ten months

Dear Emmett,

Today you are 10 months old, and I find myself staring at a blank screen, unsure what to say. You are smart, funny, observant, creative and mischievous. Growing and developing happens so fast, every day, in so many different areas and directions and skills. It's too hard to define them all here in one letter any longer. I'll do my best to share the things that stand out most about you right now.

Your language is developing so quickly, at such a young age. You have been saying up, kitty and light regularly. As of yesterday, you've added duck and clock. You use mama and dada correctly, as well as baba, for bottle, and shhh for shoes and for sheep.

Even more exciting, though, is your comprehension. You understand so many words and phrases, follow simple instructions and point your finger to answer simple questions. You point to lights, people, each painting on the wall of your room. You sit down and stand up when I ask you to do so. Most of the time. You go chasing after the cat with glee, saying kitty ("itteh! itteh!") when I ask you where she is, much to the cat's dismay. Upon request, you point to your nose, mouth and toes, or mine, and you'll rub noses with me if I ask you to. You understand "no" and will usually stop whatever you're doing when I tell you no.

You have a penchant for ignoring my "no" when you discover certain destructive and fun activities, such as unrolling the toilet paper, knocking over the speakers and, my particular favorite, racing over to the cat food dish, grabbing a handful and flinging it across the room. This has become somewhat of a game to you. I can see you going for it and you know I'm going to stop you, so you crawl as fast as your little knees can go (which is surprisingly fast), racing to get there first so you can fling a handful before I get there.

You love clocks, seeking them out wherever we go. I keep a plastic wall clock within your reach in your room, and you will hold it in your lap and look at it. There are very few things that keep you in one place, but you will sit still and study the clock.

Reading still makes you happy, although you insist on turning the pages yourself very enthusiastically. Storybooks with thin paper pages are not in our repertoire unless I'm reading to you while you're off playing, as we would like to keep the pages in the books. For now, we'll stick with the board books.

Napping and sleeping at night are so much better. You still sometimes scream at naps, but you settle down and go to sleep in 5-10 minutes. Most days, you'll sleep an hour and a half in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. As you learned to settle yourself to sleep a few weeks ago, you gave up the pacifier. Just like that. One day, you were no longer interested and now you want nothing to do with it.

We are working more finger foods into your diet. You enjoy whole grain vegetable pasta pieces, sliced bananas, pizza crust and small bits of pizza. Fruit mixed with yogurt is your favorite food, though.

You are up to five teeth. Three new ones have come in on top; we are still waiting on the top right middle tooth. Today at lunch, you got a piece of freeze-dried strawberry stuck on your bottom teeth, which you found confusing and funny. I helped you get it free, but you kept rubbing your tongue against those teeth, trying to figure out what happened. After dinner every night, I brush your teeth. This makes you giggle, and you love to help brush.

You are so mobile now, cruising on furniture, walking while holding hands and balancing standing up all by yourself. You have started to play games. You love to crawl or run (cruising on furniture) away from Daddy and me, trying to get us to chase you, grab you & tickle you. This usually causes hysterical laughter, resulting in stumbling and falling with all of us in a big giggling pile on the floor. Daddy and you play a game when he gets home from work every day, which makes your whole body shake with glee. You chase him, screech in his face, he screeches back in your face, and this goes on and on until you're laughing so hard you've got the hiccups and can hardly breathe.

Every day, so many new things. I am soaking them up and cherishing them. Thank you for the constant laughter and discovery, and for keeping me on my toes.



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