I find the NINO point with all my babies to be bittersweet: nine months in, nine months out. As I think about things I did last year and see old pictures going past via the “memory” feature on Facebook, I’m regularly stunned by how quickly time has passed and what an integral part of our lives our little T-bot is. It is also interesting to me how the Return to Non-Pregnant Woman feels. Pregnancy is so encompassing and then, it is over, and the physicality of it, the unity of it, the specialness of it–that thoroughly embodied and yet somehow transcendent state–becomes a memory. A poignant memory, yes, but one I find that fades in terms of being able to thoroughly mentally “touch.” On the same note, I also notice that I am only two pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight (which was actually about 10 pounds over where I feel most comfortable/happy). I’m fascinated by how it takes nine months to transform into Fully Pregnant Woman and nine months to restore one’s old self.
Speaking of poignancy and NINO, my brother, SIL, and nephew were visiting at the end of the month during his first birthday and we took some more re-creation pictures based on the tandem pregnancy pictures my mom took of us while we were waiting in July of last year for the birth of their baby. I notice now after excavating last year’s pictures, that I did not actually pick out the same outfit to wear even though I was certain I had picked it correctly!
What a difference a year makes! I also wish we would have re-created this one somehow:
Okay, so back to the ninemonthababy. He has his first tooth and his second! (7/23 and 7/31) He loves music, especially rattling rattles (which he also bangs on the floor really hard). One of his dancing moves is to wiggle his arms really fast and enthusiastically. I put a short clip of dance action with arm skillz is on Instagram here and the longer video is on my Facebook. I’m so glad my mom took it! Super cute!
While not clearly enunciated by any means, he seems to say: raisin, more (+ the babysign), brother, yay, mama, kitty, and that sound that means “icky” that moms make to tell babies not to touch stuff. As I’ve noted before, he also seems to ask to nurse by requesting, “mama, wa-wa” (mama water!).
He points and claps. He likes to find rocks to eat. Also, he used his talents to “catch” a leech at the river on our mini vacation. Yes. I looked down to see him carefully pinching up an absolutely gigantic leech and kind rolling it thoughtfully around (I suspect in preparation to eat it). He still makes his cute little “Cabbage Patch” face (see opening photo) and I’ll be sad to see it go now that the teeth have come in.
He seems to have dropped his second nap. He pinches the tender skin on the back of my arm in a horrible manner and leaves bruises all over me.
He loves Daddy extra-much. Mark told me the other day, “he likes me the way I always hoped our babies would like me.” He will go to Mark when sad and loves to go with him to explore outside (often, leaning out of my arms and into Mark’s and then looking back and waving, “bye” to me!). He crawls super fast to greet Mark when he comes inside and in the mornings leans over from my arms to give him a “hello again!” hug and snuggle.
Mark describes Tanner as being like a “force of nature”—i.e. not caring what destruction it may leave in its wake!
He remains a super up-down, up-down, up-down baby, meaning that as soon as he is picked up, he wants down and vice versa. Repeat. It can be extremely wearing! He also doesn’t hold on to be carried, but instead leans forward, propelling you with his momentum and almost flinging himself out of your arms. He pivots and twists and leans forward and “surfs” with only his feet touching your body and the rest straining into mid-air. He retains the keen sense of injustice that I think may be most acutely experienced by those who are the youngest of four. He has a funny little half kneel, half squat that he does to reach up. He stands alone all the time (plus can squat up and down unsupported) and has taken two steps in a row unsupported.
We went to Six Flags in late July. I hope to write a separate blog post about it soon, because it was such a great time! We also went on a mini-vacation to a lakeside cabin near the river at the very end of July. He still hates the car, but does okay if I’m sitting in the back with him and Mark is driving (not always possible).
It is hard to find time to write a nine month blog post because said nine month old absorbs a lot of energy! And, he bangs the keys and eats the mouse whenever possible.
I took the kids to playgroup at the skating rink in July and Tanner was playing on the slide for the first time. I sat at the bottom looking up at him and remembering the other babies and little children I’ve waited for at the bottom of this same slide. For him, it was new. A discovery. For me, a bittersweet déjà vu and pang of re-recognition: the world spins so fast. I thought of how much changes and how much stays the same. The different friends who’ve opened their arms to babies at the end of that same slide with me and how many of them have moved away, had more babies, experienced changes, and I’m still there: at the bottom of the slide. My oldest son is almost 12. Yesterday, he was a baby on the slide. I wondered if in 11 more years, I’ll still be taking kids to that skating rink….the wheel rolls.