Today you are 9 months old and I'm sure you're wondering what could possibly be next.... version 1.0? But shouldn't that wait until you're a year, and shouldn't 9 months, since it is 3/4 of a year, really be version 0.75? Geez mother, what's wrong with your math? Well in fact I have decided to go with bogus math and next month will be 0.10. That's just how I roll.
You have changed a lot this month, but in a lot more subtle ways than the previous brain-exploding month. The biggest, and most welcome change, is that you can now play by yourself for 30-40 minutes (mood willing) in your playpen in the early afternoon. Of course I have to be in the room, but it frees my mind for a much needed break from babyland. What do you do during this time? Well, you seem to delight in walking around the walls of the box, now with only one hand, bending down occasionally (this apparently is a skill we walking folk take for granted)to pick up toys only to throw them down, or sometimes even over the edge, again. Here you are playing with your newest thrill, a Kleenex pack. I realize that I may win the worst-parent-ever award, but I always keep a watchful eye on you and tell you 'no' every time you try to bring it to your mouth. All it takes is saying it once before you try it one more time just to make sure I mean it and then seem to remember for the rest of the day that it doesn't go there. The next day, however, we start again.
Here you are looking absolutely gigantic when you really are not. Sure, your belly is, ahem, a little round.... and solid, but the rest of you is actually quite petite. But I guess it's an early lesson for you to learn. We don't always look our best in photos, especially us women. So you might as well get used to it now, though I think you look fantastic. Not an ounce over 19 pounds. (We'll see on Monday at the Doc's office!)
A couple of weeks ago we left you at Signora B's house so we could enjoy a few hours of peaceful dinner and adult conversation. You cried when we got there as it was nearing your bedtime and you seem to dabble in stranger anxiety these days, but stopped as soon as we left the room. 3 hours later, however, we came in to find you still awake and looking beyond pooped. How you fought sleep for that long, I have no idea, especially when it seems to come so easily in the evenings at home. I don't know if it was because of the stress of that night, or the arrival of your second tooth later that week, but you woke up later that night and would not go back to sleep. These middle of the night wakeups are quite rare now, something for which I am very grateful, but when they happen, they are brutal. Gone are the nights of quiet nurses back to sleep. But anyway, one good thing came of that night. All of a sudden, you could take steps with people holding your hands. Though you had been stepping on your own against furniture for quite some time, I had to lift each arm, and consequently each leg, for you to walk with me. I think it was Signora B's husband Antonio that managed to teach you this in one night. Grazie Antonio!
Another welcome development is that whenever music comes on, you now start boogeying to it. I have to say I was quite worried for a while. What with you crying whenever I brought the bow to a violin string, and looking at me like, "what is this out of place noise? Um, yeah, turn it off please" whenever I would turn on a CD or the radio in the house. (The car has always been fine for you.) Your dad even made a comment that wouldn't it be ironic if a musician's daughter hated music. Hmmm, ironic, yes. More like tragic.
Your favourite new foods? Cheerios, turkey and cheese. You are a pro at eating Cheerios, despite having only two teeth and yesterday was your turkey debut. We don't give you a lot of cheese, just nibbles of what we're having, but you love it so much you can recognize it by sight and start nearly convulsing in anticipation of a small bite. Like father, like mother, like daughter. We are some cheese-eating foos', yo.
You do not like rice, however. No way, no how. Rice cereal, yes. Real rice, even pureed to be like baby food, no. There was one particularly bad night when we decided to push the issue and said issue ended in gooey rice dripping out of the mouth of a sobbing baby. It was bad. Really bad. I guess we won't be pressing the issue again any time soon.
Did I mention you now initiate peek-a-boo.... with complete strangers and family members alike? Love it.
I wish we could have a camera crew following us around all day. I'm sure every parent wishes that. There are so many things you do that I find sweet or hilarious, like the different sounds and combinations of sounds that change from day to day, or the scrunching up of your face after you smile, almost to say "I really mean this smile, this is how much," or the jumping into my arms and kicking when I return to a room following a brief absence. It is truly impossible to snap photos or capture videos of every little change. I know these letters are lacking in all the intricacies of your day, but I hope they provide a small glimpse into the life of Nadia. Your life.