Dear Little One,
This week you turned nine months old and you have done me no wrong except make me bed ridden for the last ten weeks of my pregnancy with you, and after all that, prefer your yaya over me. I forgive you.
Unfortunately, all I have is a mess of disorganized pictures of your life in my hard drive. As you know very well, your Ate is a handful and so is your Dad. You and I have had to take the high road and wait until they either fall asleep or leave the house, before we can do our own thing. Since I have to pick up your sister from school in a couple of minutes, I thought it would be easier to just tell you the story of yourself at nine months, just to prove that I have been paying attention. I know you think your sister is too noisy for me to see you. But I do.
Things you can do at nine months (to my amazement since your Ate couldn’t do any of these at this early age): dance, jump, clap, and open and close hands on command. I don’t mean to make you sound like a puppy but I’m thrilled that you’re so trainable! You are also very good at eye contact. You never scared me with a lazy eye like your sister did. Your ability to make eye contact is disarming. I wonder if you’ll be holding that same gaze as an adult. Try to blink anak and look away every now and then. Women might think you’re undressing them with your mind.
At nine months you have managed to invent your own vocabulary and have been consistent in asking for the following: A-nana (food), Dedede (milk), Aaaaaaaaa (Ate), Mama (of course!), Yaya (which you say the most), and Daaaaaa (Daddy). You have also developed a consistent sign of affection: eye contact and cupping the nose or cheeks or eye contact and letting your hand be bitten. You seem to love the sight and feel of teeth since you have none of your own. (According to doctor they’ll be making an appearance in a couple of months still). So the times I see you do any of these things with someone, I know it’s special.
Cheek to cheek. That’s our thing. Whenever you wake up, I carry you to the living room and we gaze at each other’s reflections my oily greasy cheek against your soft plump one. It’s easily my simplest, greatest joy. We talk, smile, laugh. You admire my teeth and I’m besotted by your gums. I imagine that we will be dancing cheek to cheek during my anniversary parties and on your wedding day. And here’s a tip- – if you can’t think of a birthday gift, just go with cheek to cheek dancing every year and you’re pretty much set at receiving your inheritance in full.
Your saliva. There’s something in it that makes me sick: I never had a cold, a cough and mouth sores for 2 months (and counting). It doesn’t mean I ever stay away. We still kiss on the lips though your mouth is always open as if you’re aiming to consume my nose whole.
I’m very pleased that you’re left hand dominant. I will encourage to do all things naturally left and see how it goes. I wasn’t given that small privilege. And I wonder what will happen letting you go left all the way. What will that do to your brain development? You should know your mother considered these in 2012.
I wrote a previous version of this letter a couple of days ago and I’m glad I got held up by your yaya’s day off. I usually approach day offs with trepidation. It means even less time for myself plus a sleepless night. But as usual, you made it pay off just when I was about to pull my hair out: You moved from point A to B on your own, not in your usual roundabout fashion, but in a line. You weren’t on all fours but ambling on your belly and arms like a military exercise. I stretched out my hand and you reached for it. And as I pulled away a centimeter at a time you kept your eye on the goal and pushed forward. I was so proud when you reached my hand at the end of the room. What made me even prouder is I said “High Five!” and you, at nine months old exhausted on your belly, gave me a high five. I will never forget that.
I want you to know that your mother has nothing but tenderness for you. I am trying very hard to prevent you from a becoming a mama’s boy, so I may be tougher on you. But if I fail, it’s your fault completely. You were born charming! It reminds me of my mother’s father. You raise your eyebrows like him and smile easily, always finding ways to connect with people, especially strangers. I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up in public office, show business or any kind of extroverted profession that requires you to listen, smile, wink and basically bulls**t all day. Yours is a natural gift.
And lastly a poem for you to sum up your first nine months:
You’ve been jumping atop an imaginary trampoline since you were five months old
Your favorite song is Twinkle, twinkle
Your favorite gesture is to raise your arms in “Hooray!”
Your neck is perpetually poised upward
My Son, My Sun
Never stop reaching for the stars.
All My Love,
Mommy at 33
Ps. Hair is not a big deal for me. If your hair is like your Dad’s, shave it. I went through great pains to get that head of yours round in case that day would come.
Pps. Take care of your sister.