A few days ago Lyra turned nine months old.
That’s nine months of changing diapers (I was afraid I would get sick of it, but it’s just something I do), of washing baby clothes, of staring at you trying to figure out who you look like (you have my eyes), of listening to you scream with delight or growl like a possessed demon at us (or the cats, or your toys, or fish at the aquarium), of wondering who you are, of watching that personality make its way out through the barriers of language you have yet to cross, of taking picture after picture after picture of you…
You’re crawling now, although sometimes it seems more like you’re trying to walk on your feet and just can’t figure out how to push your body and hands up off the ground. You don’t entirely have a grasp on space yet – under the coffee table, where toys sometimes go, is a frustrating cycle of reach for the toy, bonk your head on the coffee table, yell for a minute, repeat. You love to upend the cat food & water bowls and play with the computer cables that go around the room – until we figure out how to move or hide those, we will continue to yell “Reset baby!” as we move you back to the centre of the room away from the temptations – which you immediately head for again.
A little charmer, you have fans at the local coffee shop, and walking down the street, and at the stores we frequent. Smiles for strangers are rare, and often require special efforts on the part of the stranger. So many times I’ve seen you give a stranger a solemn stare while they make faces at you trying to elicit a smile. When you do offer one up, it’s like a beam of sunshine after a week of Vancouver winter. Little old ladies have been known to cross the street and cut me off just to talk to you.
Food is adding a whole new level to things these days. It took you a while to warm up to the concept, but you’ll now happily chew on cheerios, or feed yourself messily with a spoon – peas and yams and avocados and all sorts of other random foods we try without much rhyme or reason. Sometimes you want a taste of what I’m having – you loved the butter chicken, even though it was spicy, and you chewed on my pizza crust for quite a while. Tonight I made butternut squash soup for everyone – and we all loved it. Tonight was the first time I made dinner for all three of us. It kind of made me wish we had a dining table to eat at, but we make do without one just fine.
You’ve also started to realize that things happen on screens that are somehow related to real life. Today you saw a PBS HD Special on Patagonia, and your favourite scenes were full of pumas (yay kitties!) foxes (yay puppies!) and Guanacos (kinda like Llamas… yay puppies again?) You especially loved when the Guanago chased the fox through the meadow. That made you crack up into giggles, which set me off, of course. You watched an episode of Pingu on Youtube with your dad tonight and seemed to actually understand what was going on, rather than just being amused by the moving pictures. You got upset when the seal hurt his flipper, and you were happy when he got better. It’s a whole new world now.
Tonight playing piano with your dad you realized that the lower keys play low notes and the higher keys play high notes – apparently you had to play both. You also figured out that if you put you head on top of your hands to push down on the piano keys, the sound is louder. Tiny little realizations in your head that we get to see happening – it’s like magic sometimes. There are so many new games you’re playing with us; half the time we don’t even realize it until we’re well into it.
What I do know is that you are amused by strange things (much like we are) and that you seem to be plotting something sinister and mischievous much of the time. You are becoming yourself, and I get to watch. It’s all so exciting.