8 months old

Dearest Hatchling,
On Monday, you turned a whopping eight months old. This is a great age to experience your first Christmas, because a) you won’t remember any of it, so we can ask for lots of boring stuff like clothes and safety gates for presents, b) you’re not crawling yet, so the tree and ornaments and candles are safe from your imprecations, and c) you’ll be thrilled just to rip at wrapping paper and play with ribbons on Christmas morning. Much like the cats. Hm. Anyway, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to opening your gifts much more than my own, since they’re virtually guaranteed to be cuter.

Peep-eye!

Speaking of cuter, you are. We went to a very chi-chi mall today for lunch, and flirty doesn’t even begin to describe your behavior with all the wealthy matrons and less wealthy nannies populating the stores. I mean, really, it was shameless. You don’t just give out smiles to anybody, of course; you make them work for it. They coo and make funny faces and tell you how pretty your blue eyes are, and only when you deem their attitude to be appropriately worshipful do you bestow a slow, huge, toothy grin on them, thereby making their hearts explode. You also have a new trick of reaching out one or both arms towards the receiver of the smile, which makes it all the more endearing.

I CRUSH your head

On the flip side, you’re also in the throes of separation anxiety, which makes it extremely difficult for your Mamala to do anything without you. As long as you’re in my arms or right next to me, you’re a veritable social butterfly. But as soon as I leave your sight, or – god forbid – abandon you to the care of an adoring babysitter, you just lose it. The height of this behavior so far came last night when we had to drop your grandparents off at the airport. You’d been perfectly amiable all day and seemed OK with getting into your carseat. But as soon as I closed your door and hopped into the drivers’ seat, it was as though someone was sticking red hot needles into your eyeballs or something. I mean, you just LOST it. Your poor Oma, who was sitting in back with you, tried everything she could think of to calm you down, but you weren’t having any of it. You cried so hard you threw up your supper all over yourself (which didn’t help matters any) and you kept twisting and turning to try and see me in the front seat – no easy feat from a rear-facing car seat. You were so beside yourself we thought maybe there was something else wrong, like something poking you or a sudden earache or something. But no; as soon as we got to the airport and I took you out of your seat for a little cuddle, you were completely fine – it was like flipping an “off” switch. You gave your grandparents a watery good-bye smile, we packed you back into the car, and you happily babbled and cooed all the way home. Little stinker.

Walking with Oma

In general, though, you remain highly satisfactory. Sometimes your father and I can’t even believe how rough the first three months were, because now? Now you’re like an advertisement for having kids or something. I mean, really: you’re SO GOOD almost all of the time. You’re extremely good-tempered and happy; you’re beyond patient when it comes to running errands or other outings; you’re sweet and smiley with other people, and you’re interested in pretty much everything. One of your most entrancing habits right now is that of chuckling whenever you see something new or exciting. The cat jumps up on the sofa: chuckle. A school bus drives by the window: chuckle. We went to a wonderful kids’ book store that has live chickens (among other animals) walking around, and you thought those were just about the neatest things you’d ever seen. (Or, more likely, the weirdest looking cats you’d ever seen.) They were chuckletastic.

Teethy

You’re still growing like a maniac; it’s a good thing Christmas is coming because almost NONE of your clothes fit you anymore. You’re particularly short (heh, punny) on sleepers – I tried putting you in one last night that said it was for 6-9 month old babies, but they must have been referring to amputee babies because we could get either your legs or your arms in, but not both. An old lady at the vet’s the other day asked if you were a boy (a common occurence, irrespective of the pinkness and beflowerment of your typical outfit) and when I said, no, a girl, almost 8 months, the woman said “My, she’s husky!” To me this word invokes images of hairy, muscle-bound, steroid-saturated hockey players, which is hardly an accurate description of you, but I can hardly deny that you’re generously proportioned for your age. Sometimes I call you my Amazon baby, and you’re certainly strong in both mind and body. Happily, you’re also cuddly and sweet and have not as yet indicated any desire to cut off one of your breasts (though you have tried on several occasions to twist my nipples off). Can’t wait to see what the next month brings.

Circus baby!

Love,
Mamala

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