Ethan (9 months)

Dear Ethan,

You are 9 months old today. 9 months, this is as long as you stayed inside me before you came out. Ethan, I want to tell you that you’ve been such a good boy since the day you were formed. I think I’ve experienced the best pregnancy that any other mother-to-bes would dream of. Except the frequent bathroom visits, swollen boobs (not a bad thing) and a little backache, I was as usual as before I was pregnant. Thank you so much for not giving me serious nausea, or I would’ve died over that 6-hour flight to Florida when I was 2 months pregnant. I never had mid-night food craving which totally saved your daddy’s life. Not too much weight gain was such a blessing. People could never tell I was pregnant by looking at my back. My bump didn’t even really show until the fifth month. You’ve got me tone up my biceps by holding you all the time. Yes, you made me a hot mama!

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You did kick a lot though. Sometimes I felt like you were trying to kick away my organs so that you could have more space to somersault inside me. You loved to slide your hand (maybe your foot) across my belly that I could actually see the wave bumping over my belly. Ethan, it’s the most surreal and amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced. I just miss that.

This month you’ve started to say NANA. Now you say DADA and NANA. Just so you know, there is a letter M which makes up words like MAMA, MOM, MOMMY, MOTHER. You pronounce NANA┬ávery accurately. You press the tip of your tongue against the tooth ridge so tightly that it looks like you are grinding and clenching your jaw really hard! You say NANA mostly because you are unhappy about being trapped into the swing chair, and you want me to hold you up. I will normally leave you there for a little bit longer because I love to listen to your NANA a lot! Your strong but cute nasal sound really defines the perfect baby talk that warms parents’ hearts. If I could, I would definitely record it and set it as my ringtone. But your mother is such a low-tech old schooler who still finds blackberry and iPhone too complicated. Not until you were born, I didn’t think having wallpaper shown on my phone was a big deal.

Since you’ve picked up NANA, you’ve got to understand NO. Actually I wonder if you really don’t understand, or you just pretend you don’t. You love to blow bubbles with your saliva……really hard……in the public……and onto people’s face. Last time you did that, I put my furious face on and said a blunt NO to you. You looked at me straight in the eyes with an astounding look for 5 seconds and made another blow. I pointed my finger to your mouth saying NO again, then you blew even harder. Yeah, that NO thing is so working.

You are fascinated when you see me say “pak pak pak” while I clap my hands. You will enlarge your already humongous eyeballs and lock them onto my moving hands figuring out why my huge palms can make such sound. Over the past few weeks, you’ve got it. You’ve discovered how to clap your hands. You basically bang you right palm onto your left palm whenever I say “pak pak pak”. You always beam with glee when you do that by wearing a broad grin showing your first 2 teeth which have been growing FOREVER. You know, Ethan, so do I. I love witnessing you how to pick up every new skill.

When you were still a newborn, it always confused me if I should reserve you a seat when we brought you to a restaurant. Apparently you were not able to use the table utensils and eat what they had on the menu. Sometimes I wonder I might disappoint the waiter if he found out that one of the three customers on the table was not going to help to jack up the bill because that little customer would just take up a seat but eat nothing and pay no tips. But you father never cares. He think we come to the restaurant as a family of three, and you do need a space where we can put you in with your car-seat or stroller. Now you’ve grown bigger, we’ve been trying to introduce you to restaurant high-chairs. Except you never stay in one for a decent amount of time that we can at least finish half of our meal. You grunt, moan, slide down to the very front of the chair that only your head is above the table.

You are always the center of attention during family dinner. Everyone is fighting to hold you, feed you, play with you, throw you in the air to make you happy. Sometimes you become very grumpy because you don’t like your high-chair. And everyone have to take turn to entertain you or tortured by you little devil. And that actually makes me feel guilty. Last Sunday God has given me help finally. You were taking one of the seats around the dinner table sitting on the high-chair for a freaking hour without growling. The key was we kept feeding you small bites of adult food! So, you nine-month-old little monster, you’ve already had sea bass, roast duck, soy sauce chicken…

I forgot since when exactly, whenever I hold you up against my chest, you’d snuggle your head into my shoulder. Sometimes you lay your pillowy cheek on me while you look outside to the forest or gaze at the spinning fan; sometimes you rest your double chin on me while you coo and babble to yourself. The very first time it happened, my neck vein was like exploding that all the blood rushed up to my brain, and I had to constrain myself from screaming. Ethan, that’s the most peaceful and heart-warming moment that I would sacrifice everything for. I wish the world would stop moving so nothing would distract you away.

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This month, Michael Jackson, the music legends and the King of Pop, has died. I did admire his irreplaceable electrifying performance on stage that made him an important icon in music history. Probably because I was too into Canto-pop when he’s at his peak in the 80’s, I wasn’t a big fan of him. I didn’t drop a tear until days after his death, one of his young daughters, Paris, spoke at his memorial service. She gave an impromptu speech about how she loved her daddy that really wrenched my heart. In his later life, he’d been written off as a freak because of his rumoured child molestation and race-shifting cosmetic surgeries. But it doesn’t take him away from the contributions he’d made in the music world, and most importantly, it doesn’t take him away from the hearts of his children.

Love,
Mommy

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