Dear Baby Boy,
You turned 11 months old on Sunday. You may be wondering why I haven’t already written this month’s newsletter, and I have a very simple explanation: I AM EXHAUSTED, BECAUSE YOU WON’T SLEEP. Seriously, child. What happened to the baby who used to sleep through the night, EVERY night? Can we get THAT baby back? We are currently considering trading you in for a more cooperative model. You’ve been waking up and fussing anywhere from two to eight or more times a night, sometimes going right back to sleep, and sometimes keeping us up for hours at a time, with Daddy and I trying everything we can think of to soothe you and comfort you and convince you to please, PLEASE just go back to bed and SLEEP until morning, so maybe we can get a little rest. We’re hoping – PRAYING – this is just a phase, and once you get through it, you ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO THROUGH ANY MORE PHASES, at least until you get your own place. We’re just too tired and stressed out for any more funny business from you, Young Man.
You’ve had another busy month, Baby Boy. You’ve gone from having two hillbilly teeth, to having eight beautiful little pearly whites – four on top and four on bottom – all lined up, just as they should be. You’re really starting to look like a big boy now.
You’ve been practicing pulling up and cruising – walking while holding onto the furniture – this month. Your balance is getting better, and your legs are getting stronger…
People often ask Daddy and me, “Is he walking yet?” And we can honestly say that we are in no hurry for you to walk. After watching your sisters go from babies to big kids in no time flat, Daddy and I have finally learned the importance of enjoying each stage and each milestone as they happen, instead of anxiously awaiting the next one. So, take your time, Baby Boy. Don’t be in too big a hurry to grow up. We’ve got enough of that around here already.
You still love your books more than your toys, and that makes me smile. My current secret formula for motivating you to come to me, when you are determined to crawl down the hall and into your sisters’ room – where you would surely meet an untimely demise by choking on some small, horrid, not-for-children-under-age-3 toy – is to simply sit in the floor and start reading one of your books. You immediately know what I’m doing; even if you’re not looking at me when I start reading, I have your attention as soon as you hear the words. And – most of the time, anyway – you’ll come crawling over to me and into my lap, and we’ll finish the book together, and probably read a few more. I LOVE that you love to read and be read to.
Baby Boy, Mom and Dad have been very tired and cranky lately. But we’ve been-here-done-this before, and we know that this, too, shall pass. We know that things will get better. We know that your sleep habits will eventually improve. And we also know that your baby days are numbered. You’re growing too fast. It’s happening already. We just turned around, and poof! Almost a year has gone by. I feel myself already starting to mourn the loss of your babyhood. Because I know we’ll turn around again, and you’ll be starting school. I know I can’t stop you from growing up too fast, but I can’t help feeling a little sad that you won’t always be Mama’s baby boy.
For now, though, I’ll find my happiness in the simple pleasures. In the way you squeal and kick your feet with glee when you see me. In the way you grab and hug your sisters, like you’ve just found your long-lost best friend. In the way you – just this afternoon – heard your Daddy’s voice and stopped nursing to sit up and look for him. (It seems you had a smile you’d been saving just for him. Once you saw him and gave him that huge grin, you went right back to nursing.) I’ll find my happiness in these moments, and try to forget how fleeting they are.
I love you, my Baby Boy, my Little Man.