to see Grandma Cheryl and Grandpa Denny tomorrow, and you’re developing memories of them, too. I know you’re going to go crazy about all the cows at Grandpa Denny’s farm next time we go there (that’s one of your best animal noises: mah-ooooo). And when someday you have first cousins, you’ll do the same kinds of goofy things with them at your Cousins’ Week that I did at mine.
But back to the present: things are going really well, I’d say. You are transitioning pretty well to your new care provider (the aforementioned Beaniesitter). She tells me about the great adventures you have, from watching a cicada emerge from its shell to throwing five balls down the hallway at the same time. I know you’re learning and having fun with Bean, even though it’s kind of hard when we leave. It’s reassuring that she sends me a photo every morning of you smiling, usually just minutes after we go.
A highlight this month was seeing Uncle Tyler. We’re going to visit him at his new house in Lincoln in October, and you think he’s just the coolest.
You also got to see Niamh, who is our friends John and Patty’s little girl. She’s only a year older than you, but that still qualifies as a big kid in your eyes, which makes her awesome.
Mubby thinks you’re a genius (and so do I, but she knows a lot more little kids than I do) because a person only has to show you something once before you learn it. That can be a good thing and a bad thing, because sometimes you don’t want to stop doing the new tricks you learn. You know how to do “cheers” with a glass, but you don’t realize you’re only supposed to do it once or twice. You like to hold hands with people, especially when you have someone one each side of you, but you don’t realize that some circumstances (such as riding in the stroller) aren’t ideal for it. You like to do the “I don’t know” gesture with upturned hands, but sometimes you get carried away and your hands go all the way up to your head.
You’ll learn finesse. Don’t worry. In the meantime, I love every one of your silly-billy tumbly-bumbly ways.
Have a great month, Scoop. Try to get some sleep.