Your seven month letter is a little late. Let’s blame the holidays, okay?
It’s been striking me these past few weeks that you are turning into a little boy. You have gone from being a skinny-legged, dark-haired newborn to a brownish-blonde, square-faced little boy with two teeth, rubberband wrists, cankles, and the rolliest thunder thighs, my special genetic gift to you. Your features are changing. Subtle but continuous.
You have experienced so much newness this last month. You had your very first Christmas, and it was as adorable as it sounds. You delighted in the crunchy wrapping paper sound, and pretty much cleaned up in the gift department.You had your first real Minnesota snow, and your dad and I excitedly took you out for your first sledding trip the day we got twelve inches. It’s possible that you didn’t smile the entire time we were out there, but you didn’t cry either, so we considered it a success. We always comment about how you never seem bothered by the cold…from the warm house to the cold and into a slightly warmed car, you never even flinch. Maybe it’s because you’re Norwegian. Or Russian. Or both.
In fact, you seem to prefer the outdoors sometimes. You love to take walks, even on chilly days. And while inside you never cease with your squirming and wiggling, I constantly have to check that you’re still awake in the stroller. You sit so still, so calm, just taking in the fresh air and the trees and the occasional passing dog, a creature you are now happily aware of. Over Christmas, you suddenly realized that Boise (your Aunt Brea & Uncle Neil’s Dog) was different from everyone else…you literally squealed with delight whenever he would come near you, panting excitedly along with him when he would wag his tail and lick your face. And a few days later, when you saw Uncle Ben & Aunt Vicki’s dog Coda, you reacted the same way. You like dogs. You have a personality. It’s amazing.
A personality. You are Owen, and you are strong-willed. A toy falls on the ground. You squeal. I take away the corner of my book from your mouth, and you grunt. You pant and jumping jack in your excitement and squeak and do this amazing fake-sounding cry when things don’t go your way. Somewhere along the way you developed desires along with all those needs, and I feel a little more like a parent.
Your little life is mostly happy though. You still contentedly stare out the window at buses and now even stop your play on the carpet when you hear one go by. At the beginning of December, I was holding you near the window, and I set your feet on the ledge (you know, to help support some of your 20+ pounds). You reached with your hands up to the window ledge, and I took my hands off your waist for just a second, and there you stood! You can’t even stand on the floor, but 3 feet off the ground? No problem! It was amazing, and I make you do it all the time for guests, like the party trick that it is.
You can do so much now! You squirm and scoot your way all over the floor. You can sit up like a champ. You love to play with balls and sort of catch it occasionally, to our excited cheers. You are a maniac in the bathtub and love to make attempts at pulling yourself up in the your attempts to get at the running water. You can happily moon-bounce in your bouncy seat for nearly an hour. You eat most of what we eat, and you eat with gusto, grunting for more even as you chew your current bite. You are making connections all the time. It seems that you understand the words gentle, which I am constantly saying to you as you pinch my face, milk, more, all done, bath, bus, up, and you always laugh when I say the word pIzza. I don’t know why, but it’s consistent and hilarious. I delight in seeing you learn language. I can’t wait to start hearing what you have to say.
We have so much fun during the day now. We play patty cake, and I start to sing it, and you immediately lift both your arms up for me to clap hands with you. You start giggling even before I get to the “mark it with a B” when I draw a little B on your belly. The Itsy Bitsy Spider still gets you every time. You’re ticklish, and I take full advantage of that. You are highly zerbertable, and we often play this game where I say “Is this your belly?” as I tickle your ears…and then your knees, and then finally your belly when you explode into laughter. We play peek-a-boo all day long, and your favorite is when I make Croc or your White or Red Bears play peek-a-boo over the crib, especially when they speak with heavy British or Russian accents. We play in front of the bathroom mirror, several times a day: “Where’s Baby Owen?”…”There he is.” Your dad and I love to make you do “kung fu,” and we stand you up on our laps and make karate noises as we flail your arms for you, always finishing with “Good guy win. Bad guy lose.” We’re hilarious, trust me.
Things you love: most food, looking out the window, buses, balls, baths!, the mirror, Red Bear, White Bear, Croc, Sophie, crinkly dice, chewing on anything, dogs, zerberts, being tickled, singing (You are My Sunshine, Stay Awake, Go to Sleep Little Baby, This is the Day, I’ve got the Joy, If you’re Happy and You Know It), being naked, sitting up, walks, the stroller, sleeping in your car seat, making paper crunch
Things you hate: not being able to reach a toy, when a ball rolls out of reach, sleeping all night, teething, getting in your carseat, waiting to take a bite of food, when you realize you’re being held by someone who is not your mom or dad
I love you more than I ever imagined I could,