This month marks the return of the dreaded ear infections plus the appearance of a strange new virus that caused you to fever for 48 hours straight and throw up any time you tried to eat. When people say there's nothing worse than a sick baby, they aren't kidding. I imagine there's nothing in this world that can make a mother feel as inadequate, as helpless, as knowing her child is in pain and not being able to do anything about it. There were two nights that were especially rough for you, when all I could do was hold you in my arms, rocking you and stroking your sweaty forehead as you whimpered for hours. I have to be honest, I hated those nights. They were sad and scary and frustrating, and it pains me to know that I can't prevent things like this from happening to you; that there will be many more sleepless nights like these in the future.
But there have been a lot of fun things this month as well, like when we took you swimming for the first time. To say that you liked it would be a gross understatement. Besides the fact that you got to play in water--something you've loved from day one--you were completely surrounded by other kids playing and splashing, and you simply LOVED it! For just a second, as I first set you in the water I thought you might try to jump out of your floatie and join them, but you were content to sit back and observe their play, floating around completely relaxed, your half-painted pink piggies dangling in the water... the very essence of chill.
This past month you've learned how to do several things on command like clap or stick out your tongue. Unfortunately, get Mama a Twinkie is not one of those things. You also dance when asked to. Or when you haven't been asked to. Or, even when you've specifically been asked to STOP DANCING because do you have any idea how difficult it is to sleep when you're sitting on the bed rock-and-roll-head-banging like a crazy person? You are a dancing fool, Morgan, and anytime you hear any kind of beat (and quite often when there's no music playing at all) you start shaking that little bum of yours. However, considering the genetic hand you were dealt, I hope you don't get your heart set on a dancing career. Musical or sports-related talent isn't in the cards either, kiddo. If you really want to excel in an enterprise, something that involves consuming an entire can of vienna sausages in 6 seconds or utilizes the ability to wrap both legs behind your neck would be an appropriate venue to pursue.
My favorite recent development of yours is...are you ready for this? YOU TALK! I don't just mean the incessant jabbering and babbling you do, when you go on and on then look up at your dad and I with a proud grin as if you've just recited the entire Declaration of Independence. No, I'm talking about words. Real words! Words like hi and dad and MAMA! Morgan, I had no idea that two short syllables could completely melt my heart, but every time you look at me and utter that one little word, your dad has to get a shovel and scoop me up off the floor. We've been doing sign-language (just a few words) with you since you were about five months old, and last week you signed back for the first time. You used the sign for "milk" which means that you want to nurse. The first time I saw it, I though it was a fluke. But sure enough, you made the same sign multiple times the next day and now you do it on a regular basis, like it's totally no big deal... like it's something you've been doing forever. The fact that you're learning to communicate with me, I mean really communicate--not just point at what you want or scream until I guess what you need, but actually communicate using language-- oh, honey, it's just SO EXCITING!
You took your time learning to crawl, but once you had that out of the way, you didn't waste a moment in figuring out how to maneuver yourself around the furniture. You could spend hours going in circles around and around the coffee table. Just the other day, you let go and took a single brave step from one piece of furniture to the next. Now let me tell you, I'm definitely NOT one of those moms who wants her baby to stay a baby forever. I didn't cry when you grew out of newborn diapers, and the first time I saw you sitting up all by yourself, I felt nothing but excitement. Up to this point I have enjoyed each phase of your life and I've looked forward to all of your accomplishments with a smile, but watching you take that step brought tears to my eyes. Each day I see a change in you. You are becoming your own, independent person and as much as it thrills me--makes my heart sing, even--it also makes me realize that you are growing so fast! And although I want you to always do things at your own pace, in your own time, a little part of me can't help but think not so fast, baby girl. Slow down. Stay exactly the way you are for just one more day. Please.