8 Months / by Christina Rosalie

Dear amazing standing Bean, You are an unbelievable eight months old today. You can stand. You did this first in the middle of the night, pulling up on your crib bars, and grinning this huge gummy grin. Now you pull up on everything: your high chair, the laundry basket, the vacuum, coffee table, ottoman and of course our legs! You're attempting to build vertical stability, and often try to stand holding on with just one hand. This works out fine, unless you get excited to see us or the cats or a toy and let go. Then you topple over and fuss for a half a second before we can scoop you up and shower you with kisses and then it's all better.

We've bean proofed the entire apartment so that you can have the run of the place. We want you to feel confident to explore your environment and take risks, while feeling safe knowing we're nearby. We want you to be able to explore gravity and push and pull. We want you to be able to figure out what happens when you climb INTO something or ONTO something, or occasionally THROUGH something. Even if you get stuck, which you invariably do. Even if you fall, which you invariably do. Because we want you to grow up knowing that you can explore things---and that you can get stuck and make mistakes, and it's okay.

Each month goes by in a blur. Some days feel long. Like when you wake up at night screaming because of a fart, or seven, or because you have the wiggles, or because you had a bad dream—or whatever it is that possesses your little self to wake up at 2 a.m, 2:30 a.m., 3 a.m., 4:30 a.m and so on. Or when, for some reason, during the day, you simply cant wind down enough to nap and you become a ferocious grump, crying whenever we set you down. This makes us exhausted. And often your daddy and I realize that we start pointing fingers at each other when we're like this (so tired our heads feel like they're splitting open). We start arguments and wax very sarcastic. But we're getting better at remembering that we're just tired. And that we love you more than anything in the whole wide world. So we make a lot of coffee on those days. We stop trying to pretend we'll be able to sleep in, and get up. We take long hot showers and go for a walk to the market with you in the Borjn, where we buy flakey raspberry Danishes and pumpkin muffins. And by the time we get back you're usually asleep.

You are a sensitive, thoughtful, goofy little guy. You giggle with delight still when you see the cats, or when we build towers up for you out of blocks and you knock them down. You love your book, That's Not My Lion, and grab the lion's ears, or tail or nose when we ask you where they are. You turn the pages yourself, and then you eat them. You discovered how to put things INTO your toybox this week. And it's amazing to watch you make choices about which toy you want to play with.

It's also amazing to watch you play with your little friend Bella. You smile so wide at her, and reach out to touch her face. And she thinks you're so cool because you can drink from a cup and stand and crawl. And you think she's just dandy and you suck on her socks. Last time you saw her you put your pacifier in her mouth. Her mama and I nearly died with laughter. You also get very jealous when I talk to Bella: you crawl over right away and flash me your most winning smile. If I don't pay attention right away, you start to yelp and get cross. It is incredible to watch your emotions unfold.

And yesterday, when you'd had entirely enough of mama by the end of the day, when you saw your dada come out of his office you reached out your arms to him. Then when he didn't come to you right away you squirmed to be put dow,and then you crawled straight to him, and tugged on his pants. His heart melted all over the floor.

Love, Mama