December 30, 2013 by 8junebugs
Dear Grayson —
Merry first Christmas and Happy almost first New Year! We have worn you out with the celebrating. Nana and Papa were with us for the week of Christmas, which included a LOT of excitement and far more presents than you need or can play with in the near future. Your favorite presents were…wrapping paper and boxes, predictably. You do enjoy chewing on the plastic shapes and stacking rings, and your first doll is a Cabbage Patch Kid, because Grampy wanted both you and Peyton to have a Cabbage Patch Kid.
I can’t explain that, kiddo. It shocked the heck out of all of us. But Grampy gets a little mushy when it comes to thinking about Mommy and Uncle Chris as kids, and the year Mommy got her first Cabbage Patch Kid was a pretty special year. (Uncle Chris did not have a Cabbage Patch Kid. When he was little, they had a “My Buddy” doll that was…well, just a well-marketed doll, really.)
You’ll probably notice later on, many Christmases from now, that Mommy also gets a little mushy at this time of year. The truth is, buddy, that Christmas for my family when I was a kid was straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, skating ponds and all. Figuring out which traditions translate and which don’t is an ongoing struggle for me. And the truth is that your late grandmother, my mommy, loved Christmas so much that it’s still hard sometimes to have Christmas without her.
Alas. Christmas is and will always be fun, no matter what. That’s my promise to you, son.
The day after Christmas, we had the extended Harper family over for Boxing Day in what Daddy’s cousins and we hope to make an annual tradition. (We’ve done it twice so far — go, us!) And we had our first annual (we hope) Wookiee Life Day Open House so that we could get together with friends while most of us have time off.
It’s a tricky time to have a house full of people, as you have been a bit wary of…well, of anyone who isn’t me, when I’m around. But you were a champ and played with Auntie Shan’s girls and some of Mommy and Daddy’s friends without too much complaint. And if I’m honest, I have to admit that I love the way you snuggle into my neck when you’re not ready to go hang out with someone else.
You are, however, usually a spirited and mischievous little imp most of the time. You are so, so curious and very intent on exploring your world. You spent the first part of this month fighting us on EVERYTHING. Diaper changes. Feedings. Naps. Being set down. Getting your fingernails trimmed (this one is not new, obviously). Most of the time, though, when you are out of sorts, there’s a pretty good reason. And more often than not, that reason is CRAWLING.
You can crawl. It’s haphazard and not quite consistent enough to keep you from getting frustrated, but you’ve got the basics down and can generally get where you want to go. You have not given up on walking, as promised by our apps and your pediatrician. You still want to stand up whenever you can…including in your crib. It’s only happened a couple of times — you’re rarely in your crib unless it’s time to sleep, but we set you in there the other day, not two weeks after we lowered the platform, and BOOM. You stood up and started gnawing on the crib rail.
Eight months. You’re only months old, dude.
You are very, very vocal and we love listening to you chatter on. (Sometimes, I think you’re trying to sing.) Words you know (as in, you look in the appropriate direction when we say them), but cannot say: Mommy, Daddy, Rodney, puppy, book, bounce, kisses, up, splish-splash (= bath), Christmas tree, night-night, and “turn the page.”
Words we think you know…but cannot prove: Walk, nap, sleep, snooze, Grayson/baby, diaper, toy, and “pick up your butt.” (Crawling instruction takes some funny turns sometimes.)
You love to play games, especially if they involve an element of surprise. You spend countless minutes giggling madly, just waiting to see what funny noise Daddy will make next or wondering where the next raspberry will land. It’s the anticipation that tickles you, not the raspberry. And while skyping with Grampy this week, you started putting one of your stacking toys in my mouth, waiting for me to spit it back out again. It was the first time you’d initiated something like that with a toy — very exciting!
Going outside is one of your favorite things. You seem to look forward to walking the dog and you get especially excited when we take Rodney into the yard and chase him around. Once you know we’re heading to the back door, you start bouncing and squealing in my arms like you just can’t WAIT to go out and play.
Your bouncing is very, very cute, buddy, but when you do it in your carrier, you remind Mommy that it’s time to invest in some physical therapy/core workouts, because OW. At eight months old, you’re coming up on 21 pounds of solid, wiggly, extremely strong boy. (You grow out of everything so fast! Thank goodness for friends with slightly older boys and bags of hand-me-downs.) We’re grateful you’re growing so big and strong, but we’re also a little tired and sore. You are bigger now than some kids are at a year old…and you still don’t even care about solid food. Oof.
It seems like these posts are getting harder and harder to get ready on time, Grayson, but part of that is because you’re a pretty active and demanding little guy, and I’m still trying to make sure I spend more time playing with you than writing about you. In the long run, that will matter more to you than knowing how old you were when you crawled, walked, or said your first word.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got some baby-proofing to do…