|The Bear Series, Item VIII|
You are 8 months old, Sweetness, and weigh in at 14 lbs 3 oz - which is 10 whole pounds more than when you were born! This month you were all about reaching out to explore your world. Unlike last month, when you would fling away in excitement anything you managed to get into your grasp, this month you learned how to examine closely whatever you could get your hands on. Considering your little arms barely reach the top of your enormous head, it's astounding how much you do manage to get a hold of. It's like you've got go-go gadget arms.
This month you also dialed in that hand-to-mouth coordination... much to your daddy's chagrin when he lost concentration whilst holding you in his lap. You decided it was time to have a good gnaw on his thumb and he laughed and exclaimed, "Eww - it's like being eaten by a slug!"
Sometimes it seems like toys no longer interest you... though that's not strictly true. It's just now that you have the ability to identify an object of interest, reach out and claim it as your own, you show that your natural curiosity extends to anything and everything, and not just the brightly colored toys we've provided. A leaf, a waxed paper bag, your own socks and toes, an envelope, the breast pump tubing, my cell phone, the zippers on my backpack, the (no doubt filthy) strap that secures your car seat to the shopping cart... the world is filled with things that fascinate you. My hair seems to be top of your list, and I wouldn't be surprised if your first words are "Leggo mummy's hair, please!" While you are a very easygoing child, I got a glimpse of the future this month when I removed a new sunhat from your grasp to take off the tags and your little face crumpled up in distress and you threw your very first little tantrum.
Your powers of concentration surprise me as well. I've seen you spend a solid 15 minutes examining a candy bar wrapper, your baby spoon, or the tag on your baby sleeping bag. (Which reminds me, you love tags and labels of any sort.) It helps that you've figured out that things don't cease to exist just because you can't see them. If you're playing on your back and drop something by your ear, you diligently feel around until you can pick it up again. I'm so proud of you when I watch you just get on with things, rarely exhibiting much frustration as you test the extent of your abilities.
One thing that does seem to frustrate you a bit is not yet knowing how to crawl. You've mastered easily rolling over and can push up on your hands really well, but you haven't tried to get your knees under your hips yet, so mainly you just scooch around a bit on your back or your tummy - generally making only backwards progress and emitting comical groans of exasperation. I'm in no hurry to have you completely mobile, so take your time, baby girl.
You still don't babble or chatter very much, though there were a couple of days last week when you discovered the "ma-ma-ma" sound and experimented with it incessantly, intonation floating up and down conversationally and generally delighting me, while daddy babbled back "da-da-da." Then as quickly as it came, it was gone (and fortunately I captured a video.) Perhaps you'd mastered it and had no more need to practice that particular sound. Sometimes you do coo and squeak and you sound a bit like a baby R2D2. Daddy calls you "Squeaky-doo" and sings "What's up Squeaky-doo?" in his best impression of Tom Jones' "What's up Pussycat?" Someday you're going to hear that song and say, "So that's what he was trying to sing!"
You're developing your own opinions about things. Last month you proved you could get your bottle into your mouth, but this month you've definitively proved you prefer mummy to hold it for you. It's difficult to get you to open up for pureed food on a spoon, except when you're already holding a spoon of your own, but you readily grab toast crusts and gum them to mush. You used to remain placid when I cleared out your eye crusties, ear wax or boogers, but now you're so determined to keep me from messing with you that you frantically push my hands away from your face even if I'm only trying to put in your pacifier.
You're also developing a sense of humor and find it hilarious when you're looking at me upside down when you're lying on the bed, or when daddy pretends he's going to use your belly as a pillow. Your giggles are like precious jewels to me, little one. Laughter fills our days together, but tears are few and far between because you are such a contented little baby.
One of the finer points of parenthood that I didn't anticipate is how your days would be filled with tiny milestones that only a mother (or a father) could appreciate. It's so much fun joining your journey of discovery, my sweet baby girl - what are you going to show me next?
I love you with all my heart,