Today you are 11 months old! Son. It is going too fast. I’m sending out your birthday invitations today and I want to cry. How is this year almost over? How are you so close to toddlerhood? It feels impossible, though I know it’s right.
You and I have become good buddies as we navigate my new role as a stay at home mom. You’re napping on a (flexible) schedule and you can play on the floor for a good long time with your piles of toys. You love to come to me for snuggles and to bite me (which, why? Why son?) but you’re quick to return to independence again. I think both of us are happier without the daycare and work hustle and bustle and it’s been a privilege to get this time with you.
You absolutely adore your brothers these days. You won’t sleep in the car anymore because you are afraid of missing something they’re doing and you spend the whole time craning your head to watch them. Your first word popped out this month and it was Elijah (which is unsurprising when you consider how many dozens of times a day we say it since he seems to have some selective hearing loss involving his name). Elijah was out of town for a few days earlier this week and when we FaceTimed him he always wanted to see you and when he got home yesterday you practically lunged at him. The way you and your brothers love each other is exactly what I always hoped for.
Your disposition continues to be delightful much of the time. You have a dramatic streak that shines mostly when you don’t get what you want right when you want it. Or when I tell you no because you’ve bitten me. And listen, I don’t feel sorry for you when you are the biter, buddy. I have literal bruises on my legs and shoulders and let’s not discuss what you do when nursing.
Earlier this month, I set you down when you really, really didn’t want me to and you held your breath in one of those silent screams until you were unresponsive. It was nothing short of fully terrifying. I will never forget what it was like to hold your lifeless body while we waited for you to breathe again. I feel like it’s possible that someone forgot to tell you that as the 3rd baby, you have to be able to go with the flow. And breathe. Always breathe. Please.
You have become very proficient with mobility this month. You made the switch to hands and knees crawling this month and only very rarely drop to the belly drag now. You can pull to stand on almost anything and you will occasionally let go for a few seconds at a time. You especially love to crawl around on the big step in the pool right now and heaven help a grown up if they try to stop you.
Your likes this month include: Mom, Dad, Elijah, William, the cat, a plastic pretend bottle of ketchup you take everywhere, your small blankets, the play kitchen, eating tiny morsels of food and non-food items off the floor, swimming, baths and about a thousand other things. You are so happy.
Your dislikes include the baby gates that keep you out of the tiny toys, being left in the baby gated room, sleeping through the night, when William steals your toys and when you try to kneel but instead tip over and bonk your head on the floor (which happens and unusually large number of times a day).
It seems impossible that you will be 1 in a month. It seems impossible that my tiniest baby with the surprise head of dark brown hair is so close to walking and to talking and to being a person instead of an infant. It seems unbelievable that soon your age will be measured in years instead of months and the big milestones will be behind us.
You have brought joy into our house in ways that I did not expect and could not have predicted. You get excited when we walk in the room even if you’ve just seen us. You love being held and snuggled and you can’t help but dance to music and clap your sweet little hands no matter what you’re doing when you hear it. You were the final piece to our puzzle and you have brought us happiness we didn’t know we were missing, but now that we have it, we could never be without it again. I smile each day because of you, laugh more and love harder than I knew I could. You’ve changed every person in our house just by being here.
Benjamin Andrew, you love and are loved far beyond what words can convey. We are so, so lucky to have you. Happy 11 months, my smallest love. I can’t wait to see what this next month brings.