eight months

Dear Emmett,

During your eighth month, you have discovered that there is a world around you to be explored. There are chairs and couches and pillows and tables to climb. There are kitchens full of food you'll wrestle me to get. There are cats to be chased after and electrical cords to eat. There is a mama and daddy, not to mention grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends to hug and climb and steal food away from. There are block towers to knock over and toys to pick up and bang against everything you can reach. There are specks of dust on the floor which must be inspected, and there are countless unexpected things on which to fall and hit your head.

In other words, you are in motion and, so help me, not to be deterred. Stopping you when you've got your eye on something these days is not unlike trying to pick up the wind and stuff it away in a closet.

For several weeks now, you've been scooting a little bit on your butt, rolling around and scooting backwards on your belly to get places. Which was minimally effective and easily contained. But now, NOW, you have figured out how to go forward. It's not actually a crawl, but you get up into crawling position and use your arms to lunge forward. You flop onto your belly and start all over again. It doesn't look like much, until I turn my back for ten seconds only to discover you've gotten over to the cord for your baby monitor and you're trying to fit the whole thing inside your mouth.

You're quick with that little lunge-shuffle-crawl. And so we broke down and did it. We bought you a baby jail. If my sanity is to be maintained, it had to be done. It's a six-sided plastic fence, about as tall as you are right now. It's pretty sturdy, enough so that you can stand up holding onto it. You like to play on the floor in there, and pull yourself up and stand at the edge, looking around. So far, you seem to like it, but I don't think you've noticed yet that you're trapped.

You're taking two naps a day, though you often fight them hard. I put you in your crib, rub your back, sing a song or two, and then leave you. Sometimes you settle down, but much more often you scream. You scream loud and hard and mad. And I let you, for ten minutes. After ten minutes, you've usually either worn out and gone to sleep or you've got yourself worked up in such a crazy froth that you're even more exhausted so that when I go in to settle you back down, you'll let me and you'll go to sleep. You're still sleeping well at night, going to bed around 8. You often wake up between 5:30 - 6am, which is mildly unpleasant but tolerable, given that you go to bed well and sleep through the night.

I think the most fun we've had this month has been your discovery of creative play. Peekaboo makes sense to you now, and you sometimes hide your face and then peek out at me, so you can get in on the joke, too. You learned to clap a couple weeks ago, and will often do it on command when I say "YAY!" You're starting to wave hi; you'll do it in the mirror at yourself, or to me, but you look at me like you've never seen me before in your life when I try to get you to wave to anyone else. You blow raspberries constantly, all day long.

You laugh at everything when you're in a good mood. You laugh long and silent with a goofy grin, or you laugh a crazy gasping laugh, or a real belly laugh all the way down to your toes. Singing is funny, the cats are funny, the washer & dryer are funny, jumping and bouncing and tickling are hysterical. Faces, teeth, tongues, babies, phones, light switches and balls are fall-off-your-chair-can't-breathe funny and require much investigation.

It is pure joy rediscovering the world by your side. Keep teaching me, Emmett, I'm watching and listening and learning right here with you.



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