You are 8 months old today. That means you are going to be able to walk, so I don’t need to carry you around like I’m doing biceps exercise all day long. And you will be able to tell me what you want, so I don’t need to stress out myself to figure it out when you cry. Maybe you will start making friends, so you can hangout with your buddies when mommy wants to take a nap. Except you won’t do all these until you are 12.
This month, you’ve learned to sit up straight by yourself without tilting at all. You pick up toy A, rattle a little bit, put it down; then grasp toy B, bang it against the mat, let it go; hold toy C…you keep doing it until the cycle is done. Then I will shuffle the toys order a little bit to see if you will do it all once again. Sometimes you do, but most of time, you start getting bored. At that point, you want to do something else, and your favorite is to exhaust me – cry to get me to hold you.
You are still not yet mobile though. You aren’t crawling or rolling across the floor. You are getting better in term of being put on your tummy. You don’t start crying right away like you used to. But you are not moving forward nor backward. Sometimes you’d try to reach a toy by stretching your arm. But, if it’s beyond your reach, you just lie there sucking your fingers like, “I’m a baby, everything should be delivered to me. Why would I waste my energy to crawl and get it myself?” Well, when I should worry if you are developing too slowly, I actually find it pretty relieved. At least I don’t have to keep my eyes on you all the time wondering if you will move yourself to bang your head against the wall.
You have started to enjoy playing hide-and-seek now. When I hide myself, you lean forward and turn your head to seek me out. Your round little face is filled with curiosity, your big eyes are rolling around like your brain is functioning 999999999 megahertz. Ethan, that’s the most adorable expression I’ve ever seen. When you see me magically return, your bright little eyes turn brighter. Then comes a big giggle!
A couple months ago, when a toy suddenly went out of your sight, you didn’t care much. This month, you’ve realized that things don’t just disappear. You’ve learned to look for your missing toys and your missing mom. You know that even though I’m not in your sight, I’m still somewhere, somewhere with you. You feel upset and start crying when you see me leave you alone in the crib while I walk out your room. Ethan, I’m glad that you’ve learned what they called “object permanence” which is a big new cognitive skill. When you understand that what’s gone is not gone forever, your missing mommy will always come back to you.
You said your first word this month – DADA. My friend asked me if that broke my heart that it’s not MAMA. I said not at all because you basically say it to everything – the guy out there mowing our lawn, your dirty diaper, your big teddy bear, Giada de Laurentiis on TV……you just never stop “dada-ing”. But not only your dad, even myself, really enjoy hearing your sweet “dada” although it might not actually refer to anything. You start to pay attention when I’m talking to you, you gaze at my moving lips with your big round eyes. Sometimes you even reach your hand to my mouth like you are asking me, “I want to talk like you too, how do you do that?” Ethan, you do actually utter quite a lot of different sounds these days. I’m sure you will be able to talk to me about what you think, feel, want, see and hear. And I can’t wait!
Ethan, you are so lucky to have a couple of buddy babies to grow up with in the neighborhood. You kids were born within a few weeks or months. Last Sunday was the second time that you played with another Ethan (Ethan M.) living next to us in the backyard. You probably haven’t seen too much of a little creature the same size as you, you acted abnormally calm. You kept checking out Ethan M. wondering why there’s another human being in the world who is being held and entertained when it should only be your privilege. Both of you locked eyes into each other, remained silent, then you took the first step by reaching your hand to Ethan M.’s head, Ethan M. tried to touch your cheek with his fingers, you patted his shoulder, he grasped your leg……all these in slow motions like practicing Taichi. We the parents were so fascinated witnessing the whole “Ethan VS Ethan” episode. And I want to let you know that you probably don’t understand friendship now. And maybe you will have a little brother or sister to play with in the future. But at some point in your life, you do need friends who can share with you something that you don’t want to tell your nagging parents. I’m so grateful that you have a chance to interact with your peers in such young age.
Summer weather is surprisingly nice this year which frequents our after-lunch walk. These two weeks, you seem to recognize the sound of “walk walk”. Every time I say “Let’s go walk walk” when I’m getting you prepared, you are so excited that you pose a big smile, giggle, sometimes you even wave and kick your arms and legs so rigorously like you are being released from a prison. Our usual route takes us to walk past an elementary school where sometimes the students would run around or hang out on the campus lawn. Over the past few days, when we passed by the school, you straightened up yourself from the back of the stroller trying to get yourself a better view to see the kids playing there. You seemed pretty interested. Ethan, you will be going to school very soon where you will be able to learn and make lots of friends. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. I somehow like you wearing this fisherman hat…you look like a girl with it.