Dear Lily June,
The other day, your dad and I were discussing you. “I’m worried,” I said, knowing you’d turn eight months old yesterday. “She doesn’t seem to be doing anything new.”
You’ve got crawling down (when you ever let us set you down). You can say “Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog” with the best of them. You sit upright, hold your neck up like the world’s most adorable live-action bobble head, and you’ve even been known to wiggle your sitting hips in response to a song you like. You giggle until it makes you hiccup until it makes you burp, and your bowel movements have taken on their own distinctive, decidedly un-rose-like odor. You, my daughter, have arrived.
But the thing is, you’ve been doing all this for awhile. I watch you like a maternal hawk, so closely for instance that when you put on weight, I feel like I can actually see the transition from Buddha-style belly paunch to actual, measurable ounce. (Warning: These may be delusions of mommy grandeur).
But you haven’t yet taken your first steps. You haven’t said your “real” first word, although you can stumble across “Dada” and shout “Hey” like a taxi-hailing New Yorker. Once, I swear when I was coming out of the shower, I said something to you (I don’t remember what) and you replied, impressively condescendingly, “Actually…” [I swear it’s true. Your tone even had italics in it, Lily.]
I’m not a milestone junkie. You will develop in your own due time, and if you end up missing milestones or crawling to the beat of your own adorably tiny drum, so be it. Your dad and I will help you in whatever ways you need to develop into the best human being you can be, no ifs, ands, or ableism about it.
But here’s the thing: I’m kind of desperate to know who you will be. So when your dad said, in response to my ridiculous claim of you not doing anything new, that you are, too– that you’re “growing a personality”–I had to take stock again to realize he was right.
Just as at four months, when you started really showing us what makes you happy, you now have developed a whole new collection of things you don’t like. I firmly believe that, as much as anything else, it’s a person’s quirks and pet peeves that make them who they are. So here, Lily, at this stage of your life, were the things you loved to hate:
Lily June’s (at Eight Months Old) Top Ten Pet Peeves:
Credit where credit is due; this post idea was inspired by LittleMissFazed.
10) Being Forced to Eat Bananas
We’ve tried to trick you. We’ve hidden them in oatmeal, cut them with rice cereal, watered them down in formula. Lily June, you will not be deceived. You seem to dislike all fruit to some degree (not taking to pears or apples, for instance, unless they were mixed with meat), but the yellow devil incites your tongue-out pout (it’s a real face, believe it) like no other, to the point where your dad and I just started calling them “bye-nanas.” Good thing we bought three days worth of jars there when you first started taking solids.
9) Being Set Down
You could crawl, sure. I mean, you have the ability. But who would crawl when they can be carried around instead like a lap dog in a mink-lined Birkin Bag? Not you, that’s who. You prefer to be in your dad’s or my arms pretty much 110% of the time. It’s a struggle to watch you wince and listen to you, at best, whine and, at worst, wail when we set you down in your playpen with all of your toys. Apparently the Parent Robots are better than any block or keyboard or stuffed Godzilla. And we serve as a transportation device.
8) Especially Being Set Down on Your Back
They have a nickname for you at the pediatrician’s office, Lily: “Abs of Steel.” That’s because the second anyone tries to lay you on your back–for an examination, a shot, etc.–you do crunches that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger jealous. (You do not get this from your mother. I break a sweat just spelling “Ah-nulled’s” name.)
7) Not Getting to Stick Your Hand in Coffee
I don’t much believe in past life regression, but I’m positive it would reveal that, in their previous avatars or iterations on this planet, your hands were actually donuts. It’s the only possible explanation for why you seem to want, so desperately, to dunk them into your dad’s and my coffee. Every cup. Every day.
6) Hearing Loud Noises
When you were first born, you were so unresponsive to sounds, doctors thought you were stone cold Beethoven deaf. We had to take you to an audiologist and everything. Those doctors couldn’t have been more wrong. Now that you’re eight months old, we can’t sneeze or cough or close a cabinet door around you. You startle like a chihuahua on amphetamines whose just heard his first engine back fire as a result of being hit with a sawed-off shot gun bullet. It’s alarming. Also, pretty cute.
5) Having Hands Placed on Your Cheeks
At the start of our relationship, your dad used to try to caress my face as we’d fall asleep. And such a light sleeper am I that his gentle, loving touches woke me faster than if he had the fingers of Edward Scissorhands.
Turns out, THAT you did get from me. You’re all for being held and cuddled, but having your cheeks lightly stroked as you try to drift off to slumberland? Fugetaboutit.
4) Sleeping on Your Back
In 1994, the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development rolled out its “Back to Sleep” campaign, encouraging parents to always lay their babies on their backs in order to prevent SIDS. In 2016, you rolled out your “I don’t give a crap, I’m going to scare my parents to death campaign” by sleeping so flat on your belly, you look like you face-planted into the concrete of a Hollywood celebrity sidewalk star and stayed there. No matter how many times we wake in the night to roll you back over, you promptly, within 3.25 seconds, have returned your face to its mattress-eating position. You can’t be stopped, but you test, when you take a deep breath in the night, whether my heart can.
3) Being Given Kitchen Toys
You have an awesome suction-cup monkey that sticks to your high chair that your dad got you for Christmas. You have blocks and dollies and stuffed animals and rubber duckies and a slew of other toys we try to give you when we sit you in your kitchen high chair so we can do lame adult things like cook dinner or do the dishes. You barely give a lick about any of these. What do you prefer? Sucking on the canvas straps holding you into your high chair seat, savoring their succulent flavors until they’re more slobber and drool than fabric fiber.
Similarly, you have great taste in literature. After we finish reading you any book, about whose plot you couldn’t care less, you take the tome into your hands and carefully insert into your mouth its spine. Only by running your tongue over its text long enough for you to absorb the soul of its moral do you feel you’ve truly taken the story in. Literally and figuratively.
2) Dealing with Gravity
When you DO pay attention to your toys, it’s only to toss them straight to the ground. But then, quandary of quandaries, you find you can’t reach them, and thus, you’re upset. And so, loving and devoted parents that you have, we bend our bad backs over again and again to fetch them. So that you may promptly throw them down again. But then you can’t reach them, and thus, you’re upset…
1) Not Being Given the Winnings of the 1.6 Billion Dollar Powerball
I’ve tried explaining to you that you have to “be in it to win it.” That you have to actually purchase a ticket. And yet, nothing irks you like the winners of the largest lottery in history not “making it rain” all over your crib and changing table. In all fairness, you get this from both sides of the family. You’re part of a long line of people who get fairly annoyed when we’re not randomly showered in money from strangers. I mean, have they seen how cute you look at 8 months old? Come on, lottery winners. Come on.
- “Edwardscissorhandsposter”. Via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edwardscissorhandsposter.JPG#/media/File:Edwardscissorhandsposter.JPG