Note to my nephew at 8 months
The note in my phone announcing that “Baby is the size of a pecan!” is already over a year old. Like many babies, you were fixed in our minds as a fruit or a vegetable every month before we met you. Some months you were so sweet (strawberry) and other months you were sour (lemon). All the months before we met you, you were already loved.
Tonight during dinnertime, we laugh at your impromptu goatee of yogurt, mashed sweet potatoes, and peas. We laugh even harder when your face contorts into an oncoming temper tantrum, the scream about to escape like steam from a tea kettle (and sounds about the same too). To distract you, your mom nuzzles your feet and makes bopping sounds with her mouth on your belly. You immediately giggle, thunderstorm forgotten. But when you’re done eating and tired of being restrained in your high chair, you’re full immediately. Food and utensils fly. Your entire torso bucks in your chair and your wail is like a tornado siren. “Take cover for flying debris, I’m here.” When you’re tired and sleepy, you’re tired immediately. Your eyebrows blossom pink and you rub your eyes with your sticky, tiny fists.
Everything you wear has either a bear or a dog on it and your every waking moment is followed by four attentive eyes peeking out of fuzzy faces, your very own pack. Everything you hold goes in your mouth. Even the tags on your toys that don’t taste so good and make your face grimace, those go back into your mouth again and again. It’s like watching a video on loop except for it’s you, learning about the world you live in.
Mom finally cut your hair, which was finely curling over your ears and eyes. It’s as though your hair decided only the front half of your head needed to be curtained. With your new haircut and slicked over side part, you look so dapper and grown up. Not to worry, it quickly devolves into the typical bowl cut that every child must have at some point in their lives.
I need to type this quickly because it will all change. Like that morning you woke up and decided that you would start trying to talk. Like how you’re army crawling across the floor, almost faster than your parents can chase after you. Like the afternoon you started making funny faces at us, to get a laugh. Soon you’ll decide you don’t like mashed sweet potatoes and can pick your own bedtime. We won’t be able to wiggle your button toes and your favourite word will be “NO”. You’ll pick your bedtime story that you’ll want to hear over and over and over and over again. I can’t wait.