We have been so busy traveling and having adventures this month, which turns out to be an excellent metaphor for your development at nine months. You are so, so busy. The difference is so drastic between eight and nine months. You were starting to move and explore at eight months, but now you are fast and you're unstoppable. You crawl - fast - and pop right back into sitting position to check out whatever's around you. Then you grab onto the nearest surface above your head so you can stand up and cruise around. Countless items in your reach have been relocated or destroyed. Everything in our apartment is slowly raising up out of your path.
Naptime is awful these days. I won the naptime battle after a day or two of hysterical crying followed by good naps. But then two days later you figured out how to sit up on your own, and how to stand up in the crib and that was it. We've had marathon sessions of you in your crib, in constant motion and with lots of whining and crying interspersed with playing, but no sleeping. I've given in and started rocking you to sleep at naptimes. I love this so much -- almost as much as I know I'm going to regret it later when I have to break that habit. But snuggling with your head burrowed into my neck while I rock you to sleep is such a great pleasure for me. The moments you spend curled up in my lap are so few and far between, so that is such a special treat.
Nighttime sleeping is still good, with the occasional very early wakeup, and infrequent screaming from dreams or teething where we have to soothe you back to sleep. Your top teeth are so close; I can feel them right there, and the gums over them are starting to get very thin. You've had some cranky days with the teething, but aside from that you are still such a happy baby and so adaptable.
You've had no choice but to be adaptable, really. In your ninth month, you have traveled to NH for a week on a lake, to VT for a family reunion weekend, to PA for cousin Alli's 2nd birthday party, and to CT with Latreash and Jay for a few days at Nana & Poppy's house, which is where we are as I write this. You are upstairs with Poppy, having your bottle and settling down for bed, while your playmates for the day are in the playroom watching TV and settling in for a night of hanging out and probably very little sleeping. Ian, Devon, Zachary and Jay have been entertaining you and having fun with you. And you love the attention of the big boys.
You started crawling before we went to PA for Alli's party, but you really took off trying to keep up with her. She loved playing with you and ordering you around. She was telling you what to do every minute and didn't quite get why you weren't following her every command. You copied her, though.
You copy everybody. It's so amazing how fast you pick things up. At 8 months, 1 week, you were sitting on the floor and held your hands out to me. I asked if you wanted to stand up, and grabbed your hands, You stood up and then you said, "up." We were so surprised, and weren't sure if you really said it, but then you told us "up" three more times that day. You now say it maybe once a day or so. No other new words yet, but I'm sure they are coming soon!
You give kisses by imitating with a little lip smacking sound. You cluck your tongue. You blow raspberries. You clap. You wave. You pick up blankets in front of your face and then whip them away with an enormous grin, playing peek-a-boo with me. Your favorite game is for me to throw a blanket over your head and say "Where's Emmett?" upon which you delightfully pull it off to show me where you are.
Your appetite is ferocious and you love almost everything, especially what comes off our plates. Bits of fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, anything. You love it all and you love to feed yourself. Pizza crusts are so good for chewing on that you scream in fury when they're taken away before you're finished.
I didn't expect the tantrum phase to start this early, but oh, wow, you hate to be told no. When I repeatedly tell you no to climbing up on the tv stand and knocking over the speakers, you get so mad your whole body shakes. You listen, though. You usually stop what you're doing but not without a little tantrum moment and an alligator tear just for good measure.
Those tears turn to grins and giggling so easily, though, and you can always turn around my tired, impatient mood with just one belly laugh. The hugs, kisses, curling up with a book, and silly moments are what really mark your nine month development. The joy you carry everywhere you go is contagious and healing.
With endless love and laughter, you make me a better person.