Sunday, September 25, 2011

You are 10 months and 10 days old

A month ago you would get yourself up on all fours, rock back and forth and then collapse onto your tummy with your arms and legs elevated, balancing on your torso, as if you were trying to fly or swim, kicking your legs behind you. Though I also wondered if that was your impersonation of walking, from a horizontal perspective. A few weeks ago you began the labourious art of synchronising your arms and legs, and a sort of plodding on all fours began. Now you are an expert, speeding around the loungeroom. With crawling came the ability to sit yourself up on your own and it is surprising how much more human this makes you. In the last few days you have learnt to pull yourself up onto your feet at the couch, but once up your locked knees are stuck, and you can't sit yourself down again.
When you crawl sometimes you stop and press your ear against the floor, listening.
In the last few days you have sprouted your first tooth.
Your language is all music: repetition and intonation and emphasis. 'Na na na na na?' you ask me, with rising intonation. You punctuate our conversations with "yeah" or "oh?" The only word, used regularly and in context, is 'boowa' for a breastfeed. But there is also a recognisable greeting: 'Aiii!' or 'Ai Deh'.
You feed yourself, and eat all sorts of things - avocado, tuna sandwiches, pasta.
You are fascinated by your hands, more so than any of the other babies we have known. Sometimes you carry on whole conversations with gestures. You have three different waves.
You have discovered your pointing finger. You like to touch things - prod prod. You like to touch your pointing finger to my pointing finger. 'ET phone home?' I ask you.
You smile and smile. You are happy to be carried around by your sisters, held under the arms and hauled about the house or the park or the garden. Your brown eyes crinkle with amusement.
Watching your eyes turn from blue to brown has been a fascinating display of colour. For some time your eyes were both blue and brown, an impossible colour, but after many months they darkened to a convincing brown. Your brown eyes are a connection that only we share - mother, son.
You sleep pretty well during the day, except when you don't. You wake often at night. I don't mind. I look to the girls and know somewhere along the line they learned as you will learn. When you wake around midnight, I bring you into bed with me.

You are the child you will become but you are still a little unfamiliar. I wake in the night with you beside me. It dawns on me in the timelessness of dark night - slowly, then with a jolt of memory - that the baby beside me is a boy baby. A moment later I remember: it's you.


  1. Lovely nostalgia for me, thanks so much, I miss all this, the stage where they literally do learn something new every day and you get to watch it happen.
    thanks for sharing

  2. Oh, this is beautiful, Penni.

    A 10 month old (and her parents) stayed with us Friday night and she, too, has recently discovered her pointing finger and conversed, quite convincingly and quite happily, in sounds, na, da, ma and om, being the sounds I could make out. I wish I knew what she was saying as she observed her world.

  3. I've got a six month old and I've read this post over and over, totally transfixed.

    Do you think my baby will ever leave my bed? Will she ever sleep? It helps knowing that you, at least, are not worried...

  4. Do you think when he says "Ai Deh" he is trying to speak his own name?

  5. oh so beautiful penni. felix began to sprout his first tooth a couple of days ago, too! and now his second one is also trying to get through. he can't get up on his knees yet but is good at energetic flailing. it's funny, six months ago avery seemed impossibly older than him, but now already they seem quite close... felix wakes up all the time at night but i'm not quite so zen about it as you.