Bebe update: Nine months.

Bebe. B. B-face. Beatrice.

Let’s start with this tidbit: You’re not a huge fan of the ballpit I so excitedly prepped for your brother. That’s fair, most people aren’t keen on dozens of balls in their face. But you’re more interested in picking apart the bigger picture; deconstructing the ball pit, plastic orb by plastic orb, and of course, sucking the life out of each before tossing it to the side.

A little dramatic? Sure. But then again, why not just play in the ball pit?

So you’re not into swimming in plastic, but you do love your baths… Before, during and after. It’s been like that since you were born, but I have to say, lately you are a lot more expressive about the liquid love. You’re practically climbing into the tub, and once inside, you’re actually climbing out of your safety seat. I’m trying to keep you safe, lady!

When I put you straight in the water last week, you couldn’t be happier, except when your brother poured a cup of water over your face. Then you were simply ecstatic.

Yup, add your brother to the bath, and you’re in heaven. The two of you have not only discovered each other, but you now play together, talk to each other, and even – gasp – commit a little sibling rivalry here and there. A jealous act here, a smack there. Ok, it’s one-sided, but you take it in stride. And you’ve greatly improved your hair-pulling technique.

And two more milestones I live for: Clapping and Peekaboo. And you do both with your own little Bebe flair and gummy grin. You clap at the sound of music, you clap at the sound of singing, and you even clap at the sound of me singing supposed music, which is really very respectful of you. And the peekaboo – your little hands lifting a sheet, a towel, a scarf, and playing with me… Can’t get enough of your face.

And, inevitably, you’ve discovered the stairs. You’re not climbing Mount Everest yet, but one small leg lift for baby is one giant leap for oh-crap-we-forgot-to-close-the-gate. So, there’s that.

Probably, most importantly, you’ve got me really thinking this month. Thinking about my mother and me. Our nearly three-decade-old mother-daughter bond, especially as for us it was among the family remainder of boys. What we did together. What we said together. What we still do. What we’ll always be.

And I get to have that again, flipped, with you. Your goofy humor, your chill ease, your cuddly nature. Talking together, travelling together, consulting together, hell, even sparring together.

I am so looking forward to having mother-daughter moments with you.


Koala update: Big brother edition.

One the of most common things I was told before ‘the bebe’ was born was: Brace for impact from your two-year-old.

With that, we prepped him as best we could, giving him a bebe of his own to ‘practice’ with and reciting daily the list of family members’ names over and over, with a fourth addition. Also, believe it or not, teaching him the number ‘four’ helped, using the classic family scenario on the backs of most cereal boxes.

And, my dear squishable Koala, you have rocked it. You are, for the last ten weeks, the ideal big brother for a baby girl: loving her when convenient, ignoring her when boring, and trying to help when dressing, changing and crying.

Things I love:

  • The ‘tova’ you so generously dole out.
  • The questions you ask about her. Mostly ‘bebe?’, but, I know what you mean.
  • The 2-year-old softly shhhing the newborn.
  • Your insistence, at bedtime, to kiss the bebe on the cheek when saying goodnight.

And, luckily, we’re able to use this older sibling status to delineate between babies and big boys; one of those groups uses a motzetz, and the other doesn’t. Someone is getting a big boy bed next week, and someone else will stay in a crib. And one of you is too small to help mama around the house, but one of you is totally awesome at it.

I know that when Bebe starts drooling on your shoes, grabbing for your toys, ripping up your drawings, you will get upset. The hitting will start. The tattle-taling. Part of life, Koala. But just remember that you’re an older brother and that’s an awesome responsibility, one that I hope you will always cherish.

And it hasn’t ceased to make me smile that when you see a cereal box with four family members on it, you still recite our family members’ names just like I showed you all those months.

Koala update: Seven months.

They grow up so fast. They grow up so fast. They grow up so fast.

Dammit, I’m surrounded by cliches. It’s getting kinda repetitive.

But I’ll take a cribful of cliches for all the milestones Koala has experienced in the last month.

He worked really hard to sit – every day, one leg under the tush, push ups… And then after a while, sit he did… Man, when he finally got it – what a look of satisfaction. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard to accomplish anything in my life (except maybe sitting). And all the while he worked on sitting, he worked on moving, too. And then a couple days ago, wah! He was one hand in front of the other, moving towards Papa. These last few days have held many surprises for newly-crawling Koala, as well as many surprises for various home furnishings. God help you, potted plants.

And all the while he’s been crawling, he’s been picking up a leg as if to stand. That’s the point where I’m like, whoa, cowboy. Not so fast. Mama hasn’t childproofed the kitchen yet.

But crawling has opened all new doors for Koala. Or should I say floors? Speaking of the kitchen, he has begun his licking the floor-under-the-fridge immunization program. We’re all very proud. All wonderful things, yes. But what about the teething front? Notes from the teething front:

It’s rough out here on the front lines… of the bottom gum. The parentals are hallucinating as they wake up every 2 hours to rub bottom gum with Orajel and then fall back asleep.

Just in from the teething front – Right bottom tooth has cracked through! Repeat, right bottom tooth has sprung!

Report: Right bottom tooth has sprung after an excruciating and sleepless and excruciatingly sleepless week.

That was the beginning of the month. On the eve of the seventh month, left bottom tooth has begun its trouble. Always on a weekend, folks. This kid cracks teeth on weekends. But the very best development this month: The first major syllable milestone. Out of nowhere, laying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, Koala burst out into a chorus of da da da da.

They were soft sounds, angelic, cherubic syllables I wanted to hug for a long time. Da da da. It just rolled off his tongue. It was probably as good as the first smile and the first laughter. Of course, he communicates in all sorts of ways, but this just feels like the beginning of a higher communication, a human communication.