My darling Katherine,
You are ten months old, sweetness, and the last month has been a busy one. Your daddy worked very hard to renovate the home we bought and finally get us moved in on the day you turned 10 months old. It’s been a busy, busy month and you and I spent a lot of time at the new place while daddy worked on it, which threw your feeding and sleeping schedule into complete disarray. But you handled it like a champ. To keep you safe, you spent way too much time in your car seat or bouncy seat before we sorted out the playpen, affectionately dubbed “baby jail.” A couple of those car seat naps stretched to 90 minutes – about twice as long as you’ve ever napped in your entire life! Baby girl, if I’d have known that highly-discouraged practice of carseat napping would have resulted in such long stretches of daytime sleep, I’d have tried it ages ago. I also confess to finally resorting to the TV as a babysitter at one fussy point during the move and since this was a fairly novel experience for you it certainly kept you quiet. When I came to check on you a short while later, your tongue was lolling out of the side of your mouth while you lazily tapped your fist against it and you were mesmerized by the screen. I joked to your daddy that you were looking dumber already.
At the beginning of the month, you were up on all fours with no real clue how to move forward. It was a race to see what would occur first – the move into our new house or you learning to crawl. You beat us by 10 days, developing a unique style to achieve forward progress; I can’t really call it crawling. You’d crawl forward with your knees while tipping onto your chest since you hadn’t quite worked out the whole hand-over-hand thing yet. During the three days of our move, neither the house we were departing nor the house we were moving into were safe enough for you to move around freely. The only place you were allowed any latitude was contained safely on the bed between us, given free rein there amongst the bedding. Daddy says it must have functioned like training in sand because once we set you back down on newly laid carpet at home, you set off like lightning, with a properly developed cross-limbed crawl that seemed to appear from nowhere.
You now have three teeth, with your first top tooth (oddly the second one on the left rather than either of the middle two) coming through several weeks ago. Unlike your first two bottom teeth which appeared within days of each other, your second top tooth is taking its own sweet time, giving you an adorable, slightly snaggle-toothed smile for now. You’re getting the hang of the eating thing, though we have pretty much abandoned spoon feeding and just let you get on with it using your fingers. It wasn’t like I was getting much food into you with a spoon anyway, once you figured out how to remove it forcefully from my hands and then very deliberately turn it around and chew on the handle. Every. Time. You’ve developed the fine motor skills necessary to pick up Cheerios, which have become one of your favorite foods. You don’t eat much, really, even of things you like. You’ve not got a big appetite, though you are adventurous (or indiscriminate) enough to try a bite of pretty much anything I set in front of you. But you are also opinionated and will then refuse to eat things you have decided you do not like at any given moment… and those moments are tough to predict because you are a fairly capricious eater. You are still small, weighing in at around 15.75 lbs, and your 3-6 month wardrobe still fits perfectly. But you are gaining well and creeping up the percentile chart, so your diet must be suiting you well.
We’ve had so much fun playing together over the last month and I often spent time with you in baby jail at the new house while daddy worked on the renovation. One of my favorite moments was when I made an impromptu puppet out of a silicone cupcake case, and you laughed until you nearly cried. You also play well on your own and I love simply observing you explore things. Watching you play is like a time warp; minutes fly by and become hours while I’m absorbed in your wonderment. I haven’t ever wished away one moment of your precious infant days, thinking I can’t wait until you learn to do this or that. I’ve just enjoyed who you are and what you can accomplish at any given time. It’s gone so fast, I look back and wonder at how quickly my delicious squishy newborn was replaced by this great grown proper little girl. But know this, little one – you will always be my baby.
I love you with all my heart,