8 months old

Coming to get meDear Anya,

You spent about one week being happy that you could crawl, joyously roaming around the house and throwing yourself down stairs. You lulled me into a false sense of detachment, allowing me all this time to sit without someone in my lap and make dinner with both arms! Then you noticed that your sister, who had been crawling along with you to show you how to do it, was a freaking biped! And what the heck are you doing on all fours when you could be walking! Back to the unhappiness. Now you drag yourself around the house, crying because your pants are getting dirty (I’m just guessing here) pulling up and standing whenever you can find a stationary object. A couple of times you’ve tried using the dog as a stationary object, which has afforded you a nice collection of bonks. Silly baby. I’m guessing you’re trying to beat your sisters record of walking at 10 months. I swear, I’m gonna have to knock you down if you give up crawling too soon. Cross crawling is vital to brain development and what good is it to be able to walk if you’re too stupid to not walk into oncoming traffic? Wiser words have not been spoken my friend, so shut up and crawl, dammit.

It's a snot and drool kinda dayWe’ve all had colds in the last week and you’re expecting some new teeth. The snot is impressive but the drool is amazing. The speed at which you can soak a shirt is stunning; I’ve decided you are gifted and have been combing the internet looking for competitions and professional training. We’ll get some money outta this somehow, kido; you can count on me.

The strangest thing this month has given me may be indicative of my impending insanity. I like to call it the phantom baby syndrome. Take today for instance: you finally fell asleep after struggling against me for well over an hour. I waited until you were solidly out and then popped you into the crib just before I had to run into Lily’s room. She was waking up from her nap and was none to happy about it. When we got back to where you were sleeping you’d woken and, just like your sister, this pissed you off. So I gathered you in my arms and sat down to cuddle you back to sleep. Easily distracted by your sis, I managed to forget you were in my arms and looked over to the crib, shocked that you weren’t there. It wasn’t until I tried to stand up to look for you that I realized you were in my arms, fast asleep. I keep expecting you to be one place and finding you right here, in my arms with the shadow of sleep across your face and your gentle breath touching my skin.

LOOK MA!  NO HANDS!Your sister is so wildly independent I often feel like I have already lost her. This phantom baby must be a way to emotionally prepare myself for your separation from me. But I can’t believe you still prefer my arms. I am so enamored of your face, little girl. I want you to be independent like your sister, but I also want you to need me, just a little. And I know I’ll get that. Heck, even Lily has been coming up to me lately, tugging on my sleeve and solemnly claiming, “I want mommy.” She’s allowing me to gather her up in my arms (which are so much stronger now that I have carried a child or two on my hip for two and a half years) and will lean her curly damp head against my shoulder and love on me.

Unhappy babyAnd how can that not make me feel like the luckiest person on the planet? You girls have changed me and for that, I thank you. Hell, you’ve saved me from being a shallow, boring, selfish person. I just couldn’t imagine life without your smile. Thanks for being here.

Love you bunches,