I wish time could stand still. Nine and ten months are two of my most favorite times in the life of a baby, and you, my last baby, are making these fleeting days so incredibly enjoyable. You are, in one word, delicious.
Your soft, pudgy body is perfect for kissing and cuddling. Fresh from the bath, you are delightfully velvety. No one can resist baby in a diaper. We follow you around, waiting for our turn to scoop you up, zurbit that round belly, nibble those dimpled thighs, nuzzle in your cozy neck space.
You are walking and talking in the course of one month. A few days after turning nine months you took your first steps, 2 or 3 of them, across the room. We all looked at each other in wonder and delight, immediately followed by panic. "What will we do with a walking baby?!!!" Well, we've managed. These days you will walk across a room, 11 or 12 steps at a time, and change direction.
You say "Ah duh!" when you want to get out of your high chair, waving your hands wildly with the sign for all done. You call out "Dada!" when you see him. You look for "Da!" and pant happily to see Hanalei or your favorite pull-toy dog lying next to you. You give hearty waves goodbye and hello to your favorite friends and complete strangers. It is so much fun to see you communicating.
You are an incredibly easy baby, which for months made me feel a little guilty, until I embraced the fact that 3 1/2 is where my kids really get tricky, and so I'm just going to sit back and really soak up the next few years. You go to sleep without a fuss or tear. You wake up in the happiest of moods and will sing quietly to yourself for a looong time, allowing me to linger in bed and enjoy the sweet sounds that drift out of your room.
There are plenty of days where I miss nursing and the closeness of having you next to me, yet I've also found this great delight in a child who falls asleep so easily on his own, who reaches for his bed with joy and relief, who needs no more snuggles from Mama when sleepy. You are plenty snuggly the entire day, happy to be held close, and so I don't ever miss out on an opportunity to snatch you up and hold you tight. We took some long hikes this past week, and you were so content to ride in the ergo, holding on tight. You only grew antsy when you couldn't see your siblings, and would throw your body weight around to spot them.
You are a fearless explorer. You mastered going up the stairs in a day, and within a month you learned to lower yourself down, slowly, on your belly. You quickly discovered which child locks are faulty and will give way to a cupboard full of forbidden treasures. You enjoy sitting in and emptying the dishwasher for me. You are intrigued by the spinning clothes in the washer and dryer and have found the buttons that make noise (thank goodness for child locks on those!) You mouth everything but don't swallow anything but food. A true third child your life is surrounded by little lego parts, marker caps, doll shoes and playmobil weapons but you've learned to pass them by.
You are officially out of your infant seat, having surprised me by towering in the 99th percentile for height at 10 months. You weight 21 and a half pounds and have a full head of blonde hair, much like your brother's thickness and texture at this age.
You love to eat! You are sort of finicky about baby food pouches these days, throwing aside those you don't really care for (followed by liquid splattering unbelievable distances across the floor). You prefer finger food and will chow down on meat and cheese, broccoli, whole apples, and even bite at raw veggies.
Your Daddy has threatened to go in and wake you up nearly every night after we've put you to bed. He says he's "baby crushing" you. :) You're just so much fun that we hate when your day is done. We want to play with you and be entertained by you. We scoop you up with delight, throw you in the air, delighting in that deep belly giggle.
Thank you for bringing so much unexpected, undeserved love and joy into our house. I can't imagine a more perfect third child to complete our little family. You are a pure, delicious delight and I am so, so grateful to God every day for your life.