Ten Months

she loves to wave

she waves at us when we walk in a room

at strangers walking their dog

at the tree outside

at photos

at her mobile

at other babies

and she will wave when she sees her reflection

she loves to clap

she lights up with the biggest smile

when you sing “if you’re happy and you know it”

and she will clap when you clap

and she will clap when you ask her to clap without clapping yourself

and sometimes she will clap

with one hand open and one hand in a fist

and she will clap when she sees her reflection

she is sleeping 11 hours in a row

except recently when she was teething

she finally has a tooth!

two in fact

small ones poking through the front bottom

she can’t gum my finger

or bite my nose anymore

without it hurting

that’s how i discovered her first tooth

when her father set her down on me

to wake me up

and she gently went to bite my nose

and i felt something small and sharp

“a tooth! it’s here!”

she is crawling

and pulling up

and cruising

when we hold her hands up to see if she wants to walk

she will sometimes take steps

but is usually too happy, bouncing

and will leap towards us smiling

she can climb steps like a pro

fearless now

one and then another

it started on the playground

and now she can tackle our flight of five at home

but we have yet to try the tall set of steps

she loves to eat

she loves to use her new teeth to eat

to crunch on celery and apples

and tear corn tortillas and cheese

she is antsy to eat more

chomping off too-big bites of bread

she loves to drink water out of sippy cups

she still is drinking bottles

no longer at the breast

but still sleepily



eating in our arms before naps

and bedtime

the bedtime routine



“vitamin d” drops

(water drops now)


sleep sack


waving goodnight to our neighbors

waving hello to the blinds and curtains and video monitor

waving goodnight to the park and backyard and tree

waving hello to the blinds and curtains

saying hello to the pink light and fan

(we say the same script each time)

cozying up in the recliner with the bottle

and she will drink and play with my hair or my fingers or her fingers or her foot

sometimes she will sit up taller and rest her head on my chest while she eats

other times she sinks down lower in my arms

and her eyes will droop and sometimes she will nod off while eating

but usually she will pull away when she is done, just like always

sometimes calling out for her father’s attention if it is nighttime and he is laying on the floor, waiting for us,

and i will offer her the bottle for more

or the binky if she is done

and she will take the binky confidently in her hands and put it in her mouth herself

and close her eyes and know that i’ll take care of her

and we sing twinkle twinkle little star together

her father harmonizing at the end

and we kiss her and tell her we love her and to have sweet dreams and say we will see her when she wakes up

her eyelashes are longer than mine

i swear

her hair is growing in more and more

the swirl getting thicker

and maybe small curls are starting

or maybe it’s just bed head

everyone agrees it has a reddish tinge in the sunlight

her fingernails grow fast

and they are dangerous as she explores our faces with her fingers

and her toes are sticky with fuzzies unless they are wrapped in socks

her eyes have stayed bright

and can have an impish twinkle

especially when fetching her from her naps

or if she looks back at you when you tell her “no”

and she has a new smile

still big

still lighting up her whole face

the whole room

but now with two small teeth that have poked their way through her bottom gum

her left upper gum dips a little lower than the right

and we are expecting another tooth there any day

her laugh is more forthcoming now

big squeals

giggles squished in the throat

as her whole face crinkles in delight

her eyebrows arched dramatically

it comes when i kiss her belly

when i squeeze her in a hug

(a “mommy squeeze,” the mention alone making her smile)

when i chase her on the swing

when daddy grabs her legs and makes her kick the top of his head

or when she grabs his mustache or glasses

my most treasured moments are when we are still

when she is asleep in my arms

or eating a bottle

or sitting on the blanket in the backyard in the leaf dappled sunlight

while she wears her floppy hat

that she will soon tug off her head

and in each of these moments i remind myself to breathe

to take in every detail

to remember the feeling of her soft skin on the back of my hand

and the weight of her on my lap

and the way the sunlight illuminates her face as she ponders a blade of grass that she has pulled from the earth and holds between her tiny fingers

the way she might be considering its greenness

or its thinness

or its smoothness

or its novelty

before slowly raising it to her open mouth to eat it

and i break my stillness spell to reach with lightning quickness to stop her

and then resume my meditation as her attention moves elsewhere

and continue to sit in the moment

with her

so i can go back to that moment in my mind whenever

so i can be there

with her