Letter to Christian at 9 months

After chowing down on lots of free naan at the art reception at Crafts and Arts Museum on Wilshire.

Chowing down on lots of free naan at the art reception at Crafts and Arts Museum on Wilshire (and clothed shoulder-to-toe in Flann hand-me-downs).

Dear Sir Stands-a-lot,

This month has been all about moving about; even though you are still army crawling, you’ve decided to skip the proper crawl and move right into standing and cruising while standing. And heck, why not? You can reach so much more that way.

For a week or so you were content to get set up right at the base of the armchair, or at the edge of the bed.  Sometimes you lost your balance, and with one hand still holding on, you would slam sideways into the floor with a loud thump. I was often chided for not making a safety zone of pillows around you.

I sometimes set you up just outside the kitchen door with a few toys and you would stand holding the seat of a small wooden child’s chair for support. We’d been doing this for days, when suddenly I looked up and you were gone. You’d taken it upon yourself to use the wall to expand your territory. You even negotiated the corner of the dining area and moved down the hallway. Once you got to Bella’s door you stopped and did what you must have seen me do a thousand times: knocked and yelled, Bella!

Right now you are sleeping on the bed behind me. We never got around to putting the mattress on the floor. Instead we’ve been concentrating on teaching you to turn around and slide off feet first. So far you’ve only fallen off twice (total). Your naps continue to be on the short and frequent; although you seem to have dropped your 4th nap. It’s been harder getting you to fall asleep. As your awareness of the world around you grows, you are less willing to leave it, even momentarily, for the world of dreams. Luckily, in a pinch, your dad can still put you to sleep by rocking out with the playlist he created for you.

You can't fight it.

We’ve been using some sign language with you, but of course you’ve started with the classic first: the wave. It started with a salute, arm raised, to any person or animal approaching, and now that arm flaps, and sometimes even your fingers wiggle. You are very pleased when people wave back. It’s that whole action and reaction thing. You really love it when you bang on a table and the adults around you join in for a party-style table-banging session, like they did at your Auntie Corrina’s birthday dinner.

At the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (in the Chinese or Japanese section? they all look they same to me.)

At the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (in the Chinese or Japanese section? They all look they same to me. Ha ha.)

And like your older sister before you, you’re a real trooper about traveling, especially when it does not involve the car seat. You’ve spent many days in the Beco carrier I got for Christmas: hiking local trails, walking from gallery to gallery, and even – when you’re on my back – swiffering and vacuuming the house. How did we manage before the Beco?

I think your nightly bath with your dad is your favorite part of the day.

(Routine: I shower alone, then you and your dad jump in as I’m exiting. I dry off,  lotion up, get three diapers  going, and get your sheepskin under the covers, then I get you. You get a pajama shirt – smurf shirt from Nu is a favorite these days – and then the lights  go off and I sing and nurse you to sleep.)

You remain very jolly, in no small part because your dad loves to make you laugh. I also think you’re just a sociable kind of guy who likes a good time. Here’s you in the tub with Daddy having a laugh.

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