Emmett Blemmett (Owen’s favorite nickname, which sometimes turns into “Emmett Blemmett Kemmett Chemicals”). Chubby Wubby (the nickname that comes out of my mouth most often). Bonky Bonks (your earliest nickname, still hanging on, due to how often you use your head as your third arm and bonk your face on things). Mr. Delicious (your nickname at school that is more perfect for you than I could have ever imagined). Emmett-y.
Nine months in and nine months out.
Well, as any parent will tell you, it’s actually more like ten months in. And anyone who had to work hard to get pregnant or stay pregnant will tell you it’s actually a whole lot longer than that. But it’s pretty amazing to think that nine months ago you were 7lbs and 14oz of wriggling, snuggling, suckling newborn deliciousness. And 9 months before that, you were but a tiny bunch of cells beginning to join together and multiply. And now, here you are, crawling as fast as your big brother can run, pulling up on tables and couches and anything your little hands can grab and babbling and squealing and waving and blowing raspberries all day long.
You are so full of joy. You are OUR joy. I’ve never met a kid as happy and content as you are. Sure, you have your cranky moments, like when you are tired or put in the car without getting a bottle first. But the rest of the time? The rest of the time you are happy to be wherever, as long as we’re nearby. You’re happy to play with whatever, as long as you can put it in your mouth and teethe on it. You’re happy to eat whatever, as long as you can giggle with your brother from your high chair while you do it. You’re happy to be with whoever, but you’re beginning to have a strong preference for Daddy, me and your favorite teachers at school (you’ve developed an adorable sense of stranger danger around others!).
You impress us every day by eating everything, from soft, mushy bits to hard, crunchy chunks to pieces of food as big as your hand… all with no teeth! Almost 10 months old today and still no teeth. You certainly haven’t let it cramp your style, though. You chow down on everything you’re given (current faves: broccoli, green beans, grilled chicken, veggie or bean burgers, tofu, Cheerios, toast with hummus, rice cakes with peanut butter), but you love MEAT the most. I’ll fill your tray with fruits, vegetables, meat, whatever and you will pick every single teeny tiny piece of meat off that tray first. Thankfully you eat just about everything and reliably knock back every bottle. Your cheeks don’t lie; you love to nosh. I don’t have a CLUE where you got that (hint hint!).
You crawl, your cute little diaper butt swaying, to follow your brother wherever he is, all day long. I am happy to say he adores you just as much as you adore him. Your face erupts in a grin as soon as he is in your view.
Your little giggle (either one, loud “HA!”, which makes us all hysterical, or a running, “Heh heh heh heh”, like a slow clap that gets everyone around you doing it too) is infectious. You are so roly poly and adorable everyone who meets you wants to hold you and squeeze you. You’re so perfectly squeezable. I know that walking is on the horizon for you (though I’m wondering if you’ll hold off on that milestone for a few more months since you are such a superfast crawler), but I have to admit, I’m holding tight to the stage that you are in now. You are just… baby perfection.
Every night after our busy day and slightly rushed dinner time and hilarious bathtime with your brother, I relish bedtime with you. I zip you up into your fleece “bag” (wearable blanket); we call you our cozy little caterpillar when you wear it. Daddy makes you a bottle and Owen comes in, half-pajamaed and talking a million miles a minute and kisses you on the head before whirlwinding out of the room. And then they are gone. And it’s just you, me and the sound machine. And we rock and you drink and I sing and I breathe you in. You gaze at me and pull my hair and squeeze my arms and hands with your chubby little fingers. You giggle when I say “Night night book?” and lunge for the book pile. We read, you babble along with me and you try to eat the book. Then you rest your head on my shoulder for a split second, and then crane your body backwards for your crib. Ready for bed. I don’t think I’ll every forget your sweet little round face shining in the dim light, grabbing your lovey and cuddling it to your face while your twinkly eyes gleam and smile at me as if you say, “Goodnight Mommy! Love you! Now get out and let me sleep!”.
You are flexible, content and easily amused. I cannot wait to continue to get to know you as you grow. To see what type of toddler you’ll be and what type of preschooler and if these words still seem so “you” in high school and beyond. One thing is for sure, now and forever: You are loved. You are loved so hard in this family and nothing will ever change that. You make me want to have a million more babies, if they are all as sweet and wonderful as you. Or no more babies at all, because how could I ever love another as much as I love you?
You have stretched Daddy’s and my hearts bigger than we ever thought possible. Nine months ago, and nine months before that, and forever onwards from here.