Dear Leaf Baby,

This is your "somewhere after you turned ten months" letter. I don't know why we even bother with dates at all around here, since now we are too busy to even breathe. Maybe we'll celebrate Christmas tomorrow and just get it over with. Maybe we'll celebrate on March 3rd. If I'm going to be writing you your birthday posts all willy nilly like this, that is, on whatever day I please.

Anyways. Hooray! You're ten months old.

I was reading through some posts from last year at about this time, and I couldn't really figure out what felt so strange, until I realized that YOU WEREN'T THERE. What? Where were you? Out for a stroll? Hanging out with friends? Oh, right. You weren't born yet. And you were there. You were the one who kept kicking me awake at night and making it impossible for me to walk. Still, it seems crazy that this Leaf baby we know and love hasn't been grinning at us for even a year yet.

So, let's see. A lot has changed, this month.

1. You have a tooth! Congratulations, Leaf, I won't have to puree your food forever. However, you're going to need a few more than one, so please just keep it moving along. But you don't need to wake up at night to let me know that a tooth is coming in, if you don't want to. I don't mean to be hard-hearted, though, maybe I should just look into a baby tylenol drip. I'm going to miss your gummy smile. Although I had a LONG time to enjoy it. I wonder if you're the slowest teether in the world.

2. The pooping on the toilet is a thing of the past. And, I'm sure, the future, but I do still wish it could be a thing of the present. You started to protest, a bit, simply because you do not like to keep still, and I would have continued anyway, because you don't keep still for diaper changing either, but then a stomach bug and a nice case of the runs sort of finished it off. Maybe I'll wait for you to mellow out a little and then try again.

3. Ha ha ha. Mellow out a little? Well, I may have a long time to wait. You are still a perfectly happy and content baby, but one who crawls and pulls himself up and waves his arms and legs around like a cyclone would, if it had arms and legs. Kai, as a baby, was mellow. Touchy and slightly cranky, yes, but mellow. Now he's a four year old boy with more energy than a PG & E plant, and he's still touchy and slightly cranky. What will you be like at four? I shudder to think. I realize that I have had my time in the mellow baby sun. I'm just thankful that you have an older brother and sister to play with you.

3. You love to sing. You are a genius. When your superstar daddy sings a few notes you will match him for pitch and sing what he sang. You'll try, anyway, and we are always looking at each other and shaking our head. Topher. Your favorite toys in the world are drums and the little toy piano. Sometimes you like to hold a block up in front of you and sing to it, with passion, like an operatic lover. When I sing, "Dancing dancing dancing..." (it's a simple song, one that I made up) you raise your hands and turn them gently from side to side, and then you start into the wild octopus waving which is your trademark. I hope so much to be able to get this on video someday.

4. You're such a gleeker. I mean it, seriously, you gleek more than any person needs to gleek. I don't even know how to gleek. You do it unconsciously, like someone who can, I don't know, turn a cartwheel from birth, (also something I can't do) and then acts all nonchalant about it. You open your mouth so that I can put food in it, and a perfect stream of saliva arcs out from beneath your tongue. It is awe-inspiring in its perfection and frequency.

5. Maybe I should touch on the diaper changing thing again, because I don't think that I really captured the enormity of its place in my life. I have this kind of unconscious dread of having to change one of your diapers because it now takes two weeks just to change you. You twist, you roll, I tell you no, poo gets on things, I try to get a clean diaper on, you grab it, I tell you no, you twist, you twist, you twist. I finally get you changed and dressed again about a year later and then I pick you up and kiss you...

6. Because you are the most darling and kissable man-baby that I have ever seen. Your nose is something that I want to eat, your cheeks are little round, soft, kissing stations, and I still want to put your lips in my pocket. You are amazing. And so, even though I feel like I'm losing my mind because you have become a person, rather than just a baby, a person who needs to be watched like a hawk and guided and restrained, and I'm going to pieces from the strain of watching three small people in this way, even so, I will take you any day. This age is better than any other, just because you become more YOU, because we sit and talk. Because you love to hug me and you pat my shoulder and make an aaaaahhhh sound, to imitate me, when you hug me. And you lean your head on my head, and you cuddle up to me in bed to nurse, and you fall apart laughing at your brother and sister, and you are so ticklish, and you are so proud of yourself when you pull yourself up, and ten grizzly bears could not drag me away from you.

Because you make funny faces and you have started to clap and you laugh when you're about to eat and you have little brown feet and you have no idea how to be gentle. Basically because you are yourself, this is why we love you so much, you are yourself and you are ours, even if just for a time.

I can't get my photos uploaded. Maybe later.