February 6, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 8

Dear Jack,

Now that you no longer depend on your dad and I to get you from place to place around the house, our lives have changed dramatically. Last month at this time you were already crawling, but the difference between then and now is the speed at which you move from one thing to another. It is truly astounding! We laid two barstools down at both entrances to the living room to keep you contained, but yesterday you figured out how to get past them. When you got to the other side, I was there staring at you in disbelief. You just gave me half a grin and looked at me as if to say, "It wasn't going to last forever, Mom." You're right, Jack.

You're thoroughly enjoying your newfound freedom. You have no fear when it comes to exploring the house on your own, but every so often you check back and make sure that your dad and I are still where you left us. At the beginning of the month, I found you sitting in our walk-in closet crying because you thought you had lost me. When I walked in and picked you up, you game me that wide-mouthed, crinkle-nosed smile that melts my heart every time. It's good to know that you still need me . . . even if it's just for a little reassurance!

Back when you were little (you know, like 4 months old), people told us that things would get so easy once you started crawling. They told us that once you could get around by yourself, you'd entertain yourself more easily and could play on your own for longer stretches. They were lying, Jack. This month has been the most labor intensive of all of your months of life so far, and I suspect that this is only the beginning. I'm constantly chasing you around trying to keep you from harming yourself or the dog or destroying any of our belongings.

Don't get me wrong . . . it is a lot of work, but it's fun, too. There is no better feeling in the world than when you scurry across the carpet to me and pull yourself up on my pant leg begging to give me a hug and a kiss. Oh did I mention that yet? You give hugs and kisses now. When I say, "Give mama kisses, Jack," you open your mouth and plant one on me . . . they're slobbery, but I'll take them. You follow the wet kiss by squeezing me tightly and pressing your chin into my shoulder. I know that there will be a day when "hugs and kisses" for your mom will become "uncool" and maybe even a little bit "gross." Until then, I will savor every one.

This month, your father and I have both become introduced to the "disciplinarian" part of parenting. I say things like, "No, no, no" and "No, Jack" and "That's not for Jack to play with" millions of times a day. Seriously. Millions. Sometimes you look at me and laugh. At other times, you lower lip sticks out and you start crying as if I were telling you that I don't love you anymore. But I do love you, Jack. I just want you to stop gnawing on my laptop cord.

As your dad and I are learning more and more about being parents, there are some battles that we let you win and some that we don't. For instance, you decided this week that you will no longer allow us to feed you with a spoon. Either you do it yourself, or you don't eat. So, we feed you lots of finger foods and let you hold your own spoon. It seems to be going well, but you did inadvertently fling a piece of pasta at me yesterday which stuck to the middle of my forehead. You didn't really appreciate how funny it was.

Much to your dismay, however, wearing your bib is non-negotiable. If there's even an instant in which there is not food on the tray in front of you, you begin the work of tearing it off. Yesterday, you ripped your bib off with such gusto that you sent the cheerios and peas that had collected in the pocket flying everywhere. This is not a battle that you will win. The bib stays on. Because I said so.



heather.snider said...

I love reading these...I think he is really going to appreciate them someday. You guys sound like such great parents...your honesty is refreshing...I even teared up a bit when you said that someday the kisses will not be cool anymore. not sure why. maybe I'm prego. love ya

Crystal said...

When Moses got to the "hold my own spoon stage" we gave him an extra and fed him the mushy stuff while he was distracted by the finger foods. :)

You think crawling is labor intensive? Wait until you walk into the room and he is standing on top of his music table, couch, ottoman, your bed, etc. Moses loves the challenge of climbing. :)

Very sweet letters. :)