My dearest Minnu,
Today you are eleven months old. Or as they say in Southern Virginia, today you are “elebum” months old.
You’ve always been an active baby, but now that you’re mobile — crawling all over the place, pulling yourself up to stand, and furniture walking — I’m starting to wonder if you’re actually a battery dressed in a little boy costume. You literally, truly, without exaggeration, NEVER STOP MOVING. It’s fun to play so much and also exhausting; more often the latter.
This month we had a rough couple of weeks when you got an infection and a virus within a few days of each other and started cutting two new teeth. And then Daddy left for a week-long business trip. We had a lot of sleepless nights, you and I; you cried and screamed and then screamed and cried some more, I fumbled around in the dark trying to alternate your medications around the clock properly and you had the most epic vomit that drenched my clothes right before we got into an elevator with three other people. When we checked in with Daddy he’d gone surfing in Santa Monica and was spending the rest of his free day in San Diego. I wished you and I could have been with him, but I was happy he got a much deserved break.
This month you learned to give “pappoos” (kisses) and I love them oh so. You open your mouth and lean in to: another mouth, a cheek, an eyebrow, or a forearm and then replace the ‘snap’ of the kiss with the sound, “Mmm-waaa” and it makes me love you a little more each time you do it. At night when I put you to bed you roll into me, wrapping your arms tenderly around the body you’ve changed; the one I’m still working to fix and learning to accept. You pull me closer and closer into you until I imagine all our angles’ wings must be in a tangle. We lie together, our foreheads and noses touching, breathing each other’s air. My eyes in your stare, our smiles turn to giggles and we exchange kisses to our hearts’ content.
You wave to everyone, clap when I’m done praying and dance all the time. Your dancing is mostly a side-to-side head bob with the occasional jump thrown in and it’s quite a crowd pleaser. You’re curious, patient, sweet and fearless. Your baby babble…Daddy’s favorite is “Ng-nnn” and mine is “Bww-wah”… makes us laugh. You say “Ta” all the time and love riding your rocking horse Bode that was a gift from Myjaan (Daddy’s mom) for Eid. You pat him on the head when we say, “Good boy, Bode” and you give him lots of kisses. So far you’ve tried to ride Bode standing up, without holding the handles and continue to dismount at will even when that means falling to the ground with a thud. (See: “fearless” above).
Daddy and I are itching to take you somewhere new so we can all have a change of scenery. We’re not sure where or when, but we daydream so maybe that’s enough for now. My days with you are repetitive and tiring, liberating and joyful. And this month, through all the chaos, for the first time taking care of you felt like a privilege.