06.08.09 :: 8:31 am

Dear Oliver,

Today you turned 11 months old. Fancy that! Sweet Moses Jones! Bumpin’ Bananacakes!
You’re celebrating this occasion right now by taking a nap under a blanket, which, coincidentally, is how I started spending my birthdays after age 25. You get me, you really do.

So where did the month go?
We’ve been hanging out at the playground regularly, meeting new people and their babies and getting all manner of uneven tans.
You’ve become more social and vocal and you express yourself with new words: “tata” and “vava” the first of which we’ll have a talk about much, much later.

“Dada” made an appearance this week, much to my dismay. Let’s face it: I was hoping, being your primary care provider Monday through Friday that you might like to mention me in your day to day dealings with a “mama” but I guess not.
It’s cool, though. I keep reminding myself that the litany of “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!”’s is not that far behind and that I should enjoy the silence while it lasts.

We were really startled to see you take your first four stumbling steps this month.
And you really are my son as it turns out, because you were headed for the remote. God love you. Here I thought the moment would be like a gauzy, sun-dappled photo in my mind; my arms outstretched to catch you as you fell into me. We’d hug and hug. There’d be a sweet summer breeze and the sound of your laughter.
Oh but no. You just needed to change the channel.

This month we got you a passport, my little international p’tater. We are going to Greece in August for five and a half weeks and it will be a game changer for you, I predict.
All the practicing with eating fish and feta cheese is going to finally make sense to you.

And speaking of eating fish, hi, you love it. You love all sorts of foods that I never would have guessed. Like spinach and kidney beans and lamb. And you’ve got two more brand new chompers with which to make all this yummy new food submit.
You look so funny to me with teeth.
You’re like a mini person now. Like a small old man.

This month, you’ve learned how to drag the chair in your room from one end of the crib to the other, to let us know that, hi, you’re awake and come get you please before the screaming comes.
You’ve learned how to flip through pages in a book with lightning speed.
You’ve also surprised the hell out of us with correctly identifying “butterfly” every single time we ask.
I think you are a genius.

You’ve gotten more aware of me as your mother and you can spend several minutes playing with my face and staring at me in fascination. It’s pretty cool.

Sleeping has been a lot better even though on occasion you wake up in the middle of the night out of nowhere, howling. I don’t know what’s with that; maybe you’re having grown up nightmares. But I do know that when you can’t put yourself back to sleep like you normally do, it’s not as brutal to get up and comfort you anymore.
We sit in the rocking chair and rock and you bury your face in your blanket in my neck and I hold you like that until you’ve chilled out and it’s back to bed.

You never seem to grow tired of climbing all over me all day long.
I try to remind myself that this will probably be one of the last times that you will ever think I am 100% perfect or be so in love with me.
This is the best time right now, Toodles. The absolute best.

We’ve started hiking in the park every early Sunday morning with your dad and Stoosh-dog. And you stare up at the trees and listen to the birds and eventually fall asleep to the gorgeous 8 AM summer sounds.
In the afternoons, I take you out to play and I hold your little hands as you totter around making your Tater sounds.

It’s unbelievable how much you’ve grown and how much you look like a little boy.
I can stare at you forever. And I have memorized every inch of you, every smile, every toothy grin, your laugh, your shouts, your crying, your be-diapered butt, your toes, your bathtime shampoo horns, your eyelashes soaked with tears, your sleep positions, the apple smell of your hair, your skill in handling rattles, your bow legs, your routines, your mood, your temper, your heart.

My whole world is you.


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