My little Tobin,
Eleven months. Goodness me. Can you believe this is your last month before you turn a whole year old? One year ago, I was enormous and hot and grumpy and ready to meet you. We had a hot, hot July last year, much like this one, only rainier. Your brother and I stayed inside most of the month because I just couldn’t deal with hauling my gigantic, sweaty self out of the air conditioning.
We’ve had to stay inside a fair amount this July as well, but because I would probably lose my mind if you two boys and I were at home all day, we’ve been trying to have an adventure every afternoon. You’re such a good sport. You love—love—the downtown fountain, and we’ve been making good use of it. At least once a week we make a trip to the library, the fountain, and the frozen yogurt place. You’re braver in the water than your brother is, and I always have to make sure to bring a new diaper and a spare outfit for you. One time I made the mistake of forgetting them, and I had to go buy an overpriced onesie with a cheeky slogan from Raygun. It’s true that you’ve listened to NPR since conception, though, so I don’t really mind.
We’ve been spending time with Uncle Larry, Aunt Lily, Aunt Suzy, and Uncle Joe this weekend, all of whom came from their respective states to have a mini-reunion at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house. You never sleep well away from home. I bet you were up ten times last night. I think what happens is that you wake up a little bit, and instead of falling back asleep like you might in your usual environment, you notice that things are abnormal and decide to wake up fully to investigate.
It is very annoying.
Still, despite your poor sleeping habits, you’ve maintained your jolly disposition. Aunt Lily has commented about forty-nine times about your sweet smile and how you almost never cry. Most of the group went to a water park yesterday, and Mubby was amazed by how much you enjoyed the water spouts, even when they squirted you in the face. You rode around on the lazy river for a long time, and you had lots of fun with the various sprinklers in the kids’ pool.
You’re a fearless little nut, and you love to climb. I took my eyes off you for about fifteen seconds the other day, and when I looked again, you had climbed up a two-level step-stool. You can climb up entire flights of stairs (though getting down is harder). You climb onto the trunk in the kitchen, the door of the dishwasher, the hearth, any chair you can find, and just about anything else that seems climbable. You haven’t taken much for solo steps yet, but you can stand unsupported for a pretty long time. The smart money is on you walking before your first birthday.
You’ve developed an appreciation of art lately. Now, when your dad or I is holding you, you often point with your index finger at a photo or piece of art on the wall, which is a nonverbal request that we take you over to examine it more closely. You love pictures of your brother most of all. You call him baba, which we think means brother. Another “word” you say is aaaaaah, which means you want a drink of water. If you see someone else drinking water, you make that noise until we get you a cup of water too. You also say it when you hear the word water, or even watermelon. You do a pretty good job drinking out of an open cup. Sometimes it spills down your front, and a lot of times you like to make bubbles in the water after you’re done drinking. That’s okay. Water is non-staining, and it’s been warm out.
You still put everything in your mouth. You have six teeth, which you use to munch your Cheerios and the foam grips on the stroller handle and the couch. You’ve pretty well shredded the foam guards we put on the sharp edges of the hearth for the purported reason of ensuring your safety. I’ve sure fished a lot of chunks of that stuff out of your cheek pouches. Your dad even caught you with an outlet cover dangling from your jaws. Clearly, the inventors of these products have never met the likes of you.
You make me tired. Your dad has been up against a big deadline at work lately, which has meant he hasn’t been quite as available as usual. I know I’m lucky, because a lot of parents have to work much stricter hours than he does. He’s able to go in a bit late and come home a bit early most days in order to accommodate our family life. That makes it all the more shocking to my system when he has to work extra, though. Being home with you guys until 5:00 every day is exhausting, and to have to wait until 6:00 for relief? Ay yi yi.
Still, you are such a joyful little guy, it’s easy to keep smiling while I’m collapsed on the couch. I love the way you say mamama when you want me, and how you like to cuddle when you wake up from a nap. Your skin is so soft and your limbs are so squishy and kissable. When I change your diaper and ask you if you want some tummy kisses, you blow raspberries (either because you know they’re coming, or as a way to prompt me to do them. I’m not sure which.).
Is this really your last month as my baby? It can’t be. It seems so recently that you punched a hole in your amniotic sac (I swear that’s what you did) and made your way into this world. You have been ready for everything since the day you were born, my little chub-chub. I’ll ruminate more on that next month, on the anniversary of your great escape. For now, I’m going to hold you as tightly as you’ll let me, until you squirm out of my arms because you want to go chase after your brother or put something non-biodegradable in your mouth.
I love you, my little one. Please sleep well tonight.