To my little alligator,
Last Tuesday you turned nine months old. NINE MONTHS! At nine months of age, you give kisses on command, wave goodbye, and clap after each and every meal. You pull yourself up; you crawl up steps and give high fives. You babble and laugh and squeal and squawk. You splash in the bathtub; you pound on your wooden blocks, you crawl wickedly fast across the room to knock over big sister’s tower. You recognize the rhythms in your favorite books. And you scream.
Lily, my love, you have lungs made of steel and you aren’t afraid to use them.
You are not allowed to play in the dishwasher, screaming ensues. You are hungry: screaming. The sun is in your eyes: screaming. Your sister took your ball: screaming. You need your diaper changed: screaming. You don’t want your diaper changed: screaming. You milk teeth are cutting through: screaming. You’re not ready for a nap: screaming. You are ready for a nap: screaming. You have been awake for 30 seconds and no one has retrieved you to nurse: screaming.
It’s like you’re trying to make me lose my marbles.
Your father and I celebrated your nine-month birthday by dropping you and your sister off with your maternal grandparents and taking an overnight trip to Palm Springs. For the first 60 minutes in the car, we sat in silence, and enjoyed the peace. Then, we decided to check in and see how it was going. We hung up seconds later when we heard the screaming. We decided it was good to be away.
Your sister was dressed as a rainbow ballerina fairy (although she added her new Mouse ears from our recent Disneyland trip, she’s missing her decorated wings, and you can’t see her rainbow-hued wand) and you were the cutest little monkey for Halloween.
Besides suffering mild hearing loss, you are such a joy to be around. People constantly exclaim at what a happy baby you are, smiling, laughing and flirting. You love to be held, you love to cuddle, and you love to be within an arms distance of me. I’ll tell you, it’s the ultimate ego booster. You seriously HATE to get your diaper changed and fight through the whole ordeal, and if I make a split-second falter, you’re already halfway across the room with a naked bum staring back at me. It’s hard to believe that you are the same helpless newborn we brought home from the hospital nine months ago. I am constantly amazed at how much you have changed in such a short time. While you’ll always be my baby, I’m beginning to catch glimpses of the toddler you are becoming, and I see many temper tantrums in our future.
But, Lily, my love, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the waters in the ocean.