Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ten Months Today!

Dear Fern,

Goin' places
happy girls
happy face
Some 10-month faces

You're ten months old today, closing in on a whole year! The biggest development is how capable you are of really, thoroughly enjoying people and places. We went to Pier 39 a couple of days ago to see some old friends and the sea lions that crowd the docks there. You loved them. Didn't want to leave. You kept clapping at the animals, and waving, and chortling. Sea lions hold their flippers in the air to cool off (and warm up), so you waved back.

Then you started flirting with tourists. You would chortle, and smile, and wave, and chortle again, until most of the people around you were paying more attention to you than the smelly sea lions. One younger guy (from Japan, dyed blonde) wanted to take a picture next to you. Some Russians from Pennsylvania on their way to a Mexican cruise seemed to think that you'd be the highlight of their entire trip. An older guy (Greek?) said you looked just like his granddaughters except that you were a lot happier. Then you charmed a French couple even though they had their own cute 3-year old. You were like a little United Nations.

You had your first cold this month. It didn't last too long (I think it was worse for us when we caught it from you), and luckily it didn't seem to bother your sleep too much. Most days, you've started falling asleep on our laps in the rocking chair, instead of needing to be "bounced" every time. Most of the time you only need a bottle or to nurse right before you sleep, and the rest of the time you eat baby food or cereal. You are sleeping a little less — a little over 13 hours on average now — and we think it might be your teeth coming in, or just a growth spurt thing.

Everyone notices how solid you are. Your year-old friend Emma came over yesterday; she's a fair bit taller than you but I think you weigh the same. It seems to be all muscle... you are a strong little thing. And your hair is uncannily long and beautiful. And you have an incredible attention span, too. (I know, you're probably thinking that I'll always describe everything about you as perfect, but in this case it's been noticed by other people, too.)

A year ago, when we were thinking about what it would be like to have a near-toddler, we pictured all of the milestones as distinct. One day, we thought, you would say a clear word and we would know exactly what you were talking about. The next day, you would pull up to a standing position and from then on be able to do it anywhere. In reality, your learning is a lot fuzzier. Some days you seem to have a few words that we clearly understand, other days you seem to just be making sounds. One day, you'll stand really well; the next, you're still hesitant and prefer to crawl. There are days when we can play "catch" back and forth for ten minutes, and other days you'll go from toy to toy quickly.

Mostly, though, overwhelmingly, we're gratified to see how happy you are all the time. You are fascinated and pleased that the world is so well stocked with interesting things to climb over, grab, taste, squeeze, drum, and look at upside down through daddy's legs. Everything meets your approval unless you hit your head on it, and sometimes even then. It's an infectious attitude, and we can credit you with spreading a little of it to us!

So, thank you for that, and we love you very much, and we can't wait to see what the eleventh month brings!


Mommy & Daddy